What is Proof of Elapsed Time Consensus? (PoET) Complete Beginner’s Guide

Ever since Bitcoin’s inception and the recognition of its proof of work (PoW) consensus model as the mechanism for a blockchain network’s legitimacy as a distributed ledger, numerous other consensus mechanisms have been experimented with and introduced. These new consensus mechanisms are based on Byzantine Fault Tolerance and primarily focus on reducing the energy inefficiencies associated with proof of work’s mining intensive process.

Proof of Elapsed Time

Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) is one of these consensus mechanisms, designed to improve upon proof of work consensus and provide a fresh alternative for permissioned blockchain networks.

Background

PoET was developed by chip manufacturing giant Intel back in 2016 as an efficient consensus mechanism primarily for permissioned blockchain networks. PoET is now the consensus model of choice for Hyperledger Sawtooth’s modular framework and is a popular tool for implementing and experimenting with distributed ledger systems.

What is Hyperledger

Read: Hyperledger: Open Source Blockchain Project

A critical component of PoET consensus is the innovative technology that it works in conjunction with to perform the way that it does, Intel’s hyped Software Guard Extensions (SGX) programming reference manual. Introduced in 2015 with Intel’s 6th generation Core Processors, SGX functions as a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which allows select, trusted code to run independently of the application that it runs in.

Before understanding how the overall consensus of PoET works, it is essential to understand a little bit about how SGX functions.

What is SGX?

SGX is a sophisticated technology, but at its core, it is effectively a set of instructions for a CPU that is used by applications to isolate specific, trusted regions of code and data. It provides a secure enclave for developers to protect sensitive data or code from outside interference or inspection.

Code that runs in a TEE using SGX can produce a signed attestation from within a platform or application that is rooted in the processor and provides authentication that the code has been correctly initialized in a trusted environment. This feature has significant implications for the functionality of PoET consensus, but also creates an inherent barrier to entry and limitation to its uses.

The memory where the protected code is stored in SGX is even safe from malicious users who control physical access to a platform and have the highest authentication to access its memory. As a security feature, SGX was received with significant expectations due to the potential security afforded by this ability.

In the context of PoET consensus, SGX functions as the mechanism for participants to join the network and verify that they are running the trusted code necessary for the PoET consensus execution.

How PoET Works

PoET consensus is an efficient form of proof of work that removes the need for the mining-intensive process and replaces it with a randomized timer system for network participants. Basically, each network participant is given a random timer object and the first timer to expire “wakes up” that participant who becomes the block leader and produces the new block.

In regards to Byzantine Fault Tolerance, this provides a necessary and efficiently randomized solution for the “Random Leader Selection Problem.” Essentially, this problem is how to determine the leader of a round of consensus in Byzantine Fault Tolerant systems. For instance, Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance uses a round-robin style format while Bitcoin’s proof of work uses Nakamoto consensus, where the leader is selected by whoever solves the computationally intensive cryptographic puzzle of each block round.

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance

Read: What is Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance? Complete Beginner’s Guide

PoET consensus can be broken down into 2 phases, joining the network and verification of the TEE using SGX attestations and the actual mining lottery elapsed time round.

Network Verification and SGX

This is the initial phase of the consensus and is where SGX plays an important role. As mentioned earlier, when using SGX, you can produce a signed attestation that you are running the trusted code that was correctly set up in the TEE.

In PoET, a potential participant in the network downloads the trusted code and propagates a “join” message to the network with the signed attestation from SGX, which has produced a public/private key pair. The network of nodes then either accept or reject the attestation. If accepted, the participant joins the network and can participate in the elapsed time, randomized lottery selection process.

The Elapsed Time Lottery Random Selection

This is the second and final phase of the consensus mechanism. In each round of consensus, network participants receive a signed timer object from the trusted code which is completely randomized. The idea is to mitigate any potential malicious actor from gaming the system and attempting to consistently receive a shorter timer so that they can produce more blocks.

Each participant subsequently waits for their randomized timer to expire. The network participant’s timer that is the first to expire propagates a signed certificate to the network indicating that they are the randomized block leader for that round. The message is authenticated, and the block is produced. The round then restarts.

The propagation of the signed certification actually occurs with all of the network participants, even if they did not win. This is to ensure 2 things primarily:

  1. Each node was actually given a randomized object timer from the trusted code.
  2. The node waited for the specified time period given by the object.

