Among all the Blockchain projects, Bitcoin and Etheruem have gained the maximum media coverage. However, the infrastructure of the Blockchain tech is not supported only by these two projects. There’s another Blockchain framework that is all set to make it big in the Blockchain domain – it is Hyperledger. Even though Hyperledger has not made it to the headlines, it has tremendous potential to streamline the development of Blockchain apps and ease the lives of Blockchain Developers.
In 2016, the Linux Foundation launched Hyperledger to democratize and standardize Blockchain for the business world. Hyperledger was formed by 30 founding corporate members who created a technical and organizational governance structure for the framework.
Although initially, the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee commissioned the incubation and development of two business Blockchain framework codebases – Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth – today, the Hyperledger framework has expanded to include many other projects.
Read: Blockchain jobs and their career opportunity for non-techies.
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What is Hyperledger?
According to the Hyperledger official website, “Hyperledger is an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.” Although it is hosted by the Linux Foundation, it is a global collaboration among industry leaders in finance, banking, IoT, technology, manufacturing, and supply chains.
Hyperledger offers a suite of diverse projects and tools that Blockchain Developers can use to build innovative Blockchain networks and blockchain applications. The goal here is to facilitate seamless collaboration between enterprises and developers involved in the DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) domain. Since Hyperledger combines cross-industry technologies, it allows organizations to build custom Blockchain apps to cater to their specific business needs.
Today, over 250 organizations around the world are supporting the Hyperledger Project. Apart from Blockchain startups like Blockstream, Netki, and Consensys, industry giants like IBM, SAP, Huawei, Fujitsu, Nokia, Samsung, American Express, Airbus, and JP Morgan, are some of the top supporters of the Hyperledger Project.
Hyperledger can be segmented into two categories – modular frameworks and modular tools.
Let’s dive into the details about the Hyperledger tools and frameworks!
1. Hyperledger Fabric
Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned Blockchain infrastructure that features a modular architecture wherein there’s a delineation of roles between the nodes in the infrastructure, the execution of smart contracts, along with configurable consensus and membership services. Fabric was the result of a joint venture of IBM and Digital Asset. It was primarily developed as an integration framework for developing highly scalable Blockchain apps with DLT.
In a Fabric network, the “peer nodes” execute chaincode (smart contracts), access ledger data, endorse transactions, and interface with applications, whereas the “orderer nodes” handle the consistency of the Blockchain and deliver the approved transactions to the peers of the network.
2. Hyperledger Burrow
Burrow is a Hyperledger Project hosted by the Linux Foundation. It allows a modular Blockchain client to develop permissible smart contract machine that has the specification of EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine).
Thanks to its proof-of-stake consensus engine, Burrow promises to deliver high transaction throughput and transaction finality. The components of Burrow include a consensus engine, smart contract application, application Blockchain interface, application binary interface, and API gateway.
3. Hyperledger Indy
Hyperledger Indy is a distributed ledger that was designed with a decentralized identity in mind. It includes a range of libraries, reusable components, and tools that let you create digital identities on a Blockchain network.
Indy provides a robust and secure ecosystem for private digital identity. Instead of storing a user’s private data on the ledger, Indy uses Blockchain technology to allow third parties to validate that trusted organizations have issued private credentials or identities. By doing so, Indy gives more control to users of their private data, thereby safeguarding their information from malicious attacks and data breaches.
4. Hyperledger Sawtooth
Sawtooth is a Hyperledger project that was initially contributed by Intel. It is an enterprise blockchain platform designed for developing distributed ledger networks and applications. Its design is such that it isolates the core system from the app domain, thereby ensuring the complete safety of smart contracts. A unique feature of Sawtooth is its dynamic consensus feature that facilitates hot-swapping consensus algorithms in a running network. Sawtooth supports Ethereum Contract Compatibility with Seth (Sawtooth-Ethereum integration project).
Sawtooth has an advanced parallel scheduler that divides transactions into parallel flows. By executing transactions in parallel, Sawtooth prevents double-spending while also allowing different modifications to the same state. Furthermore, parallel transaction execution delivers better performance than serial execution.
