Blockchain development

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric: Are we there yet?

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It has been just over a year since IBM and 29 other companies formally established Hyperledger at the Linux Foundation, and the Hyperledger Fabric project will soon release its first major release: v1.0. Hyperledger was created to provide open governance for the development of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for the enterprise. It has certainly been an extraordinarily exciting year, surpassing my wildest expectations!

Amazing partners

Membership has grown faster than any other collaborative project at the Linux Foundation. Ever. One year post-launch, the membership has risen to 118, 13 of which are Premier members, including: Accenture, Airbus, American Express, CME Group, Deutsche Boerse, Daimler, Digital Asset Holdings, DTCC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, JP Morgan, R3 and Wanda FFAN Technology Group. Quite a diverse and impressive list!

But it is more than just membership, the foundation also has a global meet-up network comprised of over 9,000 members in 38 cities on five continents.

There are five top-level blockchain and distributed ledger technology projects in incubation, comprising 21 repositories on GitHub. The most active of the five incubating projects, and the one IBM is most invested in, is the Hyperledger Fabric project. Hyperledger Fabric is the collaborative project that grew out of IBM’s contribution of our Open Blockchain (OBC) project. In the year since the project was accepted into incubation, it has undergone tremendous transformation.

The Hyperledger Fabric project

Hyperledger Fabric began as an initial merger of code from the proposed contributions from IBM and Digital Asset Holdings, and has evolved through two formal releases (v0.5 and v0.6). The most recent was released early last fall and many proofs of concept (POCs) have been developed, yielding a lot of great feedback. Very soon, v1.0-alpha will be released featuring a complete version of the v1.0 release.

Along the journey toward v1.0 the project has grown a nicely diverse community of over a hundred developers representing 21 organizations or individual contributors. In fact, while rumor has it that Hyperledger Fabric is an IBM project (it isn’t), in numbers derived from commit log history of all Fabric related repositories on GitHub, IBMers represent only 55 percent of the contributors and 62 percent of the commits, and both those statistics are trending downward. Hyperledger Fabric is a truly collaborative effort and the community grows with each day.

Simplicity, speed and value for blockchain developers

Early successes

A connect-a-thon of the Hyperledger Fabric was held in December last year with 12 different organizations across the globe, each standing up their own cluster of peer nodes and a certificate authority, connecting to the network and trading marbles. This demonstration was repeated at Construct 2017 to rave reviews.

 

Hyperledger Fabric is also gaining traction with developers participating in blockchain hackathons. I recently posted a blog post  about my experience at the Dutch Blockchain Hackathon. Two of the five winning teams, and nearly half of the 55 teams chose Hyperledger Fabric as their application platform.

Give it a try

If you are interested, give Fabric v1.0 a try and offer any feedback. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to install the prerequisites and get a Fabric network up and running. If you have questions, there’s always someone on Hyperledger chat.

The second year promises to be even more exciting than the first as projects advance from POC to production deployments and new consortia networks becoming established. Join the Hyperledger community today; it’s always welcoming new users and contributors.

Join the IBM Blockchain community to let us know what you think!

Since the publication of this post there have been exciting changes. Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 Beta is now available to the public. Sign up here to help shape Hyperledger Fabric and to learn more.

Learn more about blockchain today

IBM Distinguished Engineer, CTO Open Technology, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform

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