Hyperledger Knits New Project – Hyperledger Quilt

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Hyperledger has announced a new project called Quilt. Kicked off under wraps around 18 months ago and is an implementation of the Interledger protocol. Interledger, also known as ILP, is a protocol for making transactions across ledgers. The protocol’s standards and specifications are being defined by the open source community under the World Wide Web Consortium umbrella.

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As an open consortium, Hyperledger incubates a range of business blockchain technologies, including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries and sample applications. Quilt is the latest project to join this vast community.

What is Hyperledger Quilt?

Hyperledger Quilt offers interoperability between ledger systems by implementing ILP, which is primarily a payments protocol and is designed to transfer value across systems – both distributed ledgers and non-distributed ledgers. It is a simple protocol that establishes a global namespace for accounts, as well as, a protocol for synchronized atomic swaps between different systems.

Why Quilt?

Ledger systems today are siloed and disconnected. Transfers of value are relatively easy within one country, or if the sender and recipient have accounts on the same network or ledger. But sending value to someone on a different network or ledger is complex and often impractical. Where connections between ledgers do exist, they are manual, slow or expensive.

The Interledger protocol is based on concepts dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, but it took the advent of Bitcoin and the global blockchain movement to make the world realize that money and value transfers could be reinvented with Internet based technologies.

Internet protocols enable information to be packetized, routed and delivered over communication networks. With ILP, money and other forms of value can be packetized, routed and delivered over payment networks and ledgers. Hyperledger Quilt is an enterprise grade implementation of the protocol, developed in Java, and providing libraries and reference implementations of the core Interledger components and in time ledger integrations for other Hyperledger projects.

Technical Details of Quilt

The idea is that Quilt will become a ledger interoperability solution for Hyperledger projects. This will enable Hyperledger members’ distributed ledger solutions, financial institutions’ private ledgers, IoT companies’ wallets, and supply chain systems to connect with one another to perform distributed atomic transactions.

By implementing the Interledger protocol, Quilt provides:

  • A set of rules for enabling ledger interoperability with basic escrow semantics
  • A standard for a ledger-independent address format and data packet format that will enable connectors to route payments
  • A framework for designing higher level use-case-specific protocols

Who will work on Quilt?

Everis, NTT DATA and Ripple are committing full-time engineering resources to ensure the success of this project. The main contributors will include Takahiro Inaba (NTT DATA), Adrian Hope-Bailie (Ripple) and Isaac Arruebarrena (Everis, an NTT DATA Company).

Many other members have already expressed interest in backing the development of Quilt’s Java implementation. This team will seek to work with the other Hyperledger projects in order to find ways to enable ledger interoperability across Hyperledger’s DLT solutions and institutions’ centralised ledgers. Other engineers from NTT DATA, Everis and Ripple will also contribute to the project over time. Members of the Interledger Payments Community Group have also shown interest in contributing to the development of this ILP implementation.

Getting started with Quilt

There will be repositories on GitHub to manage Quilt resources – they will become available over the next several weeks. You can watch for them here: hyperledger/quilt and hyperledger/quilt-crypto-conditions.

Quilt is an exciting addition for the Hyperledger community and they encourage developers to join efforts on Quilt as well as other projects, via githubRocket.Chat, the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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