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Weekend Update: This Week’s Round-up of Remote Blockchain Learning Resources

By 网志, Weekend Update

Welcome to April, #HyperledgerIdentity month, and to the second edition of Weekend Update. Our goal with this weekly post is to share quick updates about online education, networking and collaboration opportunities and resources for the enterprise blockchain community. 

If you have suggestions for resources or events that we should spotlight in a future Weekend Update, let us know here.

Free Blockchain-Based Identity Classes 

Since we will be putting the focus on identity this month, we want to highlight two free classes for those who want to dig deeper into the topic. Offered via EdX, Introduction to Hyperledger Sovereign Identity Blockchain Solutions: Indy, Aries & Ursa and Becoming a Hyperledger Aries Developer (LFS173) will get developers up to speed on Hyperledger tools, libraries, and reusable components for creating and using independent digital identities rooted on blockchains or other distributed ledgers. These courses are also the core curriculum for a new professional certificate program, Developing Blockchain-Based Identity Applications. (Note: the full certification program costs $358.20).

Blockchain Research Institute Webinar: Blockchain and Pandemics 

On Tuesday, April 7, at 1:00pm ET, the Blockchain Research Institute will host a webinar on some of blockchain’s key applications in preventing and mitigating the impacts of global pandemics. It will share the key insights from the BRI’s March 26th roundtable discussion, which brought together over 25 world leaders in health, innovation, manufacturing, and supply chain management. The webinar is open to the public. Register here

Free Access to ACM Digital Library 

To help support research, discovery and learning in this unprecedented time, The Association for Computing Machinery is opening the ACM Digital Library to all. For the next three months, there will be no fees assessed for accessing or downloading work published by ACM. This includes ACM’s journals, proceedings and magazines. 

Hyperledger Global Forum videos

Don’t forget that you can view all of the sessions from Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 here as well. 

Running Productivity Apps on Hyperledger Fabric

By 网志, Hyperledger Fabric

What do you think of when you hear “smart contracts”? Cryptocurrencies? Tokenization of assets? Automating financial agreements?

But what could be more critical to your business than the tools you use to get your tasks done? Whether it’s a to-do list, internal communications, or even tracking time-off, these are key processes at the heart of everyday organizations. Any application or workflow that involves collaboration — between organizations, individuals, or even software systems — can benefit from a robust and secure definition of the processes involved.

OpenWork is a suite of smart contract-powered productivity apps. Thanks to the fact that the smart contracts are written in DAML, they can run on Fabric, Sawtooth, and Besu thanks to the community integrations. For more information about OpenWork, check out our series of posts on why we did this, a dive into the apps and their features, and where we plan on taking OpenWork.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of getting Board, OpenWork’s Kanban-style project management app, running locally on a Hyperledger Fabric network (you can see a running version here). The final stack will look something like the following diagram.

Getting Set Up

Prerequisite services:

  • Git
  • Docker
  • Scala with SBT
  • The DAML SDK
  • Python 3 with the dazl library installed (pip3 install dazl)
  • Node and Yarn

Files:

1. Running the Fabric Network

The DAML on Fabric repo comes with a test fixture for running a local 5 node deployment:

$ cd daml-on-fabric/src/test/fixture
$ ./restart_fabric.sh

Once that’s up and running, you’ll need to start the DAML service. One bit of housekeeping: you might need to update sbt.version in project/build.properties to match your local SBT version (latest is 1.3.8). Next, we’ll want to start the DAML Ledger API Server and load the ChainCode onto the endorser peers. In the root daml-on-fabric folder:

 $ sbt "run --port 6865 --role provision,time,ledger,explorer danban/quickstart/danban-upgrade-3.0.0.dar" 

2. Prime the Ledger

We’ll need some data on the ledger to get started. Some parties will need to be onboarded onto the ledger and then a new app contract will need to be instantiated. The fabric-quickstart folder contains some simple scripts to simplify this process:

$ cd danban/quickstart
$ daml ledger allocate-parties
$ python3 setup.py

3. Running the Frontend

Finally, we’ll want to run the frontend. It’s a fairly standard client-side Web app, but as the ledger API is gRPC, we’ll need an HTTP server for the app to talk to. To start the HTTP JSON API server:

$ cd ../client
$ daml json-api --ledger-host=localhost --ledger-port=6865 --http-port=7575
$ yarn install && yarn start

The app should open in your browser on a login page. DAML ledgers are flexible regarding user authentication, but the examples here use a JWT based scheme (you can read more here). For this example, you can log in as the user “Alice” with the following JWT:

eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJodHRwczovL2RhbWwuY29tL2xlZGdlci1hcGkiOnsibGVkZ2VySWQiOiJmYWJyaWMtbGVkZ2VyIiwiYXBwbGljYXRpb25JZCI6ImZvb2JhciIsImFjdEFzIjpbIkFsaWNlIl19fQ.6I3_M0PCpc3tqqFf1TbHZ84GQOkOl6KpmuVyoRYLvSg

Instructions for how to create tokens for other users are detailed in the documentation here.

What’s Next

Let’s say you’re up and running, planning your project on your Fabric-powered Kanban tool. Great! But now you want to collaborate with another team, already running a Hyperledger Besu network. You could try and agree on a common framework to use (good luck!), but DAML gives you another way — synchronizing data from the apps across running Hyperledger networks on different frameworks. This is going to be possible soon with our work on DAML interoperability, which we recently previewed at the Hyperledger Global Forum.

OpenWork is just at the start of a process to see how far smart contract-powered productivity apps can go. There are features to be built and more apps to be added to the suite. We’d love your support. If you’re a developer or a user and you want to get involved, check out the OpenWork page for our repos and contact resources.

