IBM opens Hyperledger Fabric source code to drive enterprise blockchain adoption


The global blockchain technology market is projected to reach $ 72 billion over the next five years. However, to ensure this growth, blockchain solution providers need to keep moving forward and innovating.

For example, the use of blockchains in public companies has become an ongoing trend this year as companies like ConsenSys seek to drive adoption of open, permissionless networks. On the other hand, it’s important to note that private blockchains are still used by businesses and will continue to be used as innovation advances.

Promote open, approved blockchain networks

Recently, computer giant IBM announced that it had made a large portion of its Hyperledger Fabric code available as open source software to help drive adoption rates for enterprise blockchain use cases.

Kareem Yusuf, general manager of AI and Blockchain Applications at IBM, told Cointelegraph that this was one of IBM’s biggest contributions to open source code. He also noted that the company is introducing a new Hyperledger Fabric support offering and donating the code that supports token exchange on Hyperledger Fabric, known as the Fabric Token SDK. Yusuf said:

“Our intent is to make sure we have a dynamic and active Hyperledger community. To support this, we have announced two important steps. One of them is the donation of our management console code capabilities, which were contained in our IBM blockchain platform, to the Hyperledger Labs world. Another is to provide support for those who want to use Hyperledger Fabric with full product support from IBM. “

According to Yusuf, the significant code contribution from IBM Hyperledger users will ease the use of Fabric, an enterprise-class distributed ledger platform that covers a wide variety of enterprise use cases. IBM’s blockchain platform is powered by Hyperledger Fabric.

It is also worth mentioning that Hyperledger was launched in 2015 by the Linux Foundation as an open source cooperation for the further development of cross-industry blockchain technologies. Hyperledger hosts a number of enterprise blockchain projects such as Fabric.

Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger, told Cointelegraph that IBM’s new contributions, in particular, will make it easier for any developer to build and manage a fabric blockchain network. He also noted that these new efforts are organized as “labs” that are separate projects from Fabric but are used to build on top of the Fabric framework.

For example, Behlendorf pointed out that Fabric’s “Token SDK” will help formalize the approach to managing tokens on Fabric. Building tokens on Hyperledger has always been possible as Metacoin (MTC) was the first Hyperledger-based cryptocurrency to achieve mainnet status in 2018. Do-it-yourself ”effort. “This is getting a better supported approach now,” he noted.

Behlendorf added that another lab, the Fabric Smart Console, makes managing a cluster of fabric nodes on a network even easier to monitor and manage. Both labs should become more accessible to developers as soon as IBM’s full support offering is available on the Red Hat Marketplace sometime this fall. The offer includes access to IBM-certified images, code security scans and customer support around the clock. Yusuf added:

“Managing Hyperledger Fabric has been a challenge. An important point here is the support. If all support costs are embedded in a single project, this cannot be monetized across other projects and it becomes more expensive. A standardized support offer can, however, be structured very well in order to fit across multiple use cases. “

More specifically, Arun SM – Hyperledger contributor, head of the Hyperledger India Chapter and member of the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee – told Cointelegraph that the announcement of the Fabric Smart Console, the core business part of the IBM blockchain platform, came as a surprise that the secret sauce has now been revealed has been:

“There are projects within Hyperledger (including Labs) that can deploy a network, help visualize and monitor deployed networks, including performing operations to varying degrees. What is causing a stir with the latest announcement is that the IBM Blockchain Platform is being used in many production applications. It’s ripe and flavorful. Having a self-hosted administration portal with an intuitive user interface that can hide complexities and reduce network administration is a blessing for many. “

Ultimately, Yusuf stated that these new offerings will help increase adoption of corporate blockchain use cases aimed at leveraging authorized networks. Additionally, Yusuf noted that open-sourcing the fabric code will help reduce costs, which is a major challenge for small and medium-sized businesses looking to use approved networks.

This is important for several reasons. For example, although an industry report shows that the adoption of public blockchains has become the leading market segment, Yusuf mentioned that use cases in companies that share a shared, approved blockchain are still critical – especially for use cases like supply chain management:

“By definition, a supply chain is a network that involves the exchange of information between suppliers and various parties. Therefore, you need a blockchain infrastructure to ensure inventory transparency, origin, responsible procurement and more. ”

Yusuf believes the openness of the Hyperledger Fabric base will encourage more people to engage and collaborate through authorized networks.

The Hyperledger community is expected to grow

In addition to promoting the adoption of corporate blockchains through open, authorized networks, IBM’s contributions can attract more developers to the Hyperledger community.

Behlendorf said the impact of IBM’s open source offerings will drive more developers to Hyperledger Fabric and the wider community. “Hopefully this will inspire more to become contributors and main supervisors as well,” he noted.

Related: When Microsoft Azure closes the shop, ConsenSys Quorum opens for new users

As a result, companies using Hyperledger Fabric are likely to grow. For example, the Filecoin Foundation recently announced that it has become a member of the Hyperledger community. Marta Belcher, CEO of the Filecoin Foundation, commented that the decentralized storage capabilities of Filecoin (FIL) have enormous potential in the corporate space. “We are very excited to be joining Hyperledger, a leader in blockchain technology, to explore these opportunities,” she said.

It’s also noteworthy that IBM’s contributions to Hyperledger Fabric demonstrate the company’s commitment to advancing the enterprise blockchain. This is key to realizing, as it was previously rumored that the IBM Blockchain team was “breaking up”.

Yusuf noted that he is particularly focused on future scaling and adoption. “From an IBM perspective, you can expect use cases that leverage blockchain to deliver actual end value to our customers.”


Melinda Martin