Undoubtedly, both Bitcoin and Ethereum are amazing blockchain platforms. Bitcoin is the flagship of cryptocurrency while Ethereum features smart contracts on top of its cryptocurrency Eth. Smart contracts allow developers to create decentralized applications (dapps) on the Ethereum ecosystem.
However, both are facing some very challenging issues, one of them is scalability. According to Wikipedia, the transaction processing capacity of the bitcoin network is limited by the average block creation time of 10 minutes and the block size limit. The transaction rate for bitcoin is between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second.
Ethereum does not fare better, its transaction rate is 15 transactions per second. Comparatively, VISA’s transaction rate is 45,000 transactions per second. Therefore, both platforms fall short in developing practical enterprise applications at the moment.
To overcome the limitations of the blockchain technologies for enterprise usage, Hyperledger was created with the vision to provide viable blockchain solutions for industries and businesses. Hyperledger is an open source effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies hosted by The Linux Foundation.
The Mission of Hyperledger
The philosophy of Hyperledger is
“Only an Open Source, collaborative software development approach can ensure the transparency, longevity, interoperability, and support required to bring blockchain technologies forward to mainstream commercial adoption.” –hyperledger.org
Indeed, the Hyperledger project has been a collaboration of players from various industries and organizations in technology, finance, banking, supply chain management, manufacturing, IoT and more. Since its inception in December 2015, it has managed to enlist many prominent members that include IBM, Intel, NEC, Cisco, J.P Morgan, AMN AMRO, ANZ Bank, Wells Fargo, Accenture, SAP and more. For the complete list, please refer to Wikipedia.
The mission of Hyperledger comprises some ambitious goals, as illustrated in the following figure,
The Hyperledger Greenhouse
Hyperledger itself is not a platform, but it is an umbrella body that incubates and promotes a range of business blockchain technologies. The technologies include distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries, and sample applications. The umbrella strategy was able to accelerate innovation of DLT components by encouraging the re-use of common building blocks and components(hyperledger.org, 2018).
The Hyperlegder projects known as The Hyperledger Greenhouseconsists of five projects and five tools, as shown in the figure below:
Each of the frameworks operates differently but they also allow certain interoperability among themselves. Hyperledger frameworks are generally permissioned (private)blockchains. It means that the parties need authentication and authorization to participate in the blockchain networks.
I will try to explain some of the frameworks and tools in simple language in a series of future articles.