10 Practical Issues for Blockchain Implementations

By 网志, Hyperledger Global Forum

Hyperledger Global Forum is the most important annual event for enterprises that adopt consortium blockchain technologies. Hundreds of blockchain enthusiasts come together at the annual Hyperledger Forum to share their user cases and the latest progress on enterprise blockchain technologies. During the conference, I presented on the 10 critical problems and requirements to consider based on numerous enterprise blockchain implementation projects using Hyperledger Fabric-based Oracle Blockchain Platform (OBP). These projects cover the gamut of industries, including financial services, supply chain, healthcare, and government, and range from custom developments supported by the Oracle solutions team to SI-led projects and ISV solutions

These critical issues include: 

  1. Using SQL for rich queries in Smart Contracts
  2. Data Backup/Recovery
  3. Ledger checkpoint and pruning/archiving
  4. Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus
  5. Governance
  6. Performance
  7. Privacy & Confidentiality Protection
  8. Inter-network Support
  9. Pluggable Crypto Implementations
  10. Auditing Capability 

Although the original public blockchains rely on a self-sovereign management style with complete decentralization and rules governed by consensus algorithms, permissioned blockchains have a different structure. In the enterprise-permissioned blockchains used in private or consortium deployments, the participating enterprises are often concerned about maintaining their own nodes with efficiency and resiliency while, at the same time, working as part of a cross-company blockchain network. This requires a secure and flexible governance model and on-chain collaboration mechanisms to address the many operational issues at different layers of the blockchain network – from interoperable connections, to storage management, membership governance, chaincode distribution, etc. As organizations set up their blockchain networks, there are several things they need to pay particular attention to and design their networks with in mind. 

SQL and Smart Contracts

The first issue is about supporting SQL language for rich queries in smart contracts – queries of Key/Value data that apply conditions to the values. While some are neutral on this issue, my team views this as an important option for enterprise users, especially those who want to migrate their existing SQL-based business logic into blockchain smart contracts quickly. Using extensive SQL SELECT capabilities minimizes the code complexity and enables a single query to aggregate results that would otherwise involve multiple queries (necessitating multiple network hops between the chaincode container and peer container where the world state database resides). Based on the open-sourced BerkeleyDB K/V store with SQL-Lite, Oracle Blockchain Platform allows customers to enjoy the power of SQL, while also achieving more than 2000 TPS. For interoperability purposes, CouchDB Query Language is also supported in the chaincodes on top of Berkeley DB world state database.

Blockchain Data Backup & Recovery 

For production customers, questions about how to backup and recover the data for blockchain networks are very critical. Although it’s easy to create a new node in theory, it is not practical to wait hours for a new node to sync up the ledger data from existing blockchain nodes and transfer configuration metadata. And when there’s the requirement to migrate a node across datacenters, this recovery operation becomes critical. Oracle has already resolved this problem by designing specific tools for OBP customers, which avoid service disruptions when migrating or upgrading the blockchain nodes.

Ledger Pruning and Archiving

Some of our customer projects expect to handle very large transaction volumes (e.g., a maritime shipping network tracking 10s of millions of shipments/year, each recording on-chain a large number of documentation and logistics events, could exceed 3B transactions/year). Depending on the payload size and number of digital signatures (endorsers) attached to the transaction, the total storage requirements could grow to the levels that are going to be difficult to manage. There’s a strong interest by some of the leading customers in a solution that can prune the ledger, archive old content, and keep the overall storage requirements manageable. Some work is underway in Fabric (e.g., FAB-106 Jira). We believe a solution to the ledger pruning requirements is mandatory and are exploring different approaches consistent with the overall architecture of Fabric in order to be prepared when customer blockchains grow big enough to need a solution.    

Byzantine Fault Tolerant Consensus

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is defined as the feature of a distributed network to reach consensus (agreement on the same value) even when some of the nodes in the network fail to respond or respond with incorrect information.

An important consideration to be aware of while setting up a blockchain network is the requirements of Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus, compared with the Crash Fault Tolerant (CFT) one. Due to the underlying complexity of BFT consensus algorithms, a best practice is for the community to leverage the latest academically-proven consensus algorithms based on rigorous and peer-reviewed demonstrations of the safety and liveness properties. Such algorithms include the Tendermint, Algorand, Mir-BFT and HotStuff. There is also some on-going work on Golang-based implementation of the BFT-SMART algorithm for Hyperledger Fabric.  These are important reference points for blockchain architects and developers interested in adopting BFT consensus in the future.  At Oracle ,we are actively exploring the available options to ensure they meet the rigorous proof requirements as well as deliver operational characteristics, including performance and resilience required in enterprise applications.

Governance

Governance is another strong requirement, particularly in consortium blockchains, and all audiences believe this is a feature they seriously need. The lack of governance creates challenges in real applications (e.g., how to agree on adding new members, creating new channels and setting their policies, deploying or upgrading smart contracts, etc.). Although users can negotiate these out-of-band using email, conference calls, etc., it is untrustworthy in theory and very inconvenient in practice, especially to achieve agreements across different organizations. And it certainly doesn’t scale for consortiums with more than a dozen members.  

We recommend several practical solutions to address the issue using on-chain mechanisms to provide an audit trail for governance-related agreements and chaincodes to automate the processes for reaching these agreements through voting and other means. This could be supported via a special governance channel for persisting transactions, votes, and policy evaluation results, similar to the system channel that is used to help govern the ordering services; the other part would be a Governance System chaincode (GSCC); and the last piece is to use External distributed governing service provided by vendors. 

