Lamborghini can now trace, certify and authenticate heritage cars faster and more securely using Salesforce’s Hyperledger-based blockchain platform. More here.
Launches Climate SIG and DCI Working Group
SAN FRANCISCO and DAVOS (January 22, 2020) – Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, took to the stage at “Blockchain Central” in Davos during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting with an update on the growing impact of the global Hyperledger community on the adoption of enterprise blockchain. The multi-venture, multi-stakeholder effort hosted at the Linux Foundation also welcomed six more members to its global community, including Adoriasoft, Cognizant and the University of Hong Kong.
In addition, this week Hyperledger launched two important community groups. The Hyperledger Climate Action and Accounting Special Interest Group (SIG) will bring stakeholders together to look at climate related use cases with an initial focus on a global and open climate accounting system that will help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The Diversity, Civility and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group is geared toward building a community with a culture of encouraging people to voice their diverse opinions. Part of its launch includes the release of a survey to benchmark current sentiment and experiences in the Hyperledger community.
“Being a part of the Global Blockchain Business Council’s ‘Blockchain Central’ in Davos is a great chance to see the global momentum for blockchain and help us keep our focus on the impact the technology can have on business and beyond,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “The pace of innovation and the real-world impact of enterprise blockchain are top of mind for us as we head into Hyperledger Global Forum, which is just over two months away. We look forward to the role these new members and community-driven initiatives like the Climate SIG and DCI Working Group will have on the evolution and application of blockchain in the near and long term.”
Hyperledger allows organizations to create solid, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by offering enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger frameworks, libraries and tools. General members joining the community are Adoriasoft, Cognizant, inwinSTACK and Symbridge.
Hyperledger supports an open community that values the contributions and participation from various entities. As such, pre-approved non-profits, open source projects and government entities can join Hyperledger at no cost as associate members. Associate members joining this month include Substra Foundation and The University of Hong Kong.
New member quotes:
“It is the right time for distributed ledgers to become an integral part of a variety of business IT solutions considering their well known advantages and benefits,” says Volodymyr Kostanda, CEO of Adoriasoft. “For us as a blockchain R&D provider, it’s crucial to join the Hyperledger and Linux Foundation communities to share ideas, contribute to the ongoing development efforts of Hyperledger technologies and support the ecosystem by bringing in our previous expertise and background in science-intensive DLT and cryptography spaces. Moreover, we are launching a blockchain education initiative and it is important for us to hear the community. We consider it as the right strategic step.”
“As a global professional services leader, Cognizant is helping clients achieve their digital transformation goals,” said Lata Varghese, Vice President, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies, Cognizant. “By joining the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger, Cognizant will be working with several notable organizations to advance the Blockchain and DLT ecosystems for users around the globe.”
“inwinSTACK is proud to be one of many pioneers joining the open source Hyperledger community,” said Joseph Wang, Vice President of inwinSTACK. “Hyperledger provides a lot of useful collaboration tools to enable contributors to engage in blockchain technology enhancement and integration. As a member of Hyperledger, we will work with the community to assist enterprises in building blockchain solutions and make use of the interoperability with ease.”
“We are honored to join the formidable Hyperledger community,” said Michael McGuire, CEO and co-founder of Symbridge. “As the first blockchain native digital asset exchange to leverage Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology, we are helping to bridge the gap between digital asset innovation and traditional markets – creating a public, peer-to-peer staked network. After analyzing different blockchain platforms, Hyperledger Fabric quickly became the obvious choice due to its scalability, high availability, and industry adoption. We will be entering beta shortly, and we are actively hiring experts who can help us further leverage the Hyperledger Fabric open source network and promote adoption.”
Members big and small are collaborating across company and country lines to ensure the success of Hyperledger business blockchain technologies, building products, services and solutions on top of Hyperledger code bases that are critical to their lines of business. Learn more about becoming a member of Hyperledger.
Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing and technology. Hyperledger hosts many enterprise blockchain technology projects including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries and sample applications. All Hyperledger code is built publicly and available under the Apache license. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.
About Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 (March 3-6, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona, #hyperledgerglobalforum)
Hyperledger Global Forum will offer the unique opportunity for more than 1,000 users and contributors of Hyperledger projects from across the globe to meet, align, plan and hack together in-person. Open to members and non-members alike, attendees will have the chance to talk directly with Hyperledger project maintainers and the Technical Steering Committee, collaborate with other organizations on ideas that will directly impact the future of Hyperledger, and promote their work among the enterprise blockchain community.