As you can see, the process is entirely random, and the integration with SGX technology ensures that there is no manipulation of the trusted code that the protocol runs on. There are several other security features such as an algorithm to watch for suspicious nodes winning the lottery consistently or consistently having shorter timers where a pattern emerges.

The PoET consensus mechanism is highly efficient and is capable of scaling to thousands of nodes without breaking a sweat. The concerns are that it relies heavily on SGX for the foundation of the protocol and very recently, those concerns have been amplified.

Earlier this month, the Large-Scale Data & Systems (LSDS) group at the Imperial College of London discovered a critical vulnerability in SGX known as “Foreshadow” that can be used to attack the secure enclave of SGX.

You are probably already familiar with the origin of the attack, as there were global concerns covered extensively by mainstream media about the “Spectre” vulnerability that was discovered in modern chip processors earlier this year. The Foreshadow attack was elucidated earlier this month by the LSDS team and is an adapted version of the Spectre vulnerability. Still a developing story, it is important to keep an eye on for numerous reasons, including the integrity of PoET consensus.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Using PoET

PoET is highly efficient and not nearly as resource intensive as proof of work systems, but it also has some concerns surrounding it. So what are the general advantages and disadvantages of its use as a consensus mechanism for distributed ledger networks?

Advantages

PoET is a substantial improvement in the efficiency of proof of work systems. Simultaneously, it also provides a great solution to the “Random Leader Selection Problem” without being resource intensive or requiring complex staking mechanics and incentive structures necessary with proof of stake consensus.

PoET is also an excellent consensus mechanism for permissioned networks, which is why it is the go-to consensus mechanism for Hyperledger Sawtooth. On top of that, it scales efficiently and can be used as a “plug and play” model for testing environments with Hyperledger Sawtooth.

Disadvantages

SGX is a lauded and innovative technology, but recent developments are clearly a cause for concern regarding its use with PoET consensus. Intel will likely be able to fix the issue regarding the critical vulnerability, but the disadvantage here is the obvious and necessary reliance on a specialized hardware’s security.

Not only that, but SGX is manufactured entirely by Intel, so the reliance of the consensus model extends to Intel as a company, a third party. The notion of such a reliance runs against the new paradigm that cryptocurrencies are attempting to achieve with blockchain networks, removal of trust in intermediaries.

Conclusion

PoET represents another crack at providing Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus mechanisms for distributed ledger systems. It is highly efficient and works with another novel technology itself, SGX.

Moving forward, watching the developments surrounding SGX will have a major impact on PoET as a sustainable consensus model. For now, it is an excellent tool for Hyperledger Sawtooth and plays a vital role in experimentation and developments within modular blockchain frameworks.

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IBM’s Plan To Deploy Blockchain In Commerce

It has been around four years, IBM’s Jerry Cuomo and subordinate technologists began studying the blockchain, thanks to the exceptional ascend of Bitcoin and Ethereum like cryptocurrencies that are based on a decentralized ledger and are safe and transparent.

Now Cuomo is VP of IBM Blockchain and interacts with more than 1,500 Big Blue Blockchain experts. Functioning with the Linux Foundation, IBM created its own rapid and secure Hyperledger Fabric to build a stronger version of the blockchain that can be adapted according to the requirements of contemporary commerce and the millions of transactions per second. Hyperledger Fabric is becoming increasingly important as a reliable network infrastructure designed for a wide range of industries. Earlier this week, IBM said that it is offering IBM Blockchain Platform with Hu-manity.co use blockchain, enabling consumers to work out on control over the use of their personal information.

And Cuomo spread the word about the benefits blockchain offers for all kinds of industries. Recently, IBM has signed an agreement with the giant Maersk shipbuilding to make a blockchain-based supply chain, where one can immediately outline the source of products to the original source within seconds to make them signed. So far, 94 companies have connected to the effort.

IBM is working with Walmart and others to identify contaminated food sources for the authorized source to lessen death counts of hundreds of thousands annually. Big Blue is working with the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate how the blockchain can receive patient consent for the health data transfer.

Following this move, technology companies have now taken the blockchain technology adoption and execution to the next level. Microsoft being among the top torch-bearers is ought to change the whole process of financial transaction in respect to multiple sector wise.

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Securing Evidence in the UK Could Become Easier with Blockchain

By Gabriele Giancola, CEO and Co-founder of qiibee, the Swiss loyalty token protocol helping brands around the world run their loyalty programs on the blockchain.