The GSCC option is very promising because in the Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 release organizations can vote for chaincode lifecycle with the help of the implicit collection. Thus, it is feasible to extend the functionality to allow users to vote for other operations, such as adding new members or creating channels. It could also track proposals, manage vote tabulations, and evaluate them against policy requirements. Part of the GSCC implementation has been verified by the Fabric interop team.

Performance of a Blockchain Network

Although customers often ask for performance numbers, sometimes there is a misunderstanding of the performance metrics. For example, in blockchain, the performance metrics include throughput and latency, and results will vary under different network size and hardware configurations and the tradeoffs made between higher throughput vs. lower latency. In analyzing typical blockchain scenarios from finance to supply chain and healthcare to IoT, we can see that the performance requirement is not the same for each scenario. A suggested best practice is to optimize the performance from a systematic view. For example, the chaincode often does lots of calculation, while the ledger will require storage, and the consensus is sensitive to network latency. Hence, a reasonable performance optimization solution will be based on the thoughtful understanding of the business demands and the platform architecture. In customer benchmarks we have observed significant impact of the payload size as transactions move between clients, peers, and orderers; number of peer nodes and their CPU capacity in an instance; ordering block size (more transactions/block can significantly improve throughput but at some cost to latency); network capacity between ordering service and the peers, and other factors. Properly tracking all of these factors and optimizing for those that are most important in the context of a specific application enabled us to meet the highest levels of customer requirements, including exceeding 2000 TPS in a maritime logistics blockchain network.

Data Privacy and Business Confidentiality

Data privacy, which is becoming an important bottleneck in blockchain, has been discussed for quite a while. Enterprise blockchains that plan to share confidential business data are particularly concerned about confidentiality between certain participants and shielding this data from access by other participants. There are a number of approaches, but no perfect solution. Even with the private data collections (PDCs) in Fabric, there’s complexity of configuring PDCs when transactions span different members and when new members join the network. Implicit PDCs in Fabric 2.0 help to some extent. But even with PDCs,  the hashed results are still recorded in the ledger, enabling those with access to detect the relationships and frequency of transactions, if not their content. 

When blockchain nodes run as a managed cloud service with users only able to access them through the APIs and event subscriptions (and not by accessing the underlying files systems where the ledgers are stored), data privacy can be managed easier.  The channel access policies can be set to prevent unauthorized members from seeing detailed block content through event subscriptions and to enable only authorized members to deploy or upgrade chaincode. When coupled with a unique feature of Oracle Blockchain Platform that enables the use of on-chain fine-grained Access Control Lists (ACLs) in smart contracts, the chaincode can control the access based on the user’s identity. And we suggest customers encrypt important data before putting them on the private database (shared by PDC members.) Ultimately, if you care about data privacy, a good rule to follow is to encrypt all your data before putting it on the blockchain.

Inter-Network Operations

This topic spurs a number of active conversations, but the answers aren’t clear today. Let’s break this down into a few more specific questions about what Inter-network operations mean. First, is it about multiple nodes and networks built on the same technology stack (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric)? The Hyperledger Interop Working Group kicked off at the past Hyperledger forum in Basel has been working on testing and documenting how multiple members’ implementations can interoperate. The testing done as part of this working group by Oracle, SAP, and IBM has shown that their nodes can join each other’s network and interop with a common ordering service and channels. The next question is about interop between separate Fabric networks with their own ordering services and channels. This is possible within Fabric architecture, whereby a peer node can be configured to connect with multiple ordering services and see channels supported by each of them. When coupled with inter-chaincode query capability, this enables a chaincode on one network to query a chaincode from another network for data from its ledger.

Moving to heterogeneous technology stacks, what about interop between Fabric and other blockchain technologies, such as Ethereum, Corda, Quorum, etc.? Again, we need to break this down to more specific questions. For example, do we want to:

  • Read/query data from multiple ledgers?
  • Write data to multiple ledgers with consistent results (i.e., both are committed or none)?
  • Involve nodes and members from multiple networks in consensus mechanisms?

The answers vary. Querying the data is possible using “oracles,” gateways that can retrieve data from one trusted source and make it available to another network, while mediating trust relationships (e.g., using Chainlink). Writing data consistently is possible using centralized intermediary gateways, which is not wholly satisfying, but even then the diverse models of finality across these stacks make this challenging as deterministic finality in Fabric is not always possible in other networks. Cross-network consensus remains at the level of academic research and will not be achieved in the near term.

Pluggable Crypto Implementations

The regulatory compliance requirements in some regions (e.g., Asia, Russia and, potentially, the EU) require that blockchains align with regional crypto standards. Today this is handled by scanning Fabric implementation for all uses of specific crypto libraries and the painstaking effort to replace these with regional/country crypto standards. Making the crypto service pluggable will save a huge programming effort, and it can promote the open source technologies into a broader market. Fabric Jira FAB-5496 has been created to track this.

Auditing Capability

Finally, the issues of supporting auditing must be considered. Compared with logging, metrics and tracing, auditing is specific for business and legal regulation and compliance (used by auditors and accountants). In some projects involving Intercompany accounting and billing reconciliation, the information on the ledger related to how invoices are settled and paid feeds into financial systems that are subject to SOX-404 compliance requirements. This means that internal or external audit teams need to be able to verify the source data and the integrity of the systems that maintain it. While we provide tamper-evident block chaining capability in Fabric, we do not currently provide tools to allow a user to re-verify on-demand the cryptographic hashes linking the blocks or the validity of the digital signatures (and the current status of the certificates) attached to past transactions. In discussions with the SIs that are implementing blockchain projects for some of our customers and are also involved in audits, it became clear that having such APIs for auditing purposes would be very useful and could promote the use of blockchain in the financial departments of many enterprises. 