Hyperledger has launched the Hyperledger Climate Action & Accounting (CA2) Special Interest Group (SIG) to facilitate focused technical, business and global-level conversations and projects related to appropriate use cases for blockchain and compatible emerging digital technologies across the climate sector.
For several years now, climate science has had an unequivocal consensus that global emissions should peak by 2020 and take a sharp decline to zero by 2050. 2020 is now here and yet we are nowhere near this goal. At a critical inflection point in the history of this planet and the global effort to prevent irreversible climate damage, this Hyperledger SIG is launched in an outmost timeline fashion to help bridge action between planet, policy, technology and economy.
SIGs gather community members from an industry segment to work on domain-specific problems and create an environment for open discussion, document co-creation and solution proposals. Hyperledger now has nine SIGs, including ones focused on healthcare, telecom, trade finance, supply chain and social impact.
Climate change is recognized globally as both a crisis and an opportunity requiring transformational change to attain sustainable societies and economies. Urgent action at a global scale is crucially important to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement (i.e., UN global climate accord). Five years later, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2020 highlighted “Climate Action Failure” as the top risk – ahead of all other major risks such as war and trade conflicts. Concerted action is often fraught with mistrust and lack of transparency among the scope of actors (countries, subnational governments, companies, individuals) due to uncertainty of distributed responsibilities and clashing incentives at the short-term level. Whilst the Paris Agreement is a globally encompassing framework to prevent warming above 1.5oC (relative to pre-industrial levels), it still lacks a clear mechanism enabling actors to “speak the same language” when recording and governing the use of climate-relevant data and verified actions.
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) and other emerging digital solutions have the potential to provide trusted record-keeping processes, data consensus and rules automation — crucially needed components in order to align actors, accelerate mitigation and adaptation action, and mobilize the trillions of dollars of finance required annually. Hyperledger’s ecosystem and DLTs are central to the creation of a global and open climate accounting system that helps integrate all actors and actions under the same planetary goal. The Climate Action & Accounting SIG has launched to leverage Hyperledger frameworks and the Linux Foundation’s know-how for the development of an open source and decentralized climate accountability network that both operationalizes transparency (i.e., Article 13 of the Paris Accord) whilst enhancing each actor’s personal privacy, security, and control.
The scope of the SIG is defined by the terms climate action and climate accounting:
Climate Action is a broadly encompassing term that involves all climate-relevant actions (e.g., policies, programs, technologies, goods, services) taken by actors (e.g., states and non-state actors such as businesses, cities, individuals). This covers the range from emission generating activities to the broad set of actions encompassed within climate mitigation and adaptation and its associated finance mechanisms.
Climate Accounting, on the other hand, is referred by the SIG as the encompassing term that involves all processes of recording climate-relevant information/data. This ranges from the physical state of the planet to the list of all climate actors, their broad set of climate actions and agreements in respect to the shared account of the climate challenge.
In other words, whilst climate action occurs in the real world, climate accounting is recorded in the digital world.
Through open and participative discussions, the SIG will help build the relationship between both climate domains and consolidate technological tools to do so.
The new SIG is led by two co-chairs: Martin Wainstein, PhD, and Tom Baumann. Martin is the founder and lead researcher at the Yale Open Innovation Lab at the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale and manager of the climate & energy finance projects at the Digital Currency Initiative of the MIT Media Lab. Tom Baumann is the founder and co-chair of the Climate Chain Coalition, co-chair of the INATBA Climate Action WG (International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications), former international chair (2014-2019) of ISO’s climate change standards committee, as well as co-founder of several start-ups including Xpansiv, Adaptation Ledger, ClimateCHECK, GHG Management Institute, Collaborase, and NovaSphere.
The mission and goals of the Hyperledger CA2 SIG is to foster a collaborative network of climate, DLT other emerging technology organizations (i.e., universities, NGOs, government, startups, corporations, multilateral development banks, etc.) that can create a center of gravity around the role of DLT and open source software to address challenges in the global climate action, policy and digital accounting space.
