Summer SCARP Series: Matthew Grohotolski ’22

An Elizabethtown College Computer Science and Data Science major is working with a pair of professors this summer to create an easy-to-use and secure data-transferring system for organizations and universities that is built on Blockchain technology.

The independent student research and collaboration with Etown faculty mentors, is part of the Summer Scholarship, Creative Arts and Research Projects (SCARP) program.

Learn more about SCARP.

Title of Research

SECTOR: A Web-based Data Management and Sharing System Secured by Blockchain

Student Researcher

Matthew Grohotolski ‘22 – Computer Science and Data Science

Faculty Mentors

Jingwen Wang

Peilong Li

What are you researching?

Since the advent of technology, securely transferring data between two computers over the internet has been a difficult task. This is especially true for organizations and universities who want to take advantage of technology to securely transfer or share data. Although many file transfer services exist, none have achieved secure transfers while also offering a friendly and easy-to-use user Etown professor and student standing on either side of a computer monitor, smiling at camera. interface.

SECTOR uses an existing secure transfer service called Globus to conduct secure file transfers and has built a safe and secure user permissions system on top of their functionality. All data used by SECTOR is stored on a distributed ledger using Hyperledger Fabric, which is built upon Blockchain technology. Because data is stored on a distributed ledger, the data of its users stay safe and out of the hands of potential hackers while also allowing greater data access and less downtime for SECTOR in case an institution goes offline.

This is a joint project by Elizabethtown College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML). We have partnered together to work on this project and I am working alongside members from UML to develop the site and data aspects of SECTOR. In addition to our two universities working together, UML is also in contact with the University of Wisconsin – Madison, which is our primary way of testing new developments with the website and will eventually use the site to transfer their sensitive project files between their internal groups and other universities.

Why did you choose this topic?

This project was initially brought to my attention by Dr. Li as he has connections to UML by previously attending their University. After hearing about the project, I was fascinated by their use of Hyperledger Fabric to store data and decided to assist by becoming a Full Stack Developer to create the website and further their previous development with Fabric.

What is the most interesting aspect of this research?

The most interesting aspect of research for this project is Hyperledger Fabric and how it’s used to store data securely. Fabric stores its data in what’s called a distributed ledger, meaning multiple organizations can assist with hosting the data for the project. If one organization loses power, for instance, the data is still accessible for the website and there is no downtime due to this kind of disruption.

Utilizing Fabric also means the data stays secure since the data is only accessible through the machine hosting the website. This helps us maintain HIPAA compliance to transfer sensitive information such as medical information between organizations.

How have your faculty mentors helped you throughout this experience?

Dr. Li and Dr. Wang have had a profound impact on my performance with my SCARP project as they’ve been able to provide guidance during difficult situations when coding.

Hear from a Faculty Mentor – Jingwen Wang

“The existing cyberinfrastructure for inter-institution data sharing faces challenges. For example, the patient data collected at a medical school cannot be readily shared with data scientist collaborators from a nearby institution due to location, network access control, etc. To make the data-sharing more secure and reliable, we focus on build a secure inter-institutional data-sharing platform with blockchain technology in this project.

“Matt really showed his passion for this project when working with Dr. Li and me. He is a motivated learner as he always tries his best to come up with a solution for the problems we’ve had when working on the project.”

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WANdisco Integrates DConE into Permissioned Blockchain Frameworks

New technology offers flawless execution within permissioned blockchain digital ledger technologies such as Hyperledger Fabric and R3 Corda

SAN RAMON, Calif., June 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — WANdisco (LSE: WAND), the LiveData company, announced today the availability of its Distributed Coordination Engine (DConE) to provide highly secured and reliable transactionality for permissioned blockchains (i.e. digital ledgers) within the financial sector, and other business critical applications and use cases.

This new use of DConE, the only commercialized version of the Paxos algorithm, will offer a guaranteed fault-tolerant alternative to the Raft algorithm, commonly used in digital ledger technologies such as Hyperledger Fabric and R3 Corda. Serving as the basis of WANdisco’s solutions, DConE has been previously used to provide:

  • Multi-site replication of Subversion and Git repositories

  • The migration and replication of business-critical data to cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure and AWS

  • Keeping Hadoop-compatible file systems, Apache Hive and Databricks data consistent across on-premises and multi-cloud environments

“After our success in coordinating software collaboration, and LiveData migration and replication to the cloud, we saw an opportunity to provide DConE as a solution for enterprises requiring high availability of their distributed ledgers,” said Dr. Yeturu Aahlad, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, WANdisco. “DConE is based on the Paxos algorithm, which is the gold standard of consensus algorithms. The new application is a natural extension of this unique and powerful technology, and gives blockchain application customers the peace of mind that their systems are guaranteed to never break.”

