Hyperledger is an open source project created to promote cross-industry blockchain technologies. It's a global collaboration hosted by the Linux Foundation that involves many industries and organizations worldwide.
Hyperledger blockchains are permissioned. So, the parties that join the network authenticates via an identity module. Essentially, Hyperledger blockchains have the aim to be enterprise solutions.
Looking at permissionless blockchains, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains, anyone can join the network. This means there would inevitably be some malicious actors within the network. Hyperledger reduces these security risks. In fact, it ensures that only the parties involved in a transaction are the ones that are part of the transaction.
It doesn't display the transactions record to the whole network. They remain within the interested parties. So, Hyperledger provides all the capabilities of blockchain architecture. It provides data privacy, information sharing, immutability. And, in addition, a full stack of security protocols, specific for enterprises.
Hyperledger is a group of open source projects regarding cross-industry distributed ledger technologies. It's part of the The Linux Foundation. And there are many collaborators including industry leaders in technology, finance, banking, supply chain management, manufacturing, and IoT.
As of October 2017, Hyperledger consists of eight projects, five of which are distributed ledger frameworks. The other three projects are modules that support these frameworks.
Hyperledger provides an alternative to the cryptocurrency-based blockchain model, and focuses on developing blockchain frameworks and modules to support global enterprise solutions. The focus of Hyperledger is to provide a transparent and collaborative approach to blockchain development.
Hyperledger developed and evolved very quickly over the past few years. The project began when a set of companies who were starting to pay attention to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies world. These companies approached the Linux Foundation in order to make a project together.
The Linux Foundation, for 15 years, has been the heart of the Linux ecosystem. It brings together companies and developers to develop common technology platforms. In the last few hears the interest towards new technologies is growing. So, there were new projects inside the Foundation regarding software-defined networking, cloud computing and, of course, blockchain. Thanks to this shared project inside the Foundation, it became clear that for business the most interesting aspect was the blockchain itself. While cryptocurrencies and money aspect wasn't so fundamental, the data structure and smart contracts possibility were a good innovation inside business networks.
The first Hyperledger software release happened in February 2006. That year, the Fabric codebase came over. Initially, the development started inside IBM. But then it became part of the community. And soon after also the Sawtooth lake project began. The community started to meet face to face on regular basis to share knowledge and experience.
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