A focus point of the SIG would be to turn this network into action under a common open source project that defines shared protocols, standards, and platform tools for a globally integrated climate accounting system to be operationalized, and meet requirements by emerging initiatives like the FSB TCFD (Task Force for Climate-Related Disclosure). This open climate project can act as a shared initiative where participants can contribute value to and share explorations in the use DLT alongside other emerging technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), big data, and machine learning to address the challenge of keeping a transparent climate accounting system towards the climate targets set in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The SIG community will take initiative to specifically address and develop:
- Compile completed, ongoing, and proposed future activities related to blockchain for climate action & accounting
- Create a directory of organizations and initiatives involved with blockchain and the climate space (map of organization location, contact person, description, website, etc.)
- Consolidate the architecture of an integrated system, involving multiple blockchain mechanisms connected through shared protocols, allowing contractual automation in the link between finance and climate value flow based on the agreed physical parameter of the Earth system
- Identify Hyperledger tools and frameworks to develop and maintain a single record-keeping ledger with global consensus (i.e., a ‘ledger of ledger’ where all parties agree)
- Propose and define shared protocols and standards to allow interoperability across the climate accounting system and integrated platforms
- Compile of best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations to stakeholders (policymakers, technology developers, etc.)
- Support events (e.g., at blockchain and climate conferences such as COP) and related activities for collaboration among members and stakeholders.
- Propose, discuss and define a longer-term strategic vision of an open innovation consortium that can help steward, fund, and maintain an open source climate action and accounting project and system
We welcome your participation. If you would like to join the Climate Action and Accounting SIG, please subscribe to the mailing list and join the chat channel where online meeting details will be announced. The CA2 SIG wiki page contains links to resources, activities, meeting minutes, project details and the active member directory. Find a list of all Hyperledger community meetings, including the Climate Action and Accounting SIG, on the Hyperledger Community calendar. We look forward to your active involvement and valuable contributions.
At Hyperledger, “All are welcome here!” That is a message that we want all current and prospective open source contributors to hear. As open source software (OSS) becomes more prominent, the communities that surround it become more important. Having a community that has a culture of encouraging people to voice their diverse opinions is crucial for the long term success of the project. With the motivation of creating an ecosystem that enables many diverse views, the Hyperledger community with the support of the Hyperledger staff has started the Diversity, Civility and Inclusion (DCI) Working Group (WG).
The journey to creating this WG started at the Hyperledger Member Summit in 2018 in Montreal. Hyperledger is the fastest growing project in the Linux Foundation’s history. Despite that, discussions at the Montreal event raised issues about obstacles to participation. Current processes could make it difficult for newcomers to integrate and participate, and some of the processes do not always promote inclusiveness. Newcomers do not always know where to go to find information or ask questions, and conversely active members have difficulty monitoring all the avenues people can participate (e.g., mailing lists, channels on rocket chat, wiki). Geography sometimes also presents a barrier as meetings and correspondence are optimized for certain time zones over others.
Motivated by the observations at the summit, community members along with Hyperledger staff began discussing how to improve the inclusiveness and in turn increase diversity. They wanted DCI initiatives to be community driven and tracked openly. The DCI WG was created to give interested community members an open forum to investigate, collaborate on solutions, and provide visibility to the DCI issues found in the community. The charter for the DCI WG includes collecting data on various metrics, suggesting possible improvements based on those metrics to the TSC or projects, and, if actions are taken, measuring the impact of them.
Diversity, Civility and Inclusiveness can cover many different community health issues. In order to be the most impactful, the DCI WG decided to focus our efforts and tackle a subset of issues first. One of our first goals will be to collect metrics across as much of that breadth as we reasonably can. We are launching a survey to help baseline the current community. Without that data, it is difficult to know where we need to place our emphasis. One of the small pieces of data we do have today suggests a gap in gender representation. After much discussion, the working group has chosen to make that an initial focus and use what we learn through that process and the survey to expand into other aspects of DCI.
Within the Hyperledger ecosystem, the DCI WG is looking to collaborate with other working groups, SIGs, and projects to analyze and measure diversity. We are also looking to work with groups such as CHAOSS. We encourage everyone to participate, give their feedback, and voice their opinions! One of the ways to participate right now is taking our survey. Regardless of your background, the projects or WGs you work on, we want to hear your ideas and feedback. The DCI WG meets bi-weekly and can be found on Hyperledger Community Meeting Calendar. We also have a mailing list and a chat forum. We welcome all contributors!