With Singapore Airlines and Delta Air Lines having recently introduced a blockchain-based loyalty program and replacing its airmiles with cryptocurrency respectively, it shows that blockchain stands to radically transform traditional loyalty programs as we know them, making them more useful, accessible and cost-effective for both brands and customers alike.

So how is blockchain increasing customer loyalty and revitalizing traditional rewards programs?

1. Blockchain introduces cost-cutting efficiencies, including cutting out high customer acquisition costs for brands.

From the technical implementation right through to the costs of the rewards themselves, loyalty programs can be both expensive and tedious to set up and demand a significant investment of time and money.

Transaction costs related to the issuance and redemption of reward tokens are much lower on the blockchain since they do not require a third-party. Blockchain also significantly reduces system management costs, thanks to smart contracts that automize processes, all while reducing costs related to instances of error.

On top of this, brands themselves benefit from having access to an ecosystem of already loyal customers, which again reduces acquisition costs.

2. Blockchain encourages increased customer engagement and points redemption.

Loyalty programs are not only difficult to set up, but it is difficult for brands to attract new customers by means of a loyalty program. Blockchain is flipping this on its head by introducing loyalty at the start of the customer journey, as opposed to at the point of purchase.

In other words, loyalty points are no longer an afterthought when they can be exchanged within the brand, with other brands, or for cryptocurrencies or fiat. Better still, the potential for loyalty points to rise in value and get the customer more attractive rewards creates excitement that was never before a part of the loyalty program experience.

Customers are also then driven to check their loyalty programs more frequently since the reward options are more varied, thanks to an ecosystem connecting different programs.

3. Blockchain increases security and therefore encourages loyalty.

All transactions recorded on the blockchain are cryptographically secured, meaning that participants of the network have their own private keys (akin to their own personal digital signature). Blockchain’s immutable and tamper-proof nature also means that every transaction is traceable, which eliminates the potential for fraud or other misuses of the system (which is, again, connected to costs).

Additionally, as there is no single point of failure, customers no longer have to worry about the storage of their private data with large retail companies. On the blockchain, data is stored across the network, which makes it inaccessible via a single entry point. All of these features make customers more comfortable with sharing their details, as well as executing transactions on the blockchain.

4. Blockchain offers a one-stop shop for customers to collect and redeem points.

Customers often suffer from ‘loyalty program fatigue’ due to the vast number of programs available, which subsequently leads to loyalty program inactivity. Blockchain provides a frictionless system, whereby customers can conveniently store all of their collected points in a digital wallet and use the same to make transactions, therefore encouraging engagement.

Blockchain also connects different owners of loyalty programs and makes the points they distribute interoperable: customers no longer have to keep track of dozens of different programs and can do so from their respective wallets. Customers can also exchange their loyalty points with other users, which again increases their utility.

5. Blockchain offers real value outside of the brand context.

Customers often complain about the lack of reward options available with loyalty programs, and along with the lack of cohesiveness it’s easy to see why customers would abandon their loyalty programs. With blockchain, tokens that brands give out are tied to other digital assets which renders them valuable in another sense: customers are no longer forced to spend their loyalty points with a specific brand, or even other brands within the ecosystem, as they can choose to sell their tokens for fiat and spend the money in the real world!

More importantly, these tokens can rise in value without any further investment from the customer.

In conclusion, blockchain’s merits are manifold and effective for tackling the loyalty market’s inherent issues: for brands, blockchain significantly reduces costs, tackles security issues, and increases customer engagement, while for customers, this means a convenient use of different loyalty programs in one go while profiting from a myriad of redemption options, which ensures that they will stick around in the long run.


About Gabriele Giancola

Gabriele Giancola is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of qiibee, the Swiss loyalty token protocol helping brands around the world run their loyalty programs on the blockchain. A serial entrepreneur, Gabriele has co-founded multiple companies including gratis-auto.ch, a start-up focused on mobile outdoor advertising, and a mining farm with around 60 miners.

Gabriele holds a Masters in Business Management from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, one of the world’s top ten universities for business management.

About qiibee

qiibee, the Swiss loyalty token protocol, helps brands around the world run their loyalty programs on the blockchain. Founded in 2015 by Gabriele Giancola and Gianluca Giancola, qiibee builds on strong expertise, existing partnerships, and in-depth knowledge of the loyalty sector.

qiibee’s blockchain plug-and-play solution supports businesses, giving them full flexibility to create their own loyalty programs on qiibee’s protocol.