Summary

Enterprise blockchain is rapidly gaining adoption in many industries and for many use cases. In our experience, practical applications of blockchain in production deployments by early adopters raise a number of key considerations and challenges that have to be addressed for greater acceptance of enterprise blockchain in the mainstream. Our blockchain team and partner ecosystem is exploring a number of these topics with customers. As an active Hyperledger member, Oracle is providing recommendations and suggesting approaches to these “bleeding-edge” issues through the various working groups and the TSC. Jointly with the rest of the Hyperledger community, we continue to evolve Fabric and other Hyperledger projects to meet these requirements for the broader set of companies and other organizations who will be adopting these technologies in the coming years.

In case you missed my session at the Hyperledger Forum, or were unable to attend, you can watch the session replay of “Practical Issues in Blockchain Implementation.” 

Developers can learn more helpful tips by downloading the complimentary Oracle Blockchain Developer eBook.

About the Author

Baohua Yang, Oracle, Principal Architect, Oracle Blockchain Platform

Baohua has served the Hyperledger community as a member of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and co-chair of the Technical Working Group in China (TWGC) from 2017-2019. As an open-source developer, he contributes  to numbers of projects (e.g., Hyperledger, OpenStack and OpenDaylight), and is leading several (e.g., Hyperledger Cello, fabric-sdk-py). More about him can be found at yeasy.github.com.

Hyperledger Besu Graduates to Active Status

By 网志, Hyperledger Besu

The Hyperledger Besu team is excited to announce Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC) members voted to graduate the project from incubation to active status. The Hyperledger Besu team believes this decision demonstrates the strength of the Besu project and the active community supporting it. With this announcement, Hyperledger Besu joins Fabric, Indy, Sawtooth, and Iroha as projects with active status in the Hyperledger greenhouse and the only Ethereum project to be granted active status.

Since Hyperledger Besu joined Hyperledger in August 2019 under incubation, the Besu team has remained focused on growing Besu’s developer base and making it an inclusive community. The Besu team has had active participation from a number of organizations, including several that have become maintainers of the project. Some of these organizations include ConsenSys, Chainsafe, Web3Labs, Machine Consultancy, Everis, ETC Labs, and MyEtherWallet. Each of these organizations provides critical code to improve and grow the featuresets of the codebase. For example, Chainsafe and ETC Labs focus on maintaining Besu syncing with Ethereum Classic networks, whileWeb3Labs builds the privacy feature. These critical contributions help make Besu the high quality project it is.

Hyperledger Besu’s team has been focused on developing the project to be a leading client for the public Ethereum mainnet as well as in permissioned consortium settings. The Besu team has built enterprise-grade features, including privacy, permissioning, and consensus mechanisms. The optionality of running Besu in a public chain or permissioned chain setting is part of its radical appeal with community members. Now that Besu is an active project, we plan on continuing to encourage enterprises, individual contributors, and application developers alike to explore and support Besu to ensure it continues to evolve to fit each of their purposes. 

What Does Active Status Mean?

By voting for Hyperledger Besu to be granted active status, the Technical Steering Committee acknowledges that Besu meets all of the Incubation Exit Criteria, including legal requirements, high-quality documentation, consistent tooling usage, and diversity of community requirements. Each of these requirements helps demonstrate a project is a safe, welcoming, and vibrant space for community members to join and contribute. By being designated as an active project, Besu is demonstrating that it is meeting Hyperledger’s highest standards for a project.

What is next for Hyperledger Besu?

The next quarterly release, v1.5, is scheduled for mid 2020 and will include our most ambitious features to date. Some features include: 

  • Performance improvements, including block propagation, block product and validation, transaction pool management, and JSON RPC query response time. 
  • Privacy Improvements
  • Beam Sync Early Access
  • Mining Support

Additionally, the Besu team is focused on building out performance metrics using another Hyperledger project, Hyperledger Caliper. The team is looking forward to publishing those results soon.

Hyperledger Besu continues to sit at the intersection of Hyperledger and Ethereum and hopes to continue to grow both communities. We think graduating to Active status is a giant step forward in the project’s maturity.

Do you want to get involved in Hyperledger Besu?

Those looking to interact one on one with Besu developers and contributors can join the conversation on RocketChat at #besu, or join our bi-weekly contributor calls.

Interested in learning more, or curious on how to get started with Besu? 

Weekend Update: A Weekly Look at Remote Blockchain Learning Resources

By 网志, Weekend Update

With so many people turning to technology for education, entertainment and career building right now, we will be sharing some quick pointers to online blockchain training, certification and networking resources every Friday afternoon. This week, we start close to home with the line-up of online Hyperledger training and certifications from the Linux Foundation. As an added bonus, these classes are all 30% off for anyone who signs up before April 7. Check out the list below! 

Training

Hyperledger Fabric Administration (LFS272)

Learn how to manage, implement and operate on a daily basis within the Hyperledger Fabric network.

Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals (LFD271)

The Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals course will introduce the fundamental concepts of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The course will then cover the core architecture and components of Hyperledger Fabric. 

Hyperledger Sawtooth Administration (LFS273)

This course is designed for developers and network administrators looking to further their blockchain comprehension on how to properly interact with a Hyperledger Sawtooth Blockchain and its related components.

Certifications

Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator (CHSA)

The Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator (CHSA) will be able to effectively build a secure Hyperledger Sawtooth network for commercial deployment, including the ability to install, configure, operate, manage, and troubleshoot the nodes on that network.

Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator (CHFA)

The purpose of the Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator (CHFA) certification is to provide assurance that CHFAs can effectively build a secure Hyperledger Fabric network for commercial deployment. 