The hidden costs of raw materials
How much do you know about the making of your phone? How important is it for you to know where all the materials came from?
There are now over 3 billion smartphones in the world and the growth in numbers is expected to continue. This, along with demand for other electronics like tablets, laptops, electric vehicles, even vacuum cleaners, is driving a huge need for raw materials such as cobalt, tin, tungsten and tantalum. Cobalt is used in every lithium-ion rechargeable battery on the planet, while the 3 Ts, also known as conflict minerals, are found in all manner of electronic goods.
Conflict minerals have been classed as such due to their sourcing in conflict areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Militias will frequently seize control of a mine and force people to work in dangerous conditions for minimal or zero pay. With weak law enforcement in these areas there are many examples of slavery, theft of natural resources, environmental damage and human rights abuses.
The other issue that is rife here is child labour. The Guardian estimates there are more than 255,000 creuseurs (diggers) mining cobalt in the DRC, at least 35,000 of whom are children, some as young as six. These children will spend an entire day digging up enough cobalt-containing heterogenite stone to fill a sack, which they will then try to sell to Chinese traders for about $0.65.
For a long time. people have been talking about blockchain and how it is a technology looking for a problem to solve. Circulor is one of the first companies to build a solution using Hyperledger blockchain and artificial intelligence that provides traceability and transparency across the supply chain where it is really needed – conflict minerals, rare earth minerals, toxic and polluting waste, child labour-based production, to name a few.
Responsible companies need to know the answers to the questions:
- To what extent is your supply chain traceable?
- Are you confident in the provenance of your raw material?
- Can you prove the provenance?
- What impact are you having on people and nature?
With extractive industries, true traceability requires reaching far upstream and being able to track material flows through refining, amalgamation and manufacture. Circulor addresses two core challenges – reliably creating a digital identity for a physical commodity at its source in the field, as well as connecting the inputs and outputs from a manufacturing process to enable that identity to be inherited.
In order to make the identity reliable and digital, Circulor’s solution gives a commodity a dynamic identity, or dynamic twin, so that it can be tracked along the supply chain journey, from source to consumer, even if the commodity changes on the way. Then through the material journey, we use machine learning tools to identify anomalies or fraudulent activity.
With their entire supply chains mapped out for the first time, manufacturers are able to definitively prove responsible sourcing and sustainable production. In relation to conflict minerals and child mining, there are a number of controls in place to enable this. Artificial Intelligence is utilised for facial recognition, ensuring only authorised people are involved in the process, while anti-GPS spoofing measures guarantee that transactions are only done at accredited facilities.
One of these measures is tags that can only be used in a specified geo-fenced area, such as a mine site or production facility. This is an important safeguard because, especially with the case of tin and tungsten mining in Rwanda, the current tagging system is insecure, and tags are frequently traded on the black market. If a commodity has one of these tags, even though it holds no real information on location or identity, that is often enough for it to pass any security checks. Circulor’s tags are linked to specific locations and individuals.
Enabling better business
In partnership with Kumi, Circulor recently completed a successful project with Volvo Cars, using Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology to trace the cobalt in the company’s forthcoming electric vehicles. Volvo Cars is leading the way in its industry to conduct responsible production, not just in its own operations but now in all of its suppliers as well. It recognised the importance of being able to prove to its consumers that it sources raw materials ethically and sustainably.
There is no doubting a current consumer trend towards a greater concern for our impact on people and the environment. Last year, the UK spent over £83bn on ethical goods with the continued growth driven by increased environmental concern, showing that more consumers than ever are looking for ways to shop that help people and the planet. Businesses are taking note – Circulor has just signed on with another automotive company to conduct a similar project and there are various examples of opportunities in other industries, such as waste, recycling, agriculture and more. In partnership with Kumi and other forward-thinking organisations, traceability provides huge potential to enable better business.
Cover image courtesy of Circulor
It’s 2020 and blockchain is well and truly in production. If you have any doubt, take a look at the schedule for the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020.
Whether you are a seasoned developer, business executive or relatively new to the world of enterprise blockchain, you will be well catered for in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 3-6. The conference features an exceptional range of keynotes, case studies and workshops.