For more information, visit https://qiibee.com.

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The Linux Foundation launches new Hyperledger training courses and certification

The Linux Foundation is offering an educational opportunity for students to enrol for its latest LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals training course, which introduces the fundamental concepts of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Students who sign up will also learn about the core architecture and components that make up typical decentralised Hyperledger Fabric applications. Enrolled students will also get to work with Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Fabric Certificate Authority and the Hyperledger Fabric SDK.

The LFD271 is basically designed for developers and application developers who will learn how business logic is put to use in Hyperledger Fabric through chaincode (Hyperledger Fabric’s smart contracts) and review the various transaction types used to read from and write to the distributed ledger. They will get to see how their applications can invoke transactions using the Hyperledger Fabric JavaScript SDK.

Clyde Seepersad, Linux Foundation general manager for training and certification, said: “Blockchain technology adoption is increasing at a rapid pace – with TechCrunch reporting blockchain jobs as the second-fastest growing in today’s labour market – leading to a shortage of professionals who are qualified to implement and manage it on an enterprise scale. After seeing more than 100,000 students take our free introductory Hyperledger course, we knew it was time for more advanced training options, and certification exams to demonstrate the extent of professionals’ knowledge.”

Elsewhere, Blockchain Foundry has announced the updated release of Blockmarket Desktop. Blockmarket Desktop 3.1 introduces several performance enhancements and bug fixes to the platform. This latest desktop update provides significant user experience and user interface improvements. Alias management, asset management, additional menu options for improved usability, free encrypted messaging, bug fixes, etc., are the enhancements the Blockmarket Desktop has received.

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Linux Announces New Course and Certs for Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth

By Henry KronkSeptember 10, 2018

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fabric, hyperledger

On Thursday, the Linux Foundation announced yet another resource to help leaners grow more familiar with blockchain technology. The new LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals is currently open for enrollment. The course is intended to onboard learners into the world of the blockchain and introduce people to current uses and practices.

Later this year, successful students will be able to take the Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator and Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator exams to prove their merit.

The course comes on the back of two others from the Linux Foundation looking to spread knowledge about the decentralized world. Blockchain for Business, a professional certificate program, was launched in collaboration with edX earlier this year along with the free introductory program Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications.

“Blockchain technology adoption is increasing at a rapid pace – with TechCrunch reporting blockchain jobs as the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market – leading to a shortage of professionals who are qualified to implement and manage it on an enterprise scale,” said Linux Foundation General Manager, Training & Certification Clyde Seepersad, in a statement. “After seeing more than 100,000 students take our free introductory Hyperledger course, we knew it was time for more advanced training options, and certification exams to demonstrate the extent of professionals’ knowledge.”

Behlendorf, Lubin and Rosenbush, a bunch of blockchain people, at Collision 2018
Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger at Collision 2018 with Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin and journalist Steven Rosenbush. Collision Conf, Flickr.

Hyperledger Fabric was developed by the Linux Foundation as a framework to develop and implement blockchain technology. As described on the site, “Intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture, Hyperledger Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. Hyperledger Fabric leverages container technology to host smart contracts called “chaincode” that comprise the application logic of the system. Hyperledger Fabric was initially contributed by Digital Asset and IBM, as a result of the first hackathon.”

LFD271 runs just two days and is intended as a professional course. It jumps off from introductory work on the fundamentals of blockchain, hyperledger, and decentralized technologies and goes over some of the core architecture and components used for dApp development.

It introduces learners to Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Fabric SDK, and Hyperledger Fabric Certificate Authority. The course is comprised of self-paced reading material that gives way to lab exercises intended to show students the various processes involved in creating a dApp.

Jonathan Levi, an accomplished computer scientists, cryptographer, and founder of HACERA, teaches the course. Levi was one of the early contributors to the framework and played an instrumental role in its Membership Services (the permissioning layer of the framework). He also worked with Professor Dan Boneh to build the first Ethereum class at Stanford University.

Upon completion of the course, two professional certifications will be made available later this year. The Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator Exam will ensure that learners have all the requisite skill to develop and deploy an HF network for commercial use. Learners will be tested on:

  • Application Lifecycle Management
  • Installing and Configuring the Network
  • Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
  • Membership Service Provision
  • Network Maintenance and Operations

The same goes for the Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator, but regarding a Sawtooth network instead. Areas of testing will include:

  • Installation
  • Configuration
  • Permissioning, Identity Management & Security
  • Lifecycle
  • Troubleshooting

The new course LFD271 is by no means a prerequisite for taking these exams, although it does promise to prepare learners for it.