Certified Hyperledger Fabric Developer (CHFD)

The Certified Hyperledger Fabric Developer (CHFD) should demonstrate the knowledge to develop and maintain client applications and smart contracts using the latest Fabric programming model.

All of the courses and exams are delivered remotely, so you can take them from anywhere with an internet connection. Again, the Linux Foundation is offering 30% off ALL courses and certification exams purchased through April 7 by using code ANYWHERE30 at checkout. 

If you do sign up, we’d love to hear about it. If you have suggestions for other resources that we should spotlight in a future Weekend Update, let us know that as well. 

Happy learning!

Developer Showcase Series: Arisht Jain, Xooa Inc.

By 网志, Developer Showcase

Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Arisht Jain, Software Engineer, Xooa Inc.

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain.

I am working on the Xooa platform, which makes adoption of blockchain easy. Xooa is focused on reducing barriers for enterprise blockchain adoption by making blockchain app development easier and faster, which enables higher quality projects. My fascination for blockchain developed when Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were gaining massive hype in 2018. That period in time made me dig deeper into the technology and discover that the scope of blockchain technology extends beyond just cryptocurrencies.

What Hyperledger frameworks or tools are you using in your projects? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

I am working on Hyperledger Fabric as a DLT, primarily. Also, Hyperledger Explorer has been part and parcel since I have been developing applications running on Fabric. It is quite a user-friendly application that we, at Xooa, have also integrated with our platform. The Hyperledger community has been very encouraging and supportive. I have seen personally how close knit its community has become over time and how great the tools and products it’s churned out have been.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

I think that Hyperledger should have more projects like Hyperledger Indy that focus on specific use cases that blockchain can help with. It would allow the penetration of blockchain and Hyperledger technologies into mass adoption across various industries.

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

I would tell them to get their hands dirty and start creating smart contracts. Don’t be overwhelmed by the complexities that blockchain brings with it. An overview is good enough to understand the system in broad terms and to begin creating blockchain apps. Once you start working on a project, you will gradually understand its complexities, learn on the go, and be able to build on this experience in the future.

As Hyperledger’s projects continue to mature, what do you see as the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result?

I could see KYC as well as numerous use cases in the telecom industry, such as mobile number portability and roaming in the different telecom circles, being quite successful. Multi organizations are part of such use cases and so the workflow can be translated very well into blockchain applications.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

I would wish to see the transparency and accountability that blockchain can bring put to use in  government and legislative processes. It could help in stifling corruption and fostering more confidence in the government.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

I see blockchain being used across industries and verticals for a majority of processes as well as a go-to technology for establishing trust.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

For any software development, make it work, make it correct, make it fast – in that order. The result should be proven first, then worked on in order to make it perfect. This advice has saved me countless hours while working on projects.

What technology could you not live without?

GPS. I tend to travel frequently, and this is one technology that has helped me in exploring new cities, navigating my way around , and finding the best places to eat or hang out at. I couldn’t imagine ever traveling without it and relying solely on local resources.

Meet some of the many #HyperledgerWomen putting blockchain to work

By 网志, Community Spotlight

To help celebrate #HyperledgerWomen here in the month of March, we are spotlighting just some of the women who are driving forces in our community. These women wear a variety of hats but all play important roles in advancing the development and deployment of enterprise blockchain technologies. 

Help us highlight the role of women in blockchain by tagging others in the community with #HyperledgerWomen.

Tracy Kurt, Accenture

Tracy Kuhrt is a Senior Technology Architect within Accenture’s Blockchain and Multiparty Systems group with 20+ years of experience covering the entire software development lifecycle. Tracy has been involved in the blockchain space since 2015, with a focus on Hyperledger. At Accenture, besides architecting and delivering solutions for clients, Tracy is educating the next group of Blockchain and Multiparty Systems Technology Architects, is a frequent speaker on the topic, and is an advocate for inclusion and diversity in the technology. Tracy drove Accenture’s efforts to open source its Blockchain Automation Framework and Blockchain Integration Framework as Hyperledger Labs.

Tracy is currently a member of, and one of the first women elected to, the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee and a Hyperledger Lab Steward. Check out her recent talk at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 on creating an inclusive community and blog on contributing to the Hyperledger Labs. Prior to Accenture, Tracy served as a Community Architect at Hyperledger, where she worked to build the community, evangelized Hyperledger and its projects worldwide, and helped develop the first Hyperledger EdX course.

ConsenSys

The PegaSys team at ConsenSys is focused largely on the development of Hyperledger Besu. There is a core of women working together to drive this project, including:

Madeline Murray is a product owner for privacy and documentation at the protocol engineering team at ConsenSys. She is part of the product development team and works with engineers to define, deliver, and document Hyperledger Besu functionality. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Otago and runs marathons in her free time.

Sally MacFarlane is a Software Engineer at PegaSys, and has been working on Hyperledger Besu (among other things) for two years. The codebase has grown and changed significantly over that time, with many features added. Sally writes code, reviews PRs, updates the wiki and lurks on Rocketchat. Sally is based in Australia.

Grace Hartley is a Strategy & Operations Associate at PegaSys, the protocol engineering team at ConsenSys. Her role with Hyperledger Besu is business-focused. Some of her activities include promoting Hyperledger Besu within the community and engaging with companies using Hyperledger Besu for their use cases. Prior to joining PegaSys, Grace was a management consultant at KPMG in the Financial Services practice. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Enterprise Management from Wake Forest University.

Maryam Mahjoub manages product marketing for Hyperledger Besu and the PegaSys suite of products. She holds over 12 years of SaaS marketing experience and holds her MSc in Healthcare Leadership. Maryam is a snowbird between Canada and Mexico.