Here are a few key themes that the Hyperledger Global Forum schedule reveals about the state of blockchain in this new and exciting decade…
Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is here to stay
Self-sovereign identity technology removes the tireless friction of maintaining multiple digital identities and empowers users to control the data they share across platforms. Hyperledger Indy, Aries and Ursa provide enterprises with the tools and libraries required to create meaningful business and humanitarian solutions using this powerful technology.
At the Hyperledger Global Forum you will learn how SSI is
- Reducing the cost of KYC compliance across a consortium of banks across South Africa.
- Enabling the Province of British Columbia, Canada, to ascertain the provenance of Greenhouse Gas emitting energy resources in their efforts to modernise their energy grid and support their decarbonisation efforts.
- Enabling non-profit Kiva and the Central Bank of Cambodia to issue digital identifications to unbanked populations, creating better opportunities for credit for traditionally underserved communities as well as helping developing economies grow and better align with the larger global economy.
Innovators are realising the value of blockchain in supply chain
Blockchain or distributed ledger technology is arguably best described as a database architecture that enables trust between multiple parties. Verifying provenance within a supply chain is therefore one of blockchain’s most natural applications.
A wide range of Hyperledger technologies – notably Hyperledger Sawtooth – is being implemented to harden global supply chains and develop new relationships between customers, suppliers and vendors.
- Unilever is leveraging Hyperledger Sawtooth to trace the provenance of pork meat so that millions of customers can scan their food packaging using a mobile app to learn the end-to-end provenance of their meat from farm to vendor.
- Quantum Materials Corp uses Hyperledger Sawtooth and DAML smart contracts to bring their nanoscale quantum dot technology to market to ensure absolute product identification within critical and high value supply chains.
- Volvo is tracking the provenance of cobalt to develop a more environmentally responsible and efficient supply chain for the manufacturing of their EV batteries
Blockchain interoperability, both public and private, is evolving…
Open source technology is essential to ease systems integration and drive digital transformation. The interoperability of blockchain technologies is an important challenge that needs to be solved to unlock its full potential.
Hyperledger technologies are principally permissioned, or private, blockchain technologies. The permissioned space has often been characterised as distinct from, and even adversarial to, public blockchain networks, such as Ethereum.
A much anticipated panel discussion featuring representatives of ConsenSys, Microsoft and IBM will discuss how both Hyperledger and Ethereum can collaborate to achieve their common goal – the global adoption of blockchain.
This is just a sample of the sessions on offer at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020. In addition to compelling keynotes, there will be more than 50 sessions covering business and technical topics as well as case studies and demos during the first two days of the event. These are followed by two days of workshops where you can deep dive on topics of specific interest, for example, Accenture and the World Economic Forum are jointly leading a half day session aimed at business leaders to help them understand how to properly evaluate blockchain use cases for their organizations.
For more information or to register, visit the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 website.
To be or not to be is not a question nowadays. To the normal citizen, you have your birth certificate that enables you to have an identity, a driver’s license, a passport and voilá: You are.
Even that digitally seems quite common and straightforward. Most of the western citizens have not one but many digital identities with them: a Google account, a Microsoft account, a Facebook account, etc.
This is not the case for a large segment of mankind: A group that has no identity, knows little or nothing about their roots and cannot provide any proof of them. By not being able to prove their identity, they cannot open a bank account, access healthcare or enroll in university. They cannot have a “normal” life. Unfortunately, for this group, it is easier to buy a pizza using Bitcoin than to prove their names, origins and history.
This happens because we lack a common ground for identities. Governments have strong agreements on how each of them will “understand” documents issued by other nations. Internal conflicts, commercial disputes or other political situations make it hard for some countries to be part of such agreements and they end up being left outside. In some cases, those excluded countries are the ones facing issues that force their populations to migrate. Without an identifying document recognized by their host countries, these migrants become “nobodies” in their new home.
Self-Sovereign Identity, Interoperability and Trust
Hyperledger Indy, a distributed ledger built for the purpose of decentralized identity, will be a powerful tool to overcome this issue. It will do so by being a carrier of trust.
Distributed Ledger Technology (a “blockchain”), in an identity management scenario, enables everyone in the network to have the same source of truth about which credentials are valid and who attested to the validity of the data inside the credential, without revealing the actual data.
Through the infrastructure of a blockchain, an identity verifying party does not need to check the validity of the actual data in the provided proof. Instead, the verifier can use the blockchain to check the validity of the attestation and attesting party to determine whether to validate the proof.