Interested developers should keep a lookout for a beta tester program offered by the Linux Foundation in the run up to the exam release. As stated on their blog post, “If someone completes the beta exam with a passing grade, they will become one of the first Certified Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth Administrators upon launch of the program.”

Featured Image: Jason Leung, Unsplash.

How IBM will use blockchain as its commerce backbone

About four years ago, Jerry Cuomo and other technologists at IBM started to study blockchain, thanks to the phenomenal rise of Bitcoin and later Ethereum as cryptocurrencies based on the decentralized ledger that was both secure and transparent.

Now Cuomo is vice president of IBM Blockchain, and he interacts with more than 1,500 blockchain experts at Big Blue. Working with the Linux Foundation, IBM created its own fast and secure Hyperledger Fabric, to create a more robust version of blockchain that can scale up to the demands of modern commerce and its millions of transactions per second. Hyperledger Fabric is gaining momentum as the infrastructure for created trusted networks in a wide variety of industries. Earlier this week, IBM said it is providing the IBM Blockchain Platform for Hu-manity.co to use blockchain to enable consumers to exercise control over the use of their personal data.

And Cuomo is spreading the word about blockchain’s benefits to all sorts of industries. Recently, IBM cut a deal with shipping giant Maersk to create a blockchain-based supply chain where you could instantaneously track shipped goods back to the original source in a couple of seconds. 94 companies have joined the effort.

IBM is working with Walmart and others to pinpoint sources of contaminated food to the original source in an effort to reduce hundreds of thousands of deaths per year. Big Blue is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to explore how blockchain can ensure patient consent for the transfer of health data.

Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

VentureBeat: Do you do blockchain, or cryptocurrency, or both?

Jerry Cuomo: I’m blockchain. I’m an equal opportunity employer of whatever sort of application you want to write on top of blockchain.

VentureBeat: How long have you been focused on that?

Cuomo: Since 2014. That was the big wake-up for everybody. I was a CTO for IBM’s middleware business. A big part of that was products that deal with transaction processing. While we were doing many things — cloud and AI and mobile — the transaction processing side of the business had flattened a bit. Not many big new things happening. But I always had my eye on things that were new evolutions in transaction processing.

When I really got to see what was happening under Bitcoin, I got excited, as excited as anyone on the crypto side. But I was really excited about applying this to other uses. IBM certainly caters to business and enterprise. I became very curious about how we can apply this technology to allow businesses to collaborate. It’s not a complete secret, or hard to imagine. Typically, in the world, a group of institutions or people can achieve more than any individual member of that group. One plus one equals three, or whatever you want to call the adage about the power of the group. It seemed like this could be a unique way to transform a supply chain, on one side of the fence, or how trade financing works, on the other side of the fence.

We got the spark of what could be. Once we started practicing this with some of the conventional technology of 2014–in blockchain years that was a long time ago. Ethereum was the gold standard, and it’s still very popular today. It’s great at what it does. But it’s what it didn’t do that started striking our fears. We’re trying to set up a decentralized network between institutions, but this institution needs to be accountable. The EU, pre-GDPR data privacy, or I have a HIPAA requirement–many of those networks require the members to be known and have some level of accountability. I need to be able to prove to an auditor that these events took place and I behaved this way. That’s what started making us scratch our heads. How do we do this with the conventional blockchain?

We came up with a set of ideas and we tried to apply them to Ethereum. We ran into a couple of roadblocks, one being the lack of modularity in the early code base of Ethereum. The other is the licensing model. It was an LGPL license. In IBM, or in any institution that wants to commercialize something, it would be very hard to commercialize something with an LGPL license. Last but not least, there was really no unified governing board for Ethereum.

Long story short, we decided we needed to take another path. The path we took was to start building a blockchain for business from the ground up. We didn’t try to do that by ourselves. We went to the Linux Foundation and they introduced us to several like-minded companies. Together we formed the Hyperledger Project. Within that project there’s a number of open-source projects, one of them being Hyperledger Fabric. IBM has been contributing quite a bit to that project, as well as State Street and Fujitsu and Hitachi and several other companies. We’re very invested in that.

IBM and Maersk are teaming up.