Gina Rubino handles digital and social media marketing for Hyperledger Besu as well as the PegaSys suite of products and team as a whole. She has been involved in the blockchain space for 3 years and has over 10 years of marketing experience with a degree in Marketing Communications. 

Leanne Kemp, Everledger 

Leanne Kemp is Founder and CEO of Everledger and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. In her role as CEO, she works to increase transparency and trust with technology, in close collaboration with industry partners. Leanne co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Manufacturing and takes part in the Global Future Council on Blockchain. She also leads workstreams at the Global Blockchain Business Council and co-chairs the World Trade Board’s Sustainable Trade Action Group.Leanne’s awards include the AIM Global Allan Gilligan Award 2019, Advance Global Australian Awards 2018 for Technology Innovation, and Innovator of the Year 2016 and 2018 at the Women in IT Awards (London). More recently, Leanne has been appointed to the Global Blockchain Business Council as a Regional Ambassador of Australia, an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Future Environment at the Queensland University of Technology, and Blockchain Advisory Board Member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Lisa Butters, Honeywell

Lisa is the General Manager for the GoDirect Trade Greenhouse business, which is considered a genuine “garage-style” software start-up inside the Honeywell four walls. She has over 15 years of experience in multiple functions across Honeywell Aerospace. A tech geek at heart, she graduated from college at 19 and started her career as a teenager in web development and database programming. Through the years, she has been passionate about developing her craft in the User Experience.

GoDirect™ Trade is blazing a trail to push the $4B aerospace used parts industry far outside its comfort zone. It is the first marketplace to require price, product images and quality documents to post a listing. It is the first marketplace to give sellers the opportunity to launch customized storefronts to maintain brand identity. Lastly, it’s the first platform to leverage Blockchain to provide consumers as much part history as possible to help make buying decisions quicker and easier. Everyone wants transparency and everyone wants it easy. GoDirect™ Trade is determined to provide both. 

GoDirect Trade recently earned a coveted spot on the Forbes Blockchain 50 list alongside tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Square. Lisa is a recipient of the Honeywell CEO Award and was the first recipient of the Honeywell Aerospace Navigator Award. She has served as a board member on About Care which empowers people to live independently and has also served on the Chandler Arizona Transportation Commission. She is a member of The Connected Place Council which is sponsored by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and is a volunteer volleyball coach for the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University, and a Master’s degree in Finance from Harvard University.

Mary Hall, Oracle

Mary leads Oracle’s global marketing for the Oracle Blockchain Platform. In this capacity, Mary works to deliver Oracle’s messaging on the benefits of Blockchain technology.  She works closely with partners and customers to develop case studies, videos and blogs around blockchain projects. Mary was voted one of the “Top 100 Women in Blockchain” by Richtopia. She has also been voted one of the TOP 100 INFLUENCERS IN THE AREA OF IDENTITY by One World Identity. Mary has won many awards for marketing hardware & software products, as well as social media and digital marketing.  She is a member of the Hyperledger Group Marketing Committee and the Supply Chain Marketing Special Interest Group. Mary holds a JD from the Univ. of Toledo College of Law and a BA in English from Miami Univ. Oxford, Ohio. 

Prior to joining Oracle, she was with IBM for 13 years in a variety of marketing roles, including blockchain marketing.

Heather C. Dahl, Sovrin foundation

Heather C. Dahl is the CEO and Executive Director of the Sovrin foundation, the nonprofit working to administer the Sovrin Network–an open source system using distributed ledger technology for decentralized identity. Under her direction, the Sovrin Network has expanded to six continents, enabled enterprises around the world to develop applications across all verticals, and ushered in a revolution in decentralized digital identity. Heather is widely-respected as a thought leader in cybersecurity technology and media with over 25 years of strategic leadership experience in newsrooms, multinational corporations, and high-tech startups. She has a Masters of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University, a Masters of Science from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Bachelors of Arts from Willamette University.

Walmart

Archana Sristy, Sr. Director – Blockchain Platforms, Walmart Global Technology

Archana Sristy is committed to creating innovative solutions to solve business problems at Walmart. As Senior Director of Engineering, she is responsible for software engineering and operations functions for Walmart’s enterprise Blockchain Platforms team. Her teams implement blockchain at scale, powered by Hyperledger Fabric, for driving Food Safety in our supply chain. 

An advocate for diversity in tech, Archana is also FIRST youth mentor with 4H and sponsors Asian Women in Technology (AWIT) and Women in Technology (WIT) groups at Walmart. 

Asma Ishak-Mahdi, Senior Buyer – DSCSA Serialization Lead for Walmart Health and Wellness

Asma Ishak-Mahdi received her PharmD from the University of New Mexico, her MBA for Executives from California State University and has completed advanced education from Saïd Business School at Oxford University in London. A strong advocate for digital transformation, problem-solving, process improvement, and technology-infused initiatives, she is respected by her peers as a leader who is dedicated to further advance the profession of pharmacy.  

With over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a passion for innovative technology, she’s served in numerous roles and committees at Walmart and has recently joined Walmart Corporate Offices as the Lead for Drug Serialization under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, DSCSA. She is also serving as the Blockchain Lead for Health and Wellness and has led two successful blockchain pilots for the FDA’s DSCSA Pilot Project Program while working with industry partners in defining attributes of an electronic interoperable system for data exchange to comply with the Federal mandate. 

Her professional interests focus on evaluation of blockchain technology in the pharmaceutical industry to solve for use-cases such as waste mitigation and cold-chain monitoring and in serving to develop young leaders. In addition, she served as the industry expert advising graduate students at Rutgers Business School in collaboration with the Healthcare Distribution Alliance Research Foundation and at the Sam M Walton College of Business. 