For example, when an identity owner presents a proof of his or her date of birth, rather than actually checking the truth of the date of birth itself, the verifying party will validate the government’s signature who issued and attested to this credential to then decide whether he trusts the government’s assessment about the accuracy of the data.
Hence, the validation of a proof is based on the verifier’s judgement of the reliability of the attestor.
But trust is not the only issue we face. Most of the identity credentials issued by an institution are particular to that institution. There’s no standard on those schemas. Through Indy and standards such as Verifiable Credentials (whose Data Model 1.0 was recently published as a W3C recommendation) interoperability between institutions and different identity management systems might be achieved.
Using this technology, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can help those “invisible people” gain access to services and expedite the humanitarian process. In the future, it may even enable NGOs to issue some sort of universally verifiable digital identity credentials to refugees. Credentials that refugee host countries could “understand” and accept because they use the same interoperable digital identity standards and trust the NGO that issued the credentials. This would allow refugees to fully access services in their host countries. They would be able to be included in society, open bank accounts, rent houses and be productive as any other citizen.
The key is interoperability and the decentralization of trust.
Hyperledger Indy is still quite young with a lot to be discussed and done. However, it has an engaged community around it, researching, asking questions and working towards the maturity of the ecosystem. The main tool to start using Indy is Indy-SDK. An SDK (Software Development Kit) is a “kit” that brings all-you-need tools in one library.
Today the solution still relies solely on said SDK. That can be tricky as it carries a lot of heavy-weight assumptions like using ZeroMQ, which browsers are not compatible with because of RAW TCP usage, to communicate with the node. That usually requires more recent mobile devices to work. Also, being a kind of all-in-one library it carries functionalities not always needed to everyone that uses it.
To be the solution for the problem that plagues 1.2 billion people around the world who do not have an identity, the current technology still needs improvements. It has to be easier to use on basic phones, easier to integrate and easier to develop. It still requires users to have powerful smartphones to hold wallets. It’s not possible to run on a browser. And, we are challenged with little and sometimes confusing documentation on the technical side.
There are a lot of initiatives tackling those issues. Hyperledger Aries, which is making it more modular, Indy-crypto, indy-vcx and other projects are working to make this tech more democratic, transparent and easy to use.
A lot of independent programmers are also experimenting with it, successfully creating, for example, a nodejs indy request that made a “sdkless” call to the node. I would personally love to see an HTTP with encrypted body request work over an Indy node and other “think outside the box” kind of tools.
Overcoming those issues will not be easy, but when we, the entire digital identity community, position ourselves in a united front to fight these problems, there’s a huge chance to succeed.
We are a community working together to build tech that will ultimately impact industries all around the world. Of course, we all have our own individual motivations, many of them commercial and many of them underpinned by specific technologies incubated by Hyperledger. Fundamentally, however, we are all sold on the value of blockchain technologies.
At the Hyperledger Global Forum in 2018 in Basel, Switzerland, the community was still responding to the conflation between blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In July, the Member Summit in Tokyo showed that the market has come a long way. As Gartner describes it, the hype has dwindled and we are now in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ – terms that may sound discouraging but actually signify the period when meaningful technological adoption begins.
Across Hyperledger, blockchain projects are increasingly moving into production and generating genuine business value, from the recent announcement of Salesforce’s low code blockchain platform to Walmart’s leveraging of blockchain to build a food traceability system.
At this stage, it is an excellent time to engage with the community and showcase the progress we are making. While many of you are seasoned road warriors with your feet barely on the ground before being whisked off to the next conference, I want to explain the value of attending the Hyperledger Global Forum in Arizona 2020.
1) The conference really embodies the spirit of open source. Hyperledger Global Forum genuinely encourages open discussion and conference attendees, whether members or not, have the opportunity to talk with the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. It is an opportunity to ask questions and meet the engineers you may collaborate with daily, whether you work for a corporate giant or a start up.
2) You always come away with a new perspective and a new market to explore. With over one thousand attendees from all over the world, Hyperledger Global Forum really is that – global. We came back from Basel with new leads from markets as far flung as Russia, Singapore and Israel – connections that, as a start up, have shaped our direction
3) Hyperledger Global Forum generates real outcomes. Conferences are not an insignificant investment, particularly for a start up. However, the relevance of the tracks and the relationships we developed meant attendance was absolutely worthwhile. Whether this be a collaborative effort with other contributors to solve a common problem within a project or an introduction to a company whose problem we are trying to solve, Hyperledger Global Forum always generates actions.