Above: IBM and Maersk are teaming up.

Image Credit: IBM/Maersk

That forms the foundation of IBM Blockchain, which is a platform as a service offering. It forms the foundation of several solution ventures we’ve built with the likes of Wal-Mart and Nestle and Unilever. TradeLens, which is a trade finance network with the likes of Maersk. That’s our strategy. As I said, blockchain for business isn’t just a slogan. There’s some real hard engineering things that we had to do to provide the enterprise qualities needed.

I typically distill it down to four. There’s probably a few more, but four real succinct attributes. One is accountability. We get that through permissioning. You may have heard of permission blockchain. Simply put, members apply for a membership card, a public and private key issued through a decentralized certificate authority. Now you’re accountable. You’re known to the network. While you’re known to the network, the second one is privacy. While you’re known, you should be able to interact privately. In finance, there’s a lot of bilateral contracts and things like that. You don’t need everyone in the network to see your business. You just need the folks who are involved, who have a need to know.

The other is around performance and scalability. It’s known that Ethereum and Bitcoin purposefully don’t perform at high transaction rates. They’re designed not to because of how mining works and how they want to ensure–in a very clever way, blockchain networks are all about building trust. Those blockchains build trust while maintaining anonymity. It works for that use case, for currency, something trying to emulate cash, which is a bearer instrument. But they had to work in safety nets, like the group with the biggest computer couldn’t overrun the network. They put throttles in which hinder performance. But an enterprise blockchain has to support an immense volume of transactions, thousands per second potentially. That was the third.

The fourth is security. A blockchain network has to just keep running. It has to tolerate fault. In other words, it needs to keep running if there are bad actors in the network, and still roughly come up with the right answer. Or even sloppy actors, which in a permission blockchain are probably more the case. You have someone running on less reliable hardware that fails from time to time. The network can’t stop because one member is disappearing every so often.

Those are the four qualities we’ve built into Hyperledger Fabric. We started that with the Linux Foundation and the Hyperledger Project–it was announced in 2015. Three years into it, we’re really starting to see the first live networks happening, which is exciting. There are all sorts: big enterprises, small startups. There are hundreds of networks out there that are using Hyperledger Fabric. We have 70 of them on our radar right now that we consider live, meaning they consider that system the system of record. They have multiple institutions transacting on a daily basis on that network.

Some of them are small scale. Some of them are big scale. Some of them are small scale with big dreams. [laughs] Some are big scale with humongous dreams. We see everything in between. One of the things I’ve been talking about is–the exciting part about working on blockchain is working on middleware and helping usher in the transactive web. In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, that was very interesting. I became a huge fan of some of the users of Java-based middleware. Many websites that we use daily still use that technology. But I couldn’t say necessarily that that technology was for good.

What I see happening with blockchain–while there’s all kinds of uses of it, I do see a theme in blockchain for good. It’s being used to protect people’s personal identity, or ensure that the information being fed into a clinical trial is correct. A drug that you’re taking hasn’t been counterfeited, or the food that has salmonella in it can be recalled quickly without affecting more people and without shutting down the whole U.S. production of spinach. These are all things that are good for you and I, not just for the industry.

VentureBeat: I’ve wound up in an interesting spot on blockchain. Most of what I do is supposed to be games, and then about 20 percent is tech, everything else. I cover a lot of big companies like IBM. That 20 percent has now been filled up. It’s a few blockchain stories a week now. It’s given me some knowledge, but it’s also confused me a bit as well.

Cuomo: What’s confusing, would you say?

Above: IBM is working with Hu-manity.co to secure your right to control your personal data.

Image Credit: IBM

VentureBeat: I see the basic tradeoff of security and transaction speed. The original Bitcoin was not built for transaction speed, as you said. There’s different parties saying they have the next-generation answer to that. But they all seem very fragmented. I wrote quite a bit about Hedera Hashgraph, which is fascinating, but it’s just one of many. How many different slices of this do we really need? Do the banks need to do their own blockchain systems? Do the shipping lines need their own? Everybody’s taking a different whack at similar problems, depending on how much they care about security and transaction speed.

Cuomo: There’s a balance. What excites me, because I’ve seen trends evolve over time–I know a few things for sure, or at least my history suggests these things very strongly. One is, what we know today is going to be very different. For companies like IBM, I believe we’re doing very well in the blockchain space. In order for us to continue leading, we’re going to have to change. It’s evolving.