5. Hyperledger Grid
Grid is Hyperledger’s supply-chain solution. Since the supply chain is one of the best use cases for DLT, Grid was designed to solve supply chain challenges. Interestingly enough, Grid is not a Blockchain framework or an application. In essence, it is an ecosystem of frameworks, libraries, and technologies that allow developers to choose appropriate components for building specific business models.
Grid features shared capabilities to boost the development process of distributed ledgers for cross-industry supply chain solutions. It provides reference implementations of supply chain-based data types, smart contract-based business logic, and data models that uphold the best industry practices and standards.
Also read: Blockchain Developer Salary in India
1. Hyperledger Caliper
Caliper is a Blockchain tool hosted by the Linux Foundation. It lets you compute the performance of specific Blockchain implementations by leveraging a set of predefined use cases. Caliper can also generate reports on different performance factors, including resource utilization, transaction latency, and transactions per second (TPS).
2. Hyperledger Cello
Cello is a Blockchain module toolkit. It is essentially an on-demand “as-a-service” deployment model developed for the Blockchain ecosystem. Cello provides a multi-tenant chain service that can work on top of multiple infrastructures, including container platforms and virtual machines. It reduces the efforts required to build, maintain, and terminate blockchains.
3. Hyperledger Explorer
Hyperledger Explorer is a Blockchain module explicitly designed for developing user-driven web applications. It can be used for viewing, deploying, invoking/querying blocks, network information, transaction data, chaincodes, and other relevant data that is stored in a Blockchain ledger.
4. Hyperledger Composer
Composer is both a development framework and toolkit designed to make the development of Blockchain applications and smart contracts more seamless and convenient. You can use Composer to develop and deploy Blockchain applications rapidly. It leverages tools like Node.js, CLI, NPM, etc., to provide business-focused abstractions, sample apps, and easy-to-test DevOps processes.
5. Hyperledger Quilt
Quilt is a one of the business Blockchain tools that aims to facilitate interoperability between ledger systems by implementing the Interledger protocol (ILP), which is a payments protocol used for moving value across both distributed and non-distributed ledgers. Thanks to ILP, Quilt can also enable atomic swaps between a single account namespace for accounts and ledgers.
6. Hyperledger Ursa
Ursa is a shared cryptographic library that prevents the replication of cryptographic work, thereby increasing the overall security of the Blockchain network. The two primary components of Ursa are the Base-Crypto library and Z-Mix.
These unique Hyperledger frameworks and tools prove that Hyperledger holds immense potential for Blockchain technology. You can use these tools to develop highly scalable and robust industrial and non-monetary applications.
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What are the differences between Hyperledger and Ethereum?
Ethereum is a public blockchain, whereas Hyperledger is a permissioned and private blockchain. Its mission is to create an open-source, enterprise-grade distributed ledger technology that will let businesses trade more efficiently. Ethereum uses the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to run Smart Contracts for decentralized and mass-consumption apps. Ethereum is meant for consumer-to-consumer transactions, whereas Hyperledger is geared for business-to-business transactions. Another difference between the two is that Ethereum uses the Solidity programming language, whereas Hyperledger uses Golang.
What are the components in Hyperledger's architecture?
Hyperledger's architecture is made up of a number of different components. It has a consensus layer that is in charge of setting an order and confirming the correctness of a block's transaction collection. It also has a smart contract layer that manages transaction requests and only approves legitimate transactions. Identity management services are essential for protecting and validating user and system identities, as well as developing trust on the Blockchain, and are handled by Hyper Ledger's communication layer. Finally, the API, or application programming interface, is used to connect with the Blockchain by third-party programs and clients.
What are the benefits of using Hyperledger?
Hyperledger has several benefits. It uses a division of labor strategy to speed up project development. It assesses each person's strong suits and allows them to work in certain businesses based on that information. Consequently, overall production will increase, and individuals will be successful in whatever they do. Hyperledger functions as a blockchain greenhouse, bringing together vendors, developers, and users from all around the world on a single platform. They all have the same goal: to learn about Blockchain and use it to develop company solutions. Hyperledger is built on a modular architecture that divides transaction processing into three stages: distributed knowledge processing and agreement, transaction validation and commitment, and transaction ordering. This decreases the requirement for verification and boosts trust, improving network scalability and performance.