Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow and Vice President Blockchain Technologies:
What major changes is the recently announced Hyperledger 2.0 going to bring about in blockchain culture?
The Linux Foundation’sHyperledger Fabric 2.0 continues the drumbeat since the advent of Hyperledger Fabric some three years ago. First and foremost, 2.0 builds upon the enterprise qualities of Hyperledger Fabric. While today it’s not the only permissioned blockchain, it started out as the first blockchain to think about the accountability of participants on the network.
I would say the first of four key features that we continue to build through version 2.0 is accountability, which is at the heart of what you know as a permissioned blockchain where people or participants in the network are known to the network.
Number two is while they’re known, Hyperledger Fabric allows them to utilize constructs like channels or zero-knowledge proofs to operate in a way where not everyone in the network has to know all of everyone’s business. So, it’s not a broadcast network but a network that can be partitioned so that only those that have a need to know about a particular transaction get to participate.
The third is performance and scale. Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 continues making strides toward improving performance, and I think it is now with version 2.0 to enter world class performance with features that include better streamlining of the components and caching. We are seeing well over a thousand transactions per second and we continue, on the fourth feature around security, to invest in new types of consensus.
Remember, Hyperledger Fabric first and foremost, is a modular architecture so you can plug in different computer languages to write your smart contracts — different consensus algorithms, different storage for the ledger, and different positioning systems. Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 continues that by really building on some of the features around distributed consensus. With version 1.4.1 we added Raft Consensus which, I believe, you’re going to see a very scalable style of consensus, and version 2.0 builds on that.
I think one of the treats in version 2.0, and there is a really good Medium article on this which introduces something we’ve been talking about for a while but hits the streets in version 2.0, is something we lovingly call a Fabric token. Fabric token is a framework by which you can start to normalize digital assets in Fabric networks so that you can start reasoning about them in ways that will be recognized across other networks.
You can tokenize assets in Hyperledger Fabric, but until version 2.0 every network that did it, did so in a slightly different way. They can still do that in version 2.0 but if they use the Fabric token framework, it starts to open the door for a wider variety of features including, maybe, being able to register tokens and who knows, exchange tokens.
I really think tokenizing digital assets in Hyperledger Fabric starts to open the door for network interoperability, really being able to exchange assets across networks. Version 2.0 will soon be announced, it’s right upon us. It really builds on the qualities that we know and love with version 1 and adds some new (some people would say even surprising) features with the Fabric token.
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