Dr. Aahlad commercialized the Paxos algorithm to make the internet more efficient, trusted and reliable for business critical use cases. Aahlad and WANdisco’s other co-founder, CEO David Richards, realized the cloud was going to play a huge part in advanced analytics. DConE was created to be the differentiated technology underpinning WANdisco LiveData Cloud Services, the only automated cloud migration platform on the market recommended by Microsoft and AWS for Hadoop-to-Cloud migration.

WANdisco’s patented consensus technology works by requiring the storage points across its network to approve any transaction that may be entered. Multiple transactions can be processed simultaneously enabling a more scalable distributed ledger with shorter lag times for transactions than typical blockchain frameworks.

“We are very excited to offer DConE as a new consensus option for permissioned blockchains and digital ledger technologies,” said Richards. “This new application will continue WANdisco’s mission to deliver technology that empowers customers to benefit from the freedom of data, regardless of location and when it’s needed. We look forward to developing partnerships to further make this technology available in other frameworks.”

About WANdisco

WANdisco is the LiveData company. WANdisco solutions enable enterprises to create an environment where data is always available, accurate and protected, creating a strong backbone for their IT infrastructure and a bedrock for running consistent, accurate machine learning applications. With zero downtime and zero data loss, WANdisco LiveData Platform keeps geographically dispersed data at any scale consistent between on-premises and cloud environments allowing businesses to operate seamlessly in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. For more information on WANdisco, visit www.wandisco.com.

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LiquidShare selects BTP’s Sextant platform for blockchain-based post-trade offering

LiquidShare was created in 2017 by eight major European financial institutions (AFS Group, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Caceis, Caisse des Dépôts, Euroclear, Euronext, S2iEM and Société Générale) with the mission to build a European post-trading blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry. The company’s post-trade offering secures and streamlines back-office operations in financial markets, while enhancing the transparency and trustworthiness of post-trading operations, leveraging the open-source distributed ledger Hyperledger Besu, and Daml, an application platform.

“We chose Daml as our smart-contract language for its strong potential to embed business logic, and because it enables us to build multiparty business processes easily and rapidly. The fact that it is supported by BTP on our ledger of choice, Hyperledger Besu, was also a main driver for us,” said Jean-Marc Eyssautier, CEO of LiquidShare. “Sextant for Daml has accelerated our time to market by allowing us to focus on customer needs.”

BTP’s Sextant for Daml solution radically simplifies the deployment and management of the Daml runtime environment on distributed ledgers, so innovators such as LiquidShare can focus on the application rather than the underlying infrastructure.

“We are delighted to facilitate such financial innovation by freeing LiquidShare from technology infrastructure frustrations,” said Duncan Johnston-Watt, CEO & Co-founder of BTP. “This is a great use case that showcases the business value of distributed ledgers and smart contracts, by lowering the barrier to entry to capital markets.”

Daml, created by Digital Asset, is an application platform purpose-built for coding complex multiparty business processes. Daml applications provide a robust framework to better manage transactional workflows, resulting in improved operational efficiency, while preserving privacy and trust. This is particularly relevant to capital markets.

“LiquidShare is at the forefront of innovation in post-trade markets,” said Yuval Rooz, Co-founder & CEO at Digital Asset. “Post-trade processes can significantly benefit from the efficiency and trust provided by distributed ledgers and Daml, which is quickly becoming the de facto standard in capital markets. It’s great to see LiquidShare using Sextant for Daml. It is the right platform to help LiquidShare bring its new blockchain-enabled offering to the market.”

Sextant for Daml, developed in partnership with Digital Asset, simplifies the deployment and management of the Daml runtime environment on Hyperledger Besu and Hyperledger Sawtooth, as well as Amazon QLDB, Amazon Aurora and PostgreSQL. It is rapidly emerging as the platform of choice for companies delivering Daml applications in production.

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Smart Contracts Software Market Quality & Quantity Analysis | Ethereum, Corda, Hyperledger …

Los Angeles, United State, – including Q4 analysis The report named, Global Smart Contracts Software Market has been added to the archive of market research studies by JCMR. The industry experts and researchers have offered reliable and precise analysis of the Smart Contracts Softwarein view of numerous aspects such as growth factors, challenges, limitations, developments, trends, and growth opportunities. This report will surely act as a handy instrument for the market participants to develop effective strategies with an aim to reinforce their market positions. This report offers pin-point analysis of the changing dynamics and emerging trends in the Global Smart Contracts Software Market.

