Hyperledger is an open source project designed to promote the cross-industry application of blockchain. It was initiated by the Linux Foundation in December 2015. Its members include leaders in the financial, banking, Internet of Things, supply chain, manufacturing and technology industries. sheep.
After 4 years of development, the momentum of the super ledger has become stronger: more than 275 member units, including more than 50 Chinese members, including Chinese and foreign companies such as IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Huawei, Alibaba; community projects are more diverse. In addition to the Hyperledger Fabric contributed by Digital Asset, 15 projects including Burrow contributed by Monax and Intel, and Sawtooth contributed by Intel have been added; the application scenarios have become more abundant. Typical examples include Wal-Mart's food traceability chain, Kimberley diamond supply chain, Tencent Cloud warehouse receipt financing platform, Minsheng Bank trade financial service platform, etc., and more and more experimental projects have been transformed into successful deployment of production networks.
Recently, I interviewed Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Super Ledger in Beijing. In 2018, Brian was named one of the ten most influential people in the blockchain industry by the New York Times. He is also the main developer of the well-known open source software organization Apache Web Server, the founder of CollabNet and the CTO of the World Economic Forum.
We started discussions on 10 topics including the technology, scene, and China of the super ledger. There are many interesting metaphors in Brian's statement: When talking about scale , he said, "The essence of this technology looks more like a turtle than a rabbit. As long as we move in the right direction, the accumulated kinetic energy in the future will be unstoppable. Talking about the competition and collaboration of member companies , he said, "It's a bit like partying, some people bring food, they reach a consensus directly, and some people are in charge of DJ, they reach a consensus on playing music, you can participate Among them, but there is no need to reach a complete agreement. " Speaking of the forecast for the next 10 years , he said that" every company in the future will use distributed ledgers for business communication, as if standing in 2020, you can hardly imagine if a The company is not connected to the Internet. How does it do business? "
Here is the full interview:
[First Heart] Babbitt: What was the most attractive feature of the blockchain at the time? Has your original intention changed?
Brian: The super ledger has been around for 4 years, and it's really amazing to me. And, what attracted me in the beginning is still appealing to me today. Hyperledgers can build new basic software modules to achieve a more decentralized and distributed future, which is even more important today.
There are many projects on Hyperledger. They focus on the same tasks and apply the same guidelines. They have applications in many landing cases, such as supply chain traceability, land registration, financial networks, etc. What surprises me most is digital identity. Blockchain technology can transform the way digital identity works. We have many projects active in this field. [Scene] Babbitt: We have seen many cases in the fields of medical treatment, trade, traceability, and justice, but these "typical cases" do not seem to have progressed to the stage of "scale replication". Do you think it is possible to achieve 2020 ? What is missing now?
Brian: Although most people are more concerned about the price of tokens, there are still some people working to build this technology. Today at least hundreds of different blockchain networks run on Hyperledger Fabric, and some run on other Hyperledger projects.
Last year, we focused on training and launched the "Super Ledger Certified Service Provider Program" to help people more easily find companies that can build a blockchain platform. For a long time, whether blockchain technology can be used to solve practical problems has attracted much attention, and we are also working to this end. For example, last year we saw that companies like Wal-Mart started requiring suppliers to join the food traceability network, and I think there will be more such applications this year.
Finally, I want to say that blockchain technology is highly relevant to B2B business, the company's core data processing, the way the accounting system works, and the way the trading system works. Many companies will not make changes easily, after all, some companies' existing business systems have been running for 20 or 30 years. Therefore, I think the essence of this technology looks more like a turtle than a rabbit. As long as you move in the right direction, the accumulated kinetic energy in the future will be unstoppable. [Technology] Babbitt: The project with the most influence on the Hyperledger is Hyperledger Fabric. Therefore, everyone will regard the Hyperledger as the representative of the alliance chain. But now, the Hyperledger also has the public chain project Hyperledger Besu. Do you recognize the public chain or the alliance chain more? Does the Hyperledger preset technical routes?
Brian: The vision of the hyperledger has never changed, and we believe that the future will consist of many different blockchain networks. The most important thing is not to have everyone in a network, but that everyone uses the same software and protocols, but the formation of the network will face great socio-political challenges. Therefore, the first step should be to establish different types of networks and connect them through different technologies. We will not support only one large public ledger. But I do think that public blockchains are exploring certain important technical concepts. Even if the alliance chain network grows very large, consisting of 10,000 nodes, it will look a bit like Ethereum, but it is still not Ethereum and it will not be a public chain network. That's why Hyperledger Besu is exciting. I think we need to learn how to apply this technical knowledge, this is a good learning channel.
[Project] Babbitt: There are already 15 projects in the Super Ledger. Many of you do n’t know much about it yet. If you recommend it, which one would you recommend? What is the reason?
Brian: When I do n’t know the specific case and application scenario, I have no way to recommend a project. If you are interested in digital identity, then you can learn about Hyperledger Indy and Hyperledger Aries; if you have background knowledge related to Ethereum, then you can learn about Hyperledger Besu and Hyperledger Burrow. Of course, some people will ask, should I create a project based on Hyperledger Fabric because it is the most popular? Or should I choose Hyperledger Sawtooth because it is different? Then I would suggest that it is worth hiring an engineer to spend 2 hours reading the documentation carefully and even creating a demo network and you should be able to find the answer.
[Competition] Babbitt: What do you think of the relationship between the super ledger and other blockchain projects? Like Ethereum, R3, or even Libra? I noticed that there are two projects in the hyperledger related to Ethereum.
