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Linux Foundation - Hyperledger HackFest 2/2/2017 w/ Demos!

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Stay tuned at the end of this article for links to 3 Blockchain demos I have running on IBM Bluemix that will let you play around with the core concepts of Blockchain!  While you are reading this post, please enjoy my latest house mix... Live at Monroe...

Before we get to the hackfest update, in case you missed it, the Vantiv Developer Tracker this month featured an interview with Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of the Linux Foundations Hyperledger project.  You can read the interview here and learn more about Brian and the plans for the Hyperledger project: Building Up Blockchain |

For this blog post, I want to share what I learned and experienced today at the Linux Foundation Hyperledger HackFest at their headquarters in the lovely Presidio district of San Francisco.  There were many invigorating discussions and presentations by leading developers of Hyperledger projects. For more information about the Linux Foundation, and why they are the leader of the open source movement, please check out this link:

About The Linux Foundation

Before going much further, if you would like to read a really good overview of what Blockchain is, I highly recommend this overview provided by the IBM Fabric project:  Overview of Blockchain and key terms

Hyperledger has several Blockchain projects under it's stewardship:

  • Fabric Composer: This is a NEW!! tool to allow for rapid prototyping of Blockchain networks with business rules Fabric Composer - Construct 2017
  • BlockChain Explorer: UI on top of Fabric Blockchain implementation
  • Cello: Blockchain as a service
  • Fabric: Blockchain implementation initially started by IBM
  • Iroha: Blockchain implementation meant to be lightweight with new consensus algorithms
  • Sawtooth Lake: Blockchain implementation designed for versatility and scaleability
  • Corda: R3 consortium provided their Blockahin implementation to Hyperledger

For a more detailed overview of each of these projects, check out this link:

One of the more fascinating topics of the HackFest was the architecture working groups discussion about what the target architecture should be for all of the Blockchain implementations under the Hyperledger umbrella.  The goal of a target architecture would be that each of the implementations would use a pluggable components that are interchangeable with each other, so that, depending on the specifics of the desired solution, components from each of the implementations could be chosen and solutions built for specific requirements.  For example, you could use the identity module from Fabric with the consensus algorithm from Iroha.

The architectural layers that the architecture working group is coming together to reach agreement around are:

  • Communication
  • Consensus
  • Smart contract
  • Data store abstraction
  • Crypto abstraction
  • Identity services
  • Event services

One of the interesting startups that I met at the HackFest was Gem,  check them out.. . Gem is building technology for inter-operating between different Blockchains.  Think about the use case that you have just bought a car and your title has been transferred to you via a title Blockchain, but now you want to purchase insurance on an insurance Blockchain.  The dealership could use Gem as a coordinating layer to transfer the proof-of-title from the title Blockchain, into the insurance Blockchain utilizing Gem as glue, to then transfer your title and insurance assets to your digital wallet.

Another very interesting topic that was discussed is around the concept of identity.  Identity within Blockchains is a core concept, because in order to transact on a Blockchain identity and rights of each identity must be well understood and defined.  There is a larger concept of "Self-Sovereign Identity" (SSI) being advocated for by organizations such as Sovrin ( Sovrin - ). Sovrin defines Self-Sovereign Identity as an identity that is 100% owned and controlled by an individual or organization.  Sovrin is itself an application of Blockchain, but is also solving hard problems about how to think about identity philosophically, and also technically manage identity in a flexible fashion. While the entire technical and philosophical underpinnings of SSI do not all pertain to Blockchain, there is overlap in how Blockchain can think about and solve for problems in the space of identity that Sovrin and Hyperledger may be able to work on together.  Stay tuned for more news about this exciting area!

Other groups that are pursuing work in the area of identity were discussed:

Blockstack - The New Decentralized Internet

let me know of others in the comments below...

Just came across the most recent episode of Around The Coin has a fascinating discussion about identity and payments...  Episode 125: Interview with the Oracle of Payments & Identity: David Birch – Around the Coin

So, here are the demos that I promised... I look forward to your feedback, questions, and comments! Enjoy!

(these demos may not work on corporate networks - can not connect to blockchain network - please try on a personal computer / network)

Trading Marbles Demo:  This marbles trading example demonstrates key concepts of Blockchain technology. Create marbles with different attributes, assign an owner to them and then create the marble.  Once it is created, it is recorded on the Blockchain. As you create marbles and then trade marbles between the two parties you can observe how the Blockchain distributed ledger is updated with the current state.

Auto Lease Demo: This application is designed to demonstrate how assets can be modeled on the Blockchain using a car leasing scenario. The application is designed to allow participants to interact with the vehicle assets creating, updating and transferring them as their permissions allow. The demonstration allows a view of the ledger that stores all the interactions that the above participants have had with their assets. The ledger view shows the regulator every transaction that has occurred showing who tried to to what at what time and to which vehicle. The ledger view also allows the user to see transactions that they were involved with as well as showing the interactions with the assets they own before they owned them e.g. they can see when it was created. For more details on how this demo works, please read the full overview here: IBM-Blockchain/car-lease-demo - github

Commercial Paper Demo:  This application is a demonstration of how a commercial paper trading network might be implemented on IBM Blockchain. The components of the demo are:

  • An interface for creating new users on the network.
  • An interface for creating new commercial papers to trade.
  • A Trade Center for buying and selling existing trades.
  • A special interface just for auditors of the network to examine trades

Using the Demo:

  1. Register some users using the registration form on the login page.
  2. Save the credentials that are created for the users you register. They appear just above the registration form.
  3. Use the credentials to log in to the application. The UI you see will be determined by the role that was assigned to each user.
  4. Open the 'CREATE' tab to create new trades.
  5. Open the 'TRADE' tab to participate in your commercial paper trading network.
  6. Open the 'AUDIT' tab to view all of the trades on the network.

For further details on the commercial paper trading demo, README: A demonstration of a commercial pa...

As a special bonus to all those that made it to the bottom of this post, it's the 40th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac Rumours album release! and I give you... Fleetmac Wood Volume 4 by FleetmacWood enjoy!

About the Author
I'm a Product Manager with a technical background. I graduated from the Computer Science program at UC Berkeley in 1998 and have been involved in the start-up community in the Bay Area ever since. It's been a lot of fun! I enjoy working with emerging technology and being around smart and fun people! You can find more details about my background at Linked In.