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Additionally, it provides a futuristic perspective on various factors that are likely to boost the Global Smart Contracts Software Market growth in the years to come. Besides, authors of the report have shed light on the factors that may hamper the growth of the Global Smart Contracts Software Market.

The report also helps in understanding the Global Smart Contracts Software Market through key segments including application, product type, and end user. This analysis is based on various parameters such as CGAR, share, size, production, and consumption.

The leading industry experts have also scrutinized the Global Smart Contracts Software Market from a geographical point of view, keeping in view the potential countries and their regions. Market participants can rely on the regional analysis provided by them to sustain revenues.

The report has also focused on the competitive landscape and the key strategies deployed by the market participants to strengthen their presence in the Global Smart Contracts Software Market. This helps the competitors in taking well-versed business decisions by having overall insights of the market scenario. Leading players operating in the Smart Contracts Software comprising , Ethereum, Corda, Hyperledger, Microsoft, DigiByte Holdings, æternity blockchain, AlphaPoint, AnChain.AI, BigchainDB, Bison Trails Co., BlockApps, Block Notary, Blockstream, ChromaWay, Chronicled, CloudFabrix Software, Credits, Digital Asset, IBM, Icertis, Kadena, Monax, Neo Team, Polymath, Riverr Pte. Ltd., Sanjh, Brickblock Digital Services, Symbiont, BlockCAT Technologies are also profiled in the report.

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Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum 2.0 Will Bring Scalability and Open the Door to More Dapps and …

Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum (ETH), has stated that Ethereum will bring scalability and help open the door to more decentralized applications (Dapps) and enterprise use cases. He also discussed the importance of building diverse, open-source communities.

Buterin said this while speaking at a fireside chat with Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger, an open-source joint effort hosted by The Linux Foundation, designed to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

Read Also: Vitalik Buterin on What Lies Ahead of Ethereum and Why It Takes So Long to Launch Ethereum 2.0

Vitalik Buterin noted:

“Our vision in Ethereum has always been to be this platform that’s open to all these different applications where the limit is just your creativity. But if in practice, just the economics make it so it’s only viable to do a few things, then in some ways that’s a big limitation on how much of our mission we could actually accomplish.”

Due to the vast growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) on the Ethereum network, the cost of using the blockchain has skyrocketed and scalability has become a pressing issue.

Admitting these issues with the Ethereum network, Buterin said, “Right now, transaction fees are high… it prices out users.”

Read Also: Vitalik Buterin: I Bought $25,000 worth of Dogecoin in 2016 and Sold For $4.3 Million in Late 2020

In the course of the Hyperledger fireside chat, Buterin stated that layer 2 solutions such as roll-ups have also come to the fore.

Buterin said:

“So sharing times a hundred, rollups times a hundred, the two multiplied times ten thousand. And the hope is that you can simultaneously make the platform able to handle more users and reduce transaction fees.

Speaking about building public blockchains for enterprises with very minimal transaction fees, Vitalik Buterin said:

“We should have an ecosystem where the enterprises and everyone, they can just all live together and the ecosystems can kind of plug into each other and benefit each other much more.

“But the challenge is that if you want anyone to be building on the public chain then, the transaction fees have to go down and then also privacy issues have to be solved. And that’s like the other benefit… you have all of these very diverse, different groups just building and working on this technology and everyone can just use each other’s stuff ideally. So I’m optimistic about that future.”

Read Also: CoinMetrics: What Net Issuance of Ethereum (ETH) Would Look Like if EIP-1559 Burns 75% of Fees

Regarding the much-anticipated transition of Ethereum from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, Buterin stated that it’s a big motivation that the upgrade will reduce the resource requirements of Ethereum by more than 1000x.

Buterin said, “It’s good for the Ethereum community and good for the users, good for the world, it’s always great when things line up that way.”


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Emerging Blockchain Platforms to explore in 2021

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Blockchain technology appears to be gaining attention in the modern era. The technology that began as Bitcoin in 2009 has evolved into a mainstream technology. Blockchain technology has applications in various industries, including healthcare, supply chain management, logistics, and legal. Blockchain applications are designed and manufactured to improve the efficiency and transparency of business operations.

As companies start to analyze the potential of blockchain technology through the development of blockchain applications, demand for blockchain platforms has skyrocketed. According to one of the surveys, the global blockchain market is estimated to face a sharp growth from USD 3.0 billion in 2020 to USD 39.7 billion in 2025, at a compound yearly development rate of 67.3 percent between 2020 and 2025. As a result, the demand for blockchain platforms is increasing to securely and rapidly establish a blockchain network.