Nischala Murthy Kaushik, Wipro

Nischala is the Global Marketing Director for the CTO Office at Wipro. As the marketing partner and advisor to the CTO office, she crafts and executes high impact integrated marketing programs for emerging technology and innovation areas – like blockchain, open source, robotics and smart machines, industry academia research, open innovation. As part of her role as at Wipro, Nischala is an active champion of enterprise blockchain and Hyperledger technologies. She overseas global marketing initiatives for blockchain for Wipro and, as part of the Hyperledger PR / marketing committee, provides input on enterprise use cases on Hyperledger, thought leadership contributions to the community blog and support for Hyperledger events across the globe.

She is a writer, mother, IIM (Indian Institute of Management) alum (a top business school in India), speaker (TEDx, industry, academia), horizon gazer and polymath artist. She is part of the jury for Marketing Awards like DMA ECHO awards. Most recently, she was a Winner (Among Top 3 in India) for the Women Leadership Influencer Awards | Women In Tech – Leader / Innovator / Disruptor of the year category & WICA (Women In Corporate Awards) – Growth Champion (Among Top 3 in India). She uses her voice for causes that she believes in like supporting the case of #WomenAtWork, nurturing skills for new age talent.

Hyperledger Summer Mentorship Program Returns with 18 Projects

By 网志, Hyperledger Summer Mentorship Program

Now in its fourth year, the Hyperledger Summer Mentorship program has become a valuable on-ramp for college and graduate students looking to gain real world experience and skills in open source development, work closely with technical experts to grow their professional network and enhance their resumes with tangible project contributions. 

Today, Hyperledger kicked off the 2020 Hyperledger Summer Mentorship Program by announcing the 18 projects planned for this year. Each project is an opportunity for a student to be paired with one or more mentors to take on a specific Hyperledger development or research challenge. These paid mentorship opportunities are open to students anywhere in the world and offer the chance to be active participants in developing leading-edge open source blockchain technologies.

The Hyperledger Summer Mentorship program is a hands-on, results-oriented program that starts with active developers designing and proposing mentorship projects that have real impact on advancing Hyperledger technologies. These projects must be approved by the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee before becoming official mentorship opportunities.

The developers who propose the projects serve as the mentors and work closely with their mentees on developing a project plan, setting milestones and solving problems. Students can expect regular evaluations and feedback as well as a stipend and the chance to travel (with expenses covered) to a technical event where they will present their work to the community.

David Huseby, a member of the Hyperledger Community Architecture team, is a regular mentor in the program. He is enthused by the high impact work done each summer and the role mentorship plays in individual careers and the overall growth of open source development.  “The Hyperledger mentorship program is a fast paced and challenging opportunity to work at the cutting edge of blockchain technology as well as gain experience as a contributor to our global open source community,” says Huseby.

Students who want to know more about the program should check out these recaps from last summer’s mentees: Part I and Part II. For more about the application process, go here. The deadline to apply is April 24. 

Read on for descriptions of some of the projects planned for this year:

Adding Network Fuzzing Capabilities to Hyperledger Umbra

Hyperledger Umbra is a Hyperledger Lab designed to run unmodified versions of our DLT platforms (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha) under a simulated environment with software defined networking for the purposes of running experiments (e.g., scaling experiments, consensus algorithm development, etc.) and security audits. Currently Hyperledger Umbra can run unmodified Hyperledger Fabric Docker images and execute a full Fabric network under simulation. Umbra is written in Python and has code for doing virtual network switches and connections. This project is to extend that code to allow for network fuzzing capabilities. The goal is to be able to introduce packet drops, packet delay, packet reordering, as well as unsolicited packets with random/known-bad data. The purpose it be able to test Hyperledger Fabric’s resilience to general network “weather” and intentional attacks coming from the network. 

The expected outcomes of this project include:

  • Hyperledger Umbra gains the capability to manipulate packet transit and the injection of packets either as part of the configuration setup or as an external API that 3rd party tools can call into. If an API is to be created, an SDK and demonstration application is to be created that shows how to use the API through the SDK.
  • A presentation on the use of this new capability to run network fuzzing operations against Fabric.

Create K8 / Openshift Operators for Besu

Hyperledger Besu is an Ethereum client written in Java. Operators are a method of packaging, deploying, and managing a Kubernetes or an OpenShift application. This project aims for the mentee to design, build and test operators for Project Besu. The code to this will then become part of the Besu project and added to the code repository.

The expected outcomes of this project are:

  • Provide the ability to deploy, manage and run the Hyperledger Besu containers.
  • A presentation on the use of this new capability and what it took to the work done.

Rework Data Model Tests of HL Iroha

One of the major current trends of Iroha development is modularization and decoupling. However, there are some base concepts that will persist, such as the data model. Iroha has a set of commands and queries that are extensively covered by tests. But, as we approached the data model decoupling, we found these tests unnecessarily too tightly bound to existing code, rather than only using proper interfaces.

The expected outcome of this project is a reworked set of data model tests that is decoupled from current implementation and will provide us a great help in having pluggable data model modules.

We have already created a replacement test framework and reworked several commands and queries tests with it. But there is more to do in this direction. So, in this project, the mentee will have complete and functional examples of the work that needs to be done, and guidance from a mentor about the architecture and rationale of the changes.

Check out the full list of mentorship projects and start your application today. 

The Hyperledger Summer Mentorship Program is part of the Linux Foundation’s overall commitment to mentoring. The application process is being managed through Community Bridge, a platform created by the Linux Foundations to empower open source developers – and the individuals and organizations who support them – to advance sustainability, security, and diversity in open source technology. Students from diverse communities are encouraged to apply. All are welcome here!