Many in the community are equally as enthused about Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 and the value this extended, global conversation about all things Hyperledger:
“The Hyperledger Global Forum is a great event for professionals working in the business of blockchain to participate in. I was proud to represent SecureKey at the event last year and to stand alongside some of the most notable technology professionals. We look forward to our continued work with Hyperledger and highly recommend like-minded organizations take part in this excellent event.” Dmitry Barinov, CTO – SecureKey Technologies
“The Hyperledger Global Forum attracted leaders from around the globe last year and allowed us to have a number of face-to-face meetings with clients, colleagues and, for me, as the co-founder of the Social Impact Special Interest Group, an in-person meeting with group members from Mexico to Timor-Leste. The global make-up of the conference is just one more reason why Accenture will be the diamond sponsor again this year.” Alissa Worley, Global Marketing Director – Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies at Accenture
“The conference really embodies the spirit of open source. Hyperledger Global Forum genuinely encourages open discussion and conference attendees, whether members or not, have the opportunity to talk with the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. It is an opportunity to ask questions and meet the engineers you may collaborate with daily, whether you work for a corporate giant or a start up.” Dan O’Prey, CMO – Digital Asset
When we hear about internships and related projects, we often think of the resulting technical contributions. However, when such a project takes place in the context of an open source and international ecosystem, like Hyperledger, the code artifacts are just part of the journey. Accordingly, in this blog post, I would like to focus on the participants and the community aspects of the Hyperledger Summer Mentorship program.
The first thing I would like to emphasize is that this is not just a summer job for the interns. During the internship, they had a chance to get to know the intricacies of different Hyperledger projects. They also worked closely with mentors who guided them throughout their work. But above all else, they became part of an open source community.
If you consider all these aspects, it is a challenging journey in two months. I think this is where the mentorship program of Hyperledger shows its strength. It gradually eases you into a (seemingly) complex environment. And the main goal is not just to get the job done, but to give the interns a toolset that allows them to stay engaged with their project, even after the internship is over.
The opportunity for interns to present their work during a Hyperledger event (like the Global Forum) is in line with this goal.
Let me share a bit of personal experience with you. I also participated in a Hyperledger internship project in 2016. I was in the mentee role back then, and I was already looking into some Hyperledger projects that could prove useful for my Ph.D. research. However, open source development was new territory for me, and it was a bit intimidating at first (technical skills aside).
But then I got to present my project work on the next Hyperledger event. That was my first close-up experience with the Hyperledger community, and it opened up a world of possibilities. I met the maintainers of many projects, we exchanged ideas, and they answered many of my questions. And suddenly the open source Hyperledger ecosystem wasn’t intimidating anymore.
It is safe to say that this whole experience put me on the track to get more involved with specific projects, and later becoming a maintainer of Hyperledger Caliper. And, as the next step on the road, I had the pleasure to mentor a Caliper-related internship project this year.
Of course, with the new role came new challenges. Although I have mentored students before, the setup was different this time. I expected that working around the 8 hours time zone difference will not be easy. However, the fact that Caliper was under active development during that time was an even more significant challenge. The most important lessons (and skills) I learned as a mentor was the proper compartmentalization and scoping of tasks. These insights also shaped the further development of Caliper, intending to make it more contributor friendly. So mentees are not the only ones who learn new things during the internship.
Hopefully, this blog post gave you some ideas about the vital role the Hyperledger Summer Mentorship program plays in the open source community, as well in the development of projects themselves. However, don’t forget to check out the other side of the coin, the technical project results from the latest participants to complete the program:
- Design Effective OS to Manage Blockchain Networks
- Git signing with DIDs Hyperledger Indy
- Hyperledger configuration for project management in construction
- Hyperledger Fabric-Based Access Control
- Hyperledger Fabric SDK for Node.js security extension
- Hyperledger Umbra: Simulating Hyperledger Blockchains using Mininet
- Hyperledger Ursa integration into Hyperledger Iroha
- IoT and DLT in a telecom multi carriers architecture
- Running WebAssembly Smart Contracts in Fabric