Below mentioned are some of the top-notch blockchain platforms.

  • Tezos:

    Tezos is a decentralized and open-source blockchain network that enables peer-to-peer transactions and the deployment of smart contracts. Its modular architecture and formal upgrade mechanism enable formal verification to be performed on its network.

    Arthur and Kathleen Breitman founded Tezos to provide the security and code correctness required for digital assets and high-value use cases. It is a self-governing decentralized blockchain platform. Tezos blockchain is a smart contract that is an application decentralized in nature. Tezos platform is similar to Ethereum, Waves, and Neo, but its self-amending cryptographic mechanism distinguishes it.

  • Stellar:

    Stellar is a decentralized blockchain service that connects the storage and transfer of money. It allows users to create, trade, and send digital representations of all major currencies, including dollars, bitcoin, and pesos. Over 69% of banks are constantly testing blockchain innovations to enhance the transparency, seamlessness, and security of their services.

    Stellar is a customizable and substantial blockchain technology that allows the development of secure and fast financial technology applications, tokens, and digital assets representing financial assets. It is a fully accessible transaction and currency network. It has no owner; if it has anything, the public owns it. It is capable of processing millions of transactions per day. As with Ethereum and Bitcoin, Stellar relies on the blockchain to maintain network synchronization. A stellar blockchain platform enables you to create your own assets, trade peer-to-peer tokens, and convert currencies during the payment process.

  • Hyperledger Fabric:

    It enables plug-and-play functionality for components such as membership services and consensus. It features a modular and adaptable design that accommodates a variety of industrial use cases. The ability to create a network of networks is a significant feature of Hyperledger Fabric. Representatives of the Fabric network collaborate, but because businesses typically want to keep specific data private, they typically maintain separate relationships within their networks.

    For instance, a buyer may interact with multiple sellers who all offer the same product. Sellers and buyers should maintain a personal transactional relationship that is not noticeable to all sellers. This is facilitated by Hyperledger Fabric’s “channels” attribute. Rather than a fully accessible, permission less framework, Fabric provides a secure, scalable platform for private contracts and transactions.

  • Hyperledger Sawtooth:

    Hyperledger Sawtooth is a distributed ledger technology that features a modular and flexible architecture that decouples the core system from the application domain. As a result, smart contracts can imply business rules for application areas without understanding the core system’s underlying design. It is compatible with various consensus algorithms, such as Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) and Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).

    It is a blockchain platform for enterprises that enables the development of distributed ledger networks and applications. It aims to secure distributed ledgers and smart contracts, particularly for enterprises. It simplifies blockchain applications by allowing developers to specify business rules for their apps in their preferred language.

  • EOS:

    EOS is a blockchain network that initiates the generation of scalable and secure decentralized applications. It hosts decentralized applications (dApps), enables intelligent contracts, and provides decentralized storage for enterprise solutions to address Ethereum and Bitcoin’s scalability issues. The EOS platform is free to use and achieves consensus through multicore processing and a delegated proof-of-stake algorithm. They have a designated community called the “EOS forum” where developers and investors can exchange ideas about the channel.

The correct choice of blockchain platforms will ensure a secure and smooth flow of digital transactions. Forrester estimated that 30% of development projects will reach the peak of innovation globally in 2021. This percentage reflects the emergence of blockchain technology. Consulting a team of blockchain consultants can help you identify the right blockchain platform for your business requirements because a wide range of blockchain platforms available in the market could confuse you with which is the best platform to go with.

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The Era Of Customized Blockchains Is Rising Because Smart Contracts Aren’t Really ‘Smart’

The Era Of Customized Blockchains Is Rising Because Smart Contracts Aren’t Really ‘Smart’
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Bitcoin laid the foundation of a decentralized peer-to-peer asset with a unique economic security model that is trustless, borderless, and censorship-resistant. Bitcoin is a standalone blockchain and doesn’t have an execution environment for running smart contracts.

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Ethereum brought much-needed flexibility and extensibility to this space by introducing a programmable blockchain that supports smart contracts with its Turing Complete EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). Soon after the launch of Ethereum, the smart contract space exploded that led to the ICO boom of 2017-18.

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Over the years, we have noticed that smart contracts inherit all the problems of their underlying blockchain architecture, making them less suitable for building large-scale applications. If you remember, a single application called CryptoKitties once brought the entire Ethereum network to its knees due to a large number of concurrent transactions.