“The future is not predicted; it’s achieved” – Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

By 网志, Hyperledger Global Forum

“I was paranoid that I backed the wrong horse and I was relieved to see […] real applications going into the world.” Michael Del Castillo’s quote from his keynote panel on Blockchain in Action sums up what has gone through my head now and then during the last years.

Public presence of blockchain declined rapidly after the crypto hype. Innovations and redesigning businesses and processes just doesn’t generate as many clicks. By now, like Don Tapscott says in his speech: “Hardy anyone is talking about it [blockchain], but most people are actually doing something about it.” 

And all the participants at Hyperledger Global Forum could experience the merit of this sentence during the four days at the event. There were presentations after presentations of use cases featuring blockchain in production. Apart from the already famous TradeLens and FoodTrust, I was lucky to learn about many more cases: simplifying trading of used airplane parts (Honeywell), loyalty program (American Express), simplifying exchange of crucial information (Credit Union), reducing corruption in public procurement in Latin America or ensuring fair labor conditions in procurement of raw materials (Volvo Cars) as well as many more projects.

Exchanging experience, know-how and ideas with open-minded experts is, next to co-creating value, one of my favorite activities, and the best place for me is the Hyperledger Global Forum. And this year’s edition, once again, lived up to expectations. (Editor’s note: See Markus’ takeaways from Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel here.)

While I mostly followed the business tracks, there was also a great announcement: The Hyperledger Fabric Developer Certification! My teammates and I are looking forward to having our know-how formally confirmed.

One of the crucial and present topics was identity and while, personally, I’ve already been convinced, it was great to see that many organizations tackle this issue using the tools and frameworks from the Hyperledger family. In the workshop by Nathan George and Ken Ebert (both from Sovrin), I learned how much progress has been achieved in terms of ease of use in self-soverin identity and verifiable credentials, and so I hope to see widespread adoption soon. Being Swiss, distributed and self-sovereignty are deeply rooted in my values, so this is the technical implementation of some of my core values.

“All are welcome here.” In my opinion, the Hyperledger community remains the most open, down-to-earth and inclusive community I know. While this can be felt by anyone attending Hyperledger events or joining any of the working groups, the inclusivity was on display to all the attendees. The focus was consistent through the event, starting with the insightful diversity happy hour on the first day up to the workshop by Accenture’s Alissa Worley and Tracy Kuhrt, where I learned about my unconscious biases and how to deal with them.

The Hyperledger Forum was once again the best blockchain conference I’ve attended, and I look very much forward to the next conference.

I’ll close with the words that inspired me most during the four days of the Forum: Brian Behlendorf quoting Tim O’Reilly: ”Create More Value Than You Capture”

Developer Showcase Series: Tomisin Jenrola, SecureKey Technologies, Inc.

By 网志, Developer Showcase

Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Tomisin Jenrola, Software Engineer at SecureKey Technologies, Inc.

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain.

I am working on a service that makes it easier for companies to share data and digital assets amongst themselves in a secure and private way enabling consumers to quickly get access to the services and products they want online, in person and on the phone. I got started in blockchain about three years ago. I actually heard about it five years ago, and it took me a while to involve myself with the technology. I did a lot of research and jumped into it because I thought it was such a promising new technology. I ended up going to the University of Waterloo in 2017 for the first Ethereum Blockchain Hackathon, and my team ended up winning one of the top prizes. From there, I did some consulting and decided to start a community around the technology while beginning to work full time in this space.

What Hyperledger frameworks or tools are you using in your projects? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

I have been using Fabric VS Code ID extension and heavily using the Hyperledger Fabric SDK Go, which was mostly developed here at SecureKey Technologies. I also have used a few other command line interfaces. In terms of new developments, SecureKey is actively contributing to Hyperledger Aries, which is a tool that allows individuals to create and share verifiable digital credentials and do much more with their digital identity. I have mostly been involved with architecting and building out these blockchain networks and, more importantly, turning business logic and intentions into code that eventually runs on the network. These are more commonly known as smart contracts or chain code.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

I think there are two main things: scalability and interoperability. Those are not unique to Hyperledger — all blockchains face this issue. For Hyperledger and blockchain in general, scaling is an issue because the data being stored requires validation and endorsement by multiple parties before it gets stored on the network, which takes a while to happen. Interoperability across the networks is an issue and important issue one that needs to be solved because companies would like to move around among between blockchains and move the data and digital assets in that process. SecureKey’s contributions to Hyperledger Aries are working towards that goal.

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

I’d say the most important thing is to not feel intimidated by how complex the system is. It is complex, but not complicated. They should take this as a new opportunity to learn something. They should spend time understanding the basics and utilize the resources from places such as YouTube, media articles and Udemy. Pick one blockchain and build a very simple decentralized application and later try to implement it on a different blockchain. Another tip is to make all of these projects easy to demonstrate so other people can utilize your work.

As Hyperledger’s projects continue to mature, what do you see as the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result?

There is potentially a large amount of data that can be stored in the network. Based on this, I think the most interesting use case is being able to create services and tools that can go into the network, extract the data, churn them and create meaningful interpretations of them. People can then use them for analytics or predictions of their products or really understand how their users behave.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

I hope to see blockchain and the technology that comes out of it being seamlessly used by several people, companies and governments in production environments without any technical limitations.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received as a developer is that I don’t need to be an expert or have complete knowledge of how the technology or system works to do something meaningful with it.

What technology could you not live without?

My standing desk! It is a very simple addition to my workstation, but a very impactful one as it helps with ergonomics, my posture and enjoying the whole experience of typing all day.