Hyperledger is an open-source project under the Linux Foundation where people can come and work on the platform to develop blockchain-related use cases. According to Brian behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger
“Hyperledger is an open source community of communities to benefit an ecosystem of hyperledger based solution providers and users focused on blockchain related use-cases that will work on variety of industrial sectors”.
Introduction To Hyperledger
Hyperledger provides the platform to create personalized blockchain services according to the need of business work. Unlike other platforms for developing blockchain-based software, Hyperledger has the advantage of creating a secured and personalized blockchain network.
- It is created to support the development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.
- It includes a variety of enterprise-ready permissioned blockchain platforms.
- It is a global collaboration for developing high-performance and reliable blockchain and distributed ledger-based technology frameworks.
Example: Consider a situation when person X wants to buy medicine from person Y, who was a doctor living in another country.
- As medicine requirement is one person’s private needs, they need to maintain the data confidentially.
- But Dr. Y is selling medicine in the network to so many people, in the case of the public blockchain, every transaction will get updated in the network to all the peers.
- That’s where hyperledger finds its significance. In the hyperledger, the parties are directly connected and the concerned people’s ledger will be updated.
- Hence providing privacy and confidentiality.
Why Do We Need Hyperledger?
Below are some of the reasons stating the need for a hyperledger project:
- To enhance the efficiency, performance, and transactions of various business processes.
- It provides the necessary infrastructure and standards for developing various blockchain-based systems and applications for industrial use.
- It gets rid of the complex nature of contractual agreements, as the legal issues are taken care of.
- Hyperledger offers the physical separation of sensitive data.
- It decreases the need for verification and enhances trust, thus optimizing network performance and scalability.
Hyperledger Technology Layers
Hyperledger uses the following key business components:
- Consensus layer: It takes care of creating an agreement on the order and confirming the correctness of the set of transactions that constitute a block.
- Smart layer: This layer is responsible for processing transaction requests and authorizing valid transactions.
- Communication layer: It takes care of peer-to-peer message transport.
- Identity management services: these are important for establishing trust on the blockchain.
- API: It enables external applications and clients to interface with the blockchain.
How Does Hyperledger Work?
Hyperledger works in a way that a requirement for the contract can be initiated through an application.
- The membership service involved in the network validates the contract.
- The concerned two-peer has to produce a result and then sent it to the consensus cloud.
- The generated result from both the peer has to be the same in order to validate the contract.
- Once it is validated, then the transaction will happen between the affiliated peers and their ledger will be updated.
- When a business requires confidentiality and a private network for its transaction to happen without doing that in a single network, a hyperledger paves the way.
This can be summarized as the peers who are directly affiliated with the deal are connected and only their ledgers will get updated about the deal. The third parties who help to carry out the transaction will only get to know the exact and required amount of information with the help of regulations levied on the network.
Let’s understand the concept with the help of an example.
- Suppose Alice decides to send the product to Bob on a hyperledger-based network.
- She looks at her app to locate her address of Bob on the network.
- The app in return queries the membership service and validates Bob’s membership.
- The hyperledger will connect both parties directly for the transaction affiliated with the deal.
- Both parties will generate the result, which has to be the same for them to get validated.
- The result will be sent to the consensus cloud to be ordered and verified.
- Once the result is validated, Bob receives the product and the transaction is committed to the ledger.
Roles of Peers
In the hyperledger network, the peers are separated into three distinct roles at two-run times. This distinct feature in this network makes notable changes as it allows a high degree of personalization. The 3 peer roles are:
- Committer: Appends validated transactions to their specific ledger. They only add the transaction to the specific ledger once the transaction is returned by the consenter.
- Endorser: Endorser nodes are responsible for simulating transactions specific to their network and preventing unreliable and non-deterministic transactions. All endorsers act as committers on the other hand committer may or may not be endorsers depending on network restrictions.
- Consenter: Their role is to validate the transaction by verifying the result produced by the affiliated peers who want to proceed with a transaction. Their role is very specific and runs on separate run times, unlike committers and endorsers who run on the same run time. Their role is to decide which ledger the transaction be committed to.
- Flexibility: Hyperledger provides a high degree of flexibility and modularity, allowing developers to customize and configure the platform to meet their specific needs.
- Security: Hyperledger has a strong focus on security, with features such as access control, identity management, and encryption. This makes it well-suited for enterprise applications that require a high level of security.
- Scalability: Hyperledger is designed to handle large-scale enterprise applications, with the ability to support thousands of transactions per second.
- Privacy: Hyperledger allows for the creation of private, permissioned blockchain networks, which means that only authorized participants have access to the data on the network.
- Interoperability: Hyperledger provides a common platform for building blockchain applications, which makes it easier to integrate with other systems and applications.
- Complexity: Hyperledger can be complex to set up and maintain, particularly for organizations that are new to blockchain technology. This can require significant technical expertise and resources.
- Limited decentralization: Hyperledger is a permissioned blockchain platform, which means that only authorized parties can participate in the network. While this can provide increased security and privacy, it also means that the network is less decentralized than public blockchain platforms.
- Limited community: While Hyperledger has a growing community of developers and contributors, it is still smaller than some other blockchain platforms. This could make it more difficult to find support and resources.
- Limited smart contract functionality: Hyperledger offers limited smart contract functionality compared to some other blockchain platforms. While this may be sufficient for some use cases, it could be a disadvantage for organizations that require more advanced smart contract capabilities.
There are numerous projects under hyperledger project itself. These projects include:
- Hyperledger Fabric: Hyperledger Fabric is intended as a foundation for developing applications and solutions with modular architecture. It provides many benefits like permissioned networks, confidential transactions, etc.
- Hyperledger Sawtooth: It is an open-source project and used as an enterprise-level blockchain system used for creating and operating distributed ledger applications. Hyperledger sawtooth supports a variety of consensus algorithms like PBFT, and PoET.
- Hyperledger Indy: It is a project that is made for decentralized identity. It offers lots of libraries, tools, and reusable components for creating decentralized identities.
- Hyperledger Iroha: It is a blockchain platform designed for infrastructure projects that need distributed ledger technology. It is used to build identity management platforms like national IDs. It can integrate with Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.
- Hyperledger Burrow: It is a framework for executing smart contracts in permissioned blockchains. The goal of Hyperledger burrow is to facilitate cross-industry applications for smart contracts. It is built around the BFT consensus algorithm.
- Hyperledger Caliper: It is a blockchain benchmark tool that allows users to measure the performance of a blockchain implementation with a set of predefined use cases. It will produce reports containing a number of performance indicators to serve as a reference when using the blockchain solutions like Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha, and so on.
- Hyperledger Cello: It serves as an operational dashboard for Blockchain that reduces the effort required for creating, managing, and using blockchains. It provides an operational console for managing blockchain efficiently.
- Hyperledger Explorer: It is a user-friendly web application tool that is used to view, invoke, deploy, or query blocks, associated data, and network information stored in the ledger. It is regarded as an easy way that allows users to view the necessary network information of the blockchain.
- Hyperledger Besu: It is an Ethereum client designed to be enterprise-friendly for both public and private blockchain network use cases. It offers many useful features like EVM, several proof-of-authority protocols, a privacy transaction manager to ensure the privacy of transactions, etc.
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