Brian: We want to build a platform with multiple technologies, multiple theories and multiple projects, and always be enterprise-centric, and focus on building alliance networks, which is why Hyperledger has so many projects. As a company, R3 is also part of Hyperledger, and they integrate with Hyperledger Indy. In fact, I hope that every big bank and every big company will participate in a different blockchain network. It may be R3 or it may be a Quorum-based network. I look forward to the work done by the Hyperledger community focusing on achieving interoperability and compatibility between different technologies and making it easier for businesses to use them simultaneously.
Therefore, we will open the door for more projects, but we will not try to collect everything, because that will be very confusing. Every technology movement is accompanied by capital support, and these teams build what they think is right. Those projects that create value survive, and those that fail to create value disappear. Think about the failure of ICOs and the projects that are stopped because of this, the market will always have a consolidation period. Open source software has performed very well during the boom and consolidation period of the market. When we started Hyperledger, we hoped to be ready for these two phases. Blockchain technology is moving from an outbreak phase to a consolidation phase.
I believe that many of the blockchain technologies required by enterprises can be integrated into Hyperledger Distributed Ledgers, and most problems will be solved. But in the future, it is not necessarily 6 projects. It may be reduced or a 7th project may appear. We help members understand the integration of technology and attract new developers into the community.
For example, Libra, it has an innovative smart contract "move" language. Some people say that it is interesting. If it is sufficiently different, if there are many developers willing to contribute to it, we can introduce it to Hyperledger. In the project. It is not necessary to do framework projects, such as making loadable library programs, but I will not try to convince Facebook to join us, this is how we balance the project. [Challenge] Babbitt: What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing hyperledgers? Is there a way to solve?
Brian: For hyperledgers, the biggest challenge, like other open source projects, is finding developers to build the core code. Because for many developers and companies, being able to get these softwares for free is like magic, and it feels like I can use free content and free text messages. We do not rely on advertising support, although this may be a good business model. Our software is developed in cooperation with companies and developers. In China, we have code contributed by Huawei, Alibaba, and other financial companies. Internationally, we also have IBM and other startups. But this is not enough, and we hope that more developers and companies will invest resources to help build core technical code. This is our biggest challenge.
[Organization] Babbitt: There are as many as 275 members of the Super Ledger. Does the huge organization make the community run smoother or heavier? Many companies are competitive, and blockchain is a collaboration tool. Do you think the so-called "consensus" has been reached?
Brian: Part of the reason hyperledgers work is because of the participation of big companies like IBM, Huawei, and other innovative companies, who realize the value of collaboration. The interesting thing about software is that it doesn't have to be all open source, and not every change requires everyone's consent. It's a bit like having a party, some people bring food, they directly reach a consensus, and some people are responsible for the DJ, they reach a consensus on playing music, you can participate in it, but you don't need to reach a complete agreement. Therefore, we are thinking about how to design what is happening so that more people can contribute without having to interfere with each other.
This is one of the reasons why we have many projects, because in the Hyperledger Fabric project, the Hyperledger Iroha project, they may be better coordinated. We think this is like air traffic control, and some people liken this to the oil on the gears of the open source ecosystem. [China] Babbitt: What do you think of the development of the Chinese community in the super ledger? Super Ledger established the China Technology Working Group and launched the Super Ledger Certification Service Provider Program. Three of the first six companies passed were from China. What standards did they meet?
Brian: From the beginning, China has been very important to the super ledger, and blockchain is also important to China. Most open source projects are difficult to build a community that is partly Chinese and partly international developers, which is why it is very important to set up a Chinese technology working group. A lot of core code in the super ledger comes from the contributions of Chinese developers, and many Chinese companies develop their business based on the super ledger, such as the three super ledger certification service providers you mentioned from China. The companies shown in the picture are all members of the super ledger. Some of them use Hyperledger Fabric, and some of them use other ledger technologies. This is the result of 3 and a half years of hard work in China.
[Plan] Babbitt: Can you reveal the plan for the super ledger 2020?
Brian: We haven't strayed from our original plan. I think that when there are still a lot of uncertainties in cryptocurrencies, our idea is to stabilize first. Last year, the good news of the super ledger continued, many experimental projects turned into successful deployment of production networks, Hyperledger Fabric became more and more popular, Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 was about to come out, and the community was helping more projects mature. In addition, for the number of developers, we don't have much goals. It is indeed difficult to set a number to measure our success. The good news is that we have no shareholders, no token price pressure, and we don't want to encourage people to invest in more virtual places. We just want to see the ecosystem flourish. Therefore, I think our strategy is correct. With the continuous improvement and deployment of technology, it will prove its value and iterate continuously.
Julian Gordon, Vice President of Asia Pacific Super Ledger, added: The Chinese market is very mature, China is actually a global leader in blockchain applications, and many large blockchain networks have been established. Therefore, we are very willing to take these On the other hand, I think starting from this year, Chinese companies and developers may need to formulate longer-term plans, establish links with each other, strengthen network interoperability, and connect different networks together. We see By this time it was happening. [Forecast] Babbitt: Please make a bold prediction of the development trend of the blockchain in the next 10 years.
Brian: I think that any technology startup or even a non-tech company, as long as their company employs more than 100 people, need to know how to conduct business on the blockchain. Of course, the enterprise blockchain can do more than that. It's my bold prediction. It's like standing in 2020, it's hard to imagine how a company can do business if it is not connected to the Internet? It is taken for granted that companies are connected to the Internet, and so is the blockchain. In the future, every company will use distributed ledgers for business communication. This is the daily work of the company.