Tiana Laurence — Hyperledger, the Blockchain, and the Future Of The Digital World

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The Blockchain industry was created nearly a decade ago, and in that time, numerous industry players have evolved the scalability and functionality of the platform. Much of the industry has delivered distributed databases through one flavor or another… this range includes one with cryptocurrency, one without, and one with cryptocurrency but only known participants.

Because of this variety, the entire industry can feel daunting, even confusing for outside industries. As the Blockchain becomes primed to grow more mainstream —  including catering to business needs —  the industry faces an increasing need for education and standardization.

Hyperledger is emerging as a leader in that department, helping the industry gain ground in standardizing Blockchain technology and scaling the tech so that it can be adapted to a variety of industries and applications.

The Hyperledger project is an open-source effort organized under the Linux Foundation featuring global technology leaders across numerous industries: finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, and manufacturing.

With more than 100 members and five ongoing projects (and others rumored to begin), Hyperledger represents a wealth of innovation ready to elevate the capabilities of the Blockchain.

Perhaps the most important project underway is the idea of an enterprise-ready Blockchain. This is significant because as the world becomes more and more integrated into the digital space, data is constantly being shared between devices, making our lives more and more reliant on them.

At the same time, every wi-fi enabled device is a potential security vulnerability from pure data integrity to hacking. The Blockchain’s capability to establish secure, permanent, and transparent records make it an ideal solution for situations with robust secure database needs. In order for the Blockchain to get there — though, the next step is to transition from experimental to industrial. Fortunately, the Hyperledger team has already accomplished such a transition once through their work at the Linux Foundation.

Proof-of-concept developments work well as one-offs in the Blockchain space, but they are not necessarily capable of scaling efficiently. Because of this, they become impractical for government or business uses required to support millions, potentially even billions of interactions throughout the day. One of the underlying issues is the cost incurred to secure the networks through “proof of work.”

Hyperledger has been exploring whether it is possible to harness the benefits of the Blockchain but without a cryptocurrency and “proof of work.” This may be feasible with the right type of workaround. However, in order to take a concept into a practical and workable environment, useful tools must be built on top of a secure and reliable distributed database. By achieving this, the technology becomes usable for industries outside of the Blockchain.

Hyperledger has just announced a new project called Cello, one that will focus on Blockchain building tools. Cello will be a major step forward for web developers to bring the Blockchain to a range of new applications. Cello provides a variety of tools for easy Blockchain database creation and management, similar to how a content management system such a WordPress administrates content for the web.

The power of Cello stems from its flexibility. In its simplest form, Cello is essentially a black-box tool that will only require administrators to know the basic tools and dashboard functionality —  no need to understand the intricacies of setting up and maintaining a Blockchain.

It will also support other Hyperledger platforms, including Fabric, Sawtooth Lake, and Iroha. The key to making Cello market ready is ensuring that the underlying distributed database is secure, reliable, and auditable. Once this goal is achieved, the Hyperledger team can move forward to exciting possibilities in the business application space.

Hyperledger and their many contributors are charging hard into the Blockchain space and will be adding more projects and innovations every day as they continue to lead the industry forward toward the connected future.

Today, the world stands in the middle of this rapid change, as mobile devices and the Internet of Things are integrating into all facets of daily life. Blockchains and the tools built on them offer a way to quickly and securely power this paradigm shift so that we can trust our phone to open our house, our car to drive us safely from point A to point B, and act as our virtual bank, sending funds to a friend on the other side of the world quickly and at no cost.

In short, it’s the connected future we’ve always envisioned — but most importantly, with proven security elements to create a platform trustworthy enough to power billions of transactions per day.

Tiana Laurence

About Tiana Laurence

Tiana Laurence is Co-founder & CMO of Factom, a blockchain-as-a-service technology company. Under Tiana's direction, the company has secured a grant from The Gates Foundation and a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to work on blockchain projects using Factom's technology. She's very passionate about utilizing blockchain technology to help developing nations with land titles, government transparency, and securing medical records.

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