What is Hyperledger and why should you care?

What Is Hyperledger and Why Should You Care?

What Is Hyperledger and Why Should You Care?

The Hyperledger project was created by the Linux Foundation, an open source, enterprise-grade, distributed ledger framework and code base which includes hundreds of projects, prototypes, proofs-of-concept and production systems around the world.

The Hyperledger ecosystem consists of frameworks and tools and predominantly focusing on projects for enterprises that require flexibility, scalability and security. It does not offer a cryptocurrency that runs on top of it either. It has a large community of members and software developers who work towards and coordinate to build blockchain frameworks and projects on top of these frameworks.

Hyperledger caters to enterprises, where data protection regulations are of the utmost importance and accountability is necessary.

Why did it come about?

Not since the invention of the Internet have we had something that promised a fundamental and broad revolution like blockchain technology. As you might already know, a blockchain is basically a distributed peer-to-peer ledger that runs on the principle of consensus, which is further supported by a Smart Contract system and various other assistive technologies.

Needless to say, all of this together can be leveraged to develop an entirely new generation of transaction applications that work on the basis of accountability, trust, and transparency. Not only will they run on accountability or trust, but they will also minimize legal constraints and streamline business processes.

What you will have is an OS or Operating System for digital communities, micro-currencies, data-sharing networks, and marketplaces. The complexity and cost of “getting work done” in the real world can be reduced to a great extent.

But, how can this be done while ensuring transparency, longevity, interoperability, and mainstream adoption of the blockchain? Well, it can only be achieved via a collaborative open-source software development approach, which is exactly what Hyperledger is all about.

development community

Hyperledger is the sum total of members within the software development community coming together to create blockchain platforms and frameworks.


Hyperledger has over 100 industry-leading members who collaborate together and in turn, benefit from access to resources, technical knowledge, software frameworks, publicity via the Hyperledger community but also through the network of contacts of members.

Global leaders in Supply Chain, Finance, Banking, Internet of Things, Healthcare/Pharma, Manufacturing and Technology (see their list of members here) have joined Hyperledger to support the development of enterprise-grade, cross-industry open platforms for distributed ledgers.


Hyperledger Frameworks

Hyperledger has 5 frameworks that perform various functions. Sawtooth and Fabric were created by Intel and IBM and given to Hyperledger as open source code.

Hyperledger Sawtooth is a modular platform for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers. Hyperledger Sawtooth includes a novel consensus algorithm, Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET), which targets large distributed validator populations with minimal resource consumption.

Hyperledger Fabric one of the most interesting projects on the stable of Hyperledger Frameworks, it’s intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture, Hyperledger Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. It’s blockchain technology is designed as a foundation to develop high-scaling blockchain applications with a flexible degree of permissions. This project is ostensibly lead by IBM.

Hyperledger Iroha is an easy to use, modular distributed blockchain platform with its own unique consensus and ordering service algorithms, rich role-based permission model and multi-signature support.

Hyperledger Burrow is a permissionable smart contract machine. The first of its kind when released in December, 2014, Burrow provides a modular blockchain client with a permissioned smart contract interpreter built in part to the specification of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Hyperledger Indy is a distributed ledger, purpose-built for decentralized identity. It provides tools, libraries, and reusable components for creating and using independent digital identities rooted on blockchains or other distributed ledgers for interoperability.

Hyperledger has 5 frameworks that perform various functions. Sawtooth and Fabric were created by Intel and IBM and given to Hyperledger as open source code.

Frameworks Projects

Hyperledger Caliper is a blockchain benchmark tool, hosted by the Linux Foundation, that allows users to measure the performance of a specific blockchain implementation with a set of predefined use cases. It is capable of generating reports that contain a certain number of performance indicators. This includes resource utilization, transaction latency, and transaction per second (TPS). The goal here is for the results of Hyperledger Caliper to be leveraged by other Hyperledger Projects during the development of their own frameworks. Other than that, the results can be used as a reference for determining the type of blockchain implementation ideal for a user’s specific requirements.

Hyperledger Caliper was provided initially by developers working for Oracle, IBM, Soramitsu, Bitwise, Hyperchain, The Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and Huawei.

Hyperledger Cello is a Hyperledger project hosted by The Linux Foundation that serves as a blockchain module kit. It aims to bring the on-demand “as-a-service” deployment model to the blockchain ecosystem to reduce the effort required for creating, managing, and terminating blockchains. It manages to automatically and efficiently offer a multi-tenant chain service apart from multiple infrastructures, such as virtual machine, bare metal, and container platforms.

Hyperledger Cello was provided, initially, by IBM, with sponsors from Intel, Huawei, and Soramitsu.

Hyperledger Composer is a collaboration tool aimed at developers and business owners to aid the building of blockchain business networks that simplify and quicken the process of creating blockchain applications and smart contracts for solving business issues. The tool is developed using JavaScript with help from modern tools such as CLI, npm, node, js, and various popular editors.

Composer provides business-oriented abstractions along with sample apps with easy-to-test DevOps process. This aid in the creation of strong blockchain solutions that can align technical development with business needs.

Hyperledger Explorer is a blockchain module/Hyperledger project that was developed to aid the creation of user-friendly web applications. It can view, invoke, deploy or query blocks, transactions and associated data, network information, chain codes and transaction families, as well as any other relevant information stored in the ledger.

Hyperledger Explorer was provided, initially, by Intel, IBM, and DTCC.

Hyperledger Quilt is a business blockchain tool that offers interoperability between ledger systems by implementing ILP (Interledger Protocol), which is primarily a payments protocol and is designed to transfer value across distributed ledgers and non-distributed ledgers. The Interledger Protocol offers what are known as ‘atomic swaps’ between ledgers and single account namespaces for accounts in each ledger. This includes both distributed and non-blockchain ledgers. With Quilt being added to the Hyperledger, it is now possible to host both JavaScript (Interledger.js) and Java (Quilt) Interledger implementations.

Hyperledger Quilt was provided, initially, by Ripple and NTT Data.

Why Hyperledger matters?

So, what makes Hyperledger such a big deal? Well, it ultimately boils down to the technical advantages.

For starters, the Hyperledger offers permissioned membership due to the fact that it exists on a permissioned network. So, each participant in the network possesses an identity and isn’t anonymous. This might sound antithetical to the original purpose of the blockchain. However, the Hyperledger caters to enterprises, where data protection regulations are of the utmost importance and accountability is necessary.

It ultimately boils down to the technical advantages. Each participant in the network possesses an identity and isn’t anonymous. There are also the levels of trust, performance, and scalability offered by the Hyperledger.

Then, there are also the levels of trust, performance, and scalability offered by the Hyperledger. The Hyperledger Fabric exists on a modular architecture that segments transaction processing into three key phases, namely, distributed logic processing and agreement, transaction ordering, and transaction validation and commitment.

This phasing of transaction processing leads to reduced requirements in terms of trust and verification across node types. At the same time, it also optimizes performance and network scalability.

Another advantage is that the Hyperledger makes it possible for data to be shared only on a “need-to-know” basis. Enterprises, thanks to competition and data protection laws/regulations, require an exceptional level of privacy. Hyperledger achieves this through the partitioning of data on the blockchain. Essentially, what happens is that the Hyperledger Fabric permits data to be sent to and received by the concerned parties only.

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