The material thing to measure–usage and community. Let me explain. The most lasting blockchain technologies are going to be the ones that are built in the open and that provide a fair platform for innovators, for people who have an idea. I’m not going to be locked out if there’s a small group that’s running the board on this. That’s why we like working with the Linux Foundation. They can be really tough sometimes on the way they govern, but it’s good for the technology. It usually breeds winners. Again, they’re blind faith over there. They don’t care if you’re |BM or a small startup. The rules are the rules. There’s a church and state separation between the governing board and the technical board.

What’s measured on the technical side are contributions: not dollar contributions, but code contributions. You can contribute financially, you can contribute via code, or some combination of the two. That fosters a lasting environment. Again, it may not be what’s here today, but those things–I believe, for example, that the Hyperledger project will evolve to be amongst the winners. It’s Darwinian, the way they do it.

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The Linux Foundation Adds Blockchain Training and Certifications

The Linux Foundation, in anticipation of much broader adoption of blockchain technologies in the enterprise, announced this week that a training course, dubbed LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals, is now open for enrollment. That course complements an existing Professional Certificate Program – Blockchain for Business, launched earlier this year, that is tied to a free course entitled Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications.

In addition, The Linux Foundation plans to add Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator and Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator exams later in the year.

Clyde Seepersad, general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation, notes that while there is no shortage of options when it comes to blockchain technologies, Hyperledger has gained a significant amount of traction among organizations planning to build immutable private blockchains. Hyperledger is a suite of open source blockchain technologies donated to The Linux Foundation in 2015.

The goal now is to increase the base of IT and business professionals that have enough expertise to implement an application based on Hyperledger, says Seepersad.

“Blockchain is starting to reach a tipping point in the enterprise,” says Seepersad.

Of course, many of the principles taught in The Linux Foundation course are applicable to other blockchain technologies in much the same way a course on one type of relational database exposes students to concepts that can be applied to any database.

Pricing for early registration for the course is $199, a discount from the standard $299 that The Linux Foundation plans to charge.

It’s a little early to say with absolute certainty how widely blockchain technologies will be deployed across the enterprise. Many organizations view blockchain technologies as a unique opportunity to eliminate the need to pay settlement fees to a third party when transactions occur between trading partners that have established relationships. But the setting up of blockchain networks requires a considerable amount of compute resources that need to be networked together. There are already several startup companies alongside traditional services providers such as IBM that are all racing to set up those networks.

In the meantime, any IT professional looking to ensure demand for their expertise through much of the next decade might be well-advised to invest in some blockchain training.

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ConsenSys, Linux Foundation Introduce Blockchain Courses

The New York-headquartered blockchain startup ConsenSys that builds decentralized applications (dApps) and tools for Ethereum, has partnered with online education platform Coursera to offer a course ‘Blockchain: Foundations And Use Cases’, including topics such as foundational concepts of blockchain and decentralization as well as cryptography and consensus mechanisms.

The course is designed to give students an introduction to blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) and develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand how blockchain is changing certain sectors and industries, as well as the ways blockchain can solve specific problems. The course is designed for students of varying skill levels, including individuals who lack a technical education.

The Linux Foundation has also announced the enrollment for its new advanced training course for Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology. The course introduces the fundamental concepts as well as the core architecture and components that make up typical decentralized Hyperledger Fabric applications. Additionally, Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator and Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator exams will be released later in the year, the foundation said.

Educational institutions around the globe have been actively embracing blockchain technology. A recent study conducted by the US-based popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase showed that 42 percent of the world’s top 50 universities have at least one class on cryptocurrencies or blockchain. The globally recognized CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute is also adding topics on cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and Level II curriculums for the first time from 2019 exams onwards.

Other top institutions that are offering courses related to cryptos and blockchain are Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, University College of London, the University of Edinburgh, etc. There are plenty of online learning sites also, like Udemy, Coursera, edX, and Udacity, who offer hundreds of courses, including general lessons in foundational cryptography and more specialized classes on blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Blockchain technology has started to transform many industries from financial services (over $6.3 billion has been raised through initial coin offerings or ICOs in the United States alone) to voting to cloud computing to advertising. With this spike in popularity, blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market. It is a positive development, which shows that the fintech sector is expanding well.

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The Linux Foundation Brings Blockchain Education Forward With New Hyperledger Training …

Non-profit open source organization The Linux Foundation announced via a press release on PRNewswire on September 5 that enrollment for their new training course for blockchain is now open.

The training course, named LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals introduces the fundamental concepts of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, as well as the core architecture and components that make up typical decentralized Hyperledger Fabric applications.

Linux also announced the release of Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator and Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator exams later this year.

LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals

Linux FoundationThe training course lets students work with Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Fabric Certificate Authority, and the Hyperledger Fabric SDK. The two-day course also includes several lab exercises that help guide the learner in the setup of a Hyperledger Fabric business network and through the various stages in the lifecycle of a decentralized Hyperledger Fabric-based application.

The course is built for developers and app developers. Devs will learn how business logic is implemented in Hyperledger Fabric via smart contracts and review the transaction types used to read from and write to the distributed ledger. App devs, meanwhile, will learn how apps can invoke transactions via the Hyperledger Fabric JavaScript SDK.

Jonathan Levi, a computer scientist, cryptographer and mathematician and founder of Hacera, is on board as the course instructor. Levi is an early contributor to the Hyperledger Fabric project and helped shape the Membership Services. He also served as the release manager of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. Levi has worked with other blockchain tech projects as well, from collaborating on Bitcoin to building the first Ethereum class with Professor Dan Boneh at Stanford University.

The Hyperledger course is now available to take at an introductory price of $199, with the regular price being $299.

Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator Exam

The Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator (CHFA) works to secure a secure Hyperledger Fabric network for commercial deployment. To pass this exam, professionals must be able to show that they have the ability to install, configure, operate, manage, and troubleshoot the nodes on that network. Completing the LFD271 helps prepare for the exam, but is not a requirement.

Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator Exam

The Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator (CHSA) meanwhile builds a secure Sawtooth network for commercial deployment. Just like the CHFA exam, one must be able to install, configure, operate, manage, and troubleshoot the nodes on that network.

Both examinations will become available to take before the year’s end. Like all Linux Foundation examinations, the exams will be available remotely from almost anywhere with a stable internet connection. Failed the exam? You can retake the exam for free one additional time. More details about the examinations are available on the Hyperledger blog.

Looking for other interesting crypto developments? Check out our cryptocurrency news site to find out more.

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The Linux Foundation Brings Blockchain Education Forward With New Hyperledger Training Program
Article Name
The Linux Foundation Brings Blockchain Education Forward With New Hyperledger Training Program
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Blockchain Technology is the way of the future, and you wouldn’t want to be unprepared for it, wouldn’t you? Let’s take a look at the Linux Foundation’s new training course offering for blockchain and see what blockchain is all about.
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Todd Gamo
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Ibinex News
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Blockchain Courses

blockchain coursesblockchain courses

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit organization which, according to its website, “supports the creation of sustainable open source ecosystems by providing financial and intellectual resources, infrastructure, services, events, and training.” The organization aims to provide an array of blockchain courses, catering to a job demand.

Blockchain Courses

The Linux Foundation offers blockchain focused education services including the ‘Blockchain for Business’ course. It saw over 100,000 students take its free introductory ‘Hyperledger’ course last year, and now it is eager to add to its blockchain courses.

The organization has developed and, as of yesterday, opened enrollment for its new advanced training course in ‘Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology.’

According to Linux’s Clyde Seepersad:

“After seeing more than 100,000 students take our free introductory Hyperledger course, we knew it was time for more advanced training options, and certification exams to demonstrate the extent of professionals’ knowledge.”

Blockchain Engineers are in Demand

The course aims to develop the next wave of certified blockchain engineers ready to work in a field that is “the second-fastest growing in today’s labor market.”

Clyde expressed that because this industry is growing so fast, there is “a shortage of professionals who are qualified to implement and manage [the technology] on an enterprise scale.”

The new advanced course will allow students to learn the fundamentals of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. This is in tandem with “the core architecture and components” that are imperative to decentralized Hyperledger Fabric applications.

>> You Would Never Guess These Celebrities Are Into Crypto

Jobs Everywhere

The blockchain industry is booming so it is no surprise to see a demand for engineers. We have heard of countless countriesimplementing the technology on a broader scale and willing major corporations to use it.

Large universities are also offering blockchain courses and crypto-currency related courses to try to prepare for an industry that will no doubt need an extensive work-force.

If you were unsure of a career path for yourself, blockchain technology may just be a smart move.

Featured Image: Deposit Photos/AndrewLozovyi

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