CryptoKitties was just a simple interactive game. These days, the applications getting deployed on the blockchain are getting more and more complex. We are now looking at lending and borrowing, DEX, Synthetic Assets, Insurance, Payments, Remittances, and much more.

It has become a known fact that large-scale and complex applications can’t rely on smart contracts alone. They need a custom blockchain that is extensible, scalable, and optimized around solving a specific set of problems. Developers have started to realize this, and they are now building custom and scalable blockchains instead of compromising with the limitations of smart contracts.

In this article, we will focus on some of the promising blockchain platforms that are built from the ground up in accordance with the requirements of large-scale and complex applications.

Purpose-Built Blockchains

Since last year, the number of purpose-built blockchains is rising with a strong focus on Defi, extensibility with niche-focused smart contracts, cross-chain interoperability, and hyper-scalability with efficient consensus mechanisms.

Let’s explore each of these platforms to see how they are building the future of a utility-focused decentralized ecosystem.

Edgeware

Edgeware is a smart contract chain for the next generation of decentralized applications. Edgeware is built using the Substrate framework, and is a fully EVM-compatible platform that allows developers to migrate their smart contracts from Ethereum to Edgeware with little to no changes. New developers who want to get started with Edgeware can use Rust and WebAssembly to build and deploy smart contracts on the platform.

Edgeware comes with a community-managed treasury, decentralized proposal system, and a network of DAOs. Edgeware has a firm focus on community building and the platform helps people connect with each other, share their skillset, and get funding for their projects from the community treasury. If you’re a developer or a creative professional, Edgeware is the best place to work in crypto and bring your ideas to life with the help of strong community support.

Acala

Acala is another Defi-focused blockchain platform aiming to become a parachain on the Polkadot network. The platform aims to build a set of financial primitives that include a stablecoin (ticker: ACA), a DEX with unified liquidity provisioning, and staking derivatives where users will get Liquid DOT (LDOT) tokens that will represent their stake on the network.

Acala has a native EVM pallet which makes it fully EVM-compatible. This native compatibility allows existing Ethereum developers to migrate their smart contracts to the Acala network without making significant changes to their codebase, and benefit from the ecosystem of the Acala and Polkadot network.

Acala is a perfect example of a niche-focused blockchain built from scratch that is optimized around a specific utility and use case of decentralized finance. This design approach prevents congestion on the network and helps build a more robust ecosystem, unlike other do-it-all smart contract platforms in the ecosystem like Ethereum.

Accord Project

Accord is an open-source blockchain project for smart legal contracts that are called ‘promissory notes’. The Promissory notes are debt contracts, and they are common financial instruments in the non-banking world. They are mainly used in supply chain finance or trade and specify the terms under which the parties involved in a transaction will settle the debt.

Through these promissory notes on the Accord platform, sellers around the world can offer credit to buyers with a guarantee that sellers have access to cash flow within the dates specified in the agreement. The Accord project is built with Corda, which is a framework for building permissioned distributed solutions and networks. Corda is suitable to build platforms for highly regulated industries like banking, capital markets, trade finance, and insurance.

Gvanta by Grandeo

Gvanta is an enterprise-focused file sharing blockchain platform that uses state-of-the-art cryptography for file management and encrypted storage for confidential files. Gvanta also uses a blend of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to develop new protocols for storing, encrypting, and sharing data. They also support integration with major cloud service providers like Azure or AWS, along with native support for on-premise data centers to store, manage, and share your data.

Gvanta enterprise blockchain is built using the Hyperledger Fabric framework developed by the Linux Foundation. Gvanta is taking a modular approach and has built a range of different projects to integrate with the Gvanta ecosystem, including Stor3, DNA Chain Genome Solutions, Blockchain Voting Systems, and a machine learning research platform.

Popular Frameworks For Building Blockchains

Building a blockchain isn’t as easy as rolling up a series of smart contracts. However, we now have various frameworks that make it easier to build and launch niche-focused and purpose-built blockchains. These frameworks provide a layer of abstraction and take away most of the complexity that the developers have to deal with, such as the consensus layer, managing transactions and accounts, etc.

There are three most popular frameworks for building customized blockchain platforms; Substrate, Corda, and Hyperledger. Let’s discuss each of them to see how they facilitate the developers.

Substrate

Substrate is a blockchain development framework that provides a rich set of primitives and takes a modular approach towards blockchain development. Developers can use Substrate in one of the three ways, as they have to choose between technical freedom and development ease.

Substrate also comes with a unique set of features that are never seen before in any live and public blockchain platform. It offers Hot-swappable and pluggable consensus, where you can change your consensus mechanism on the fly, and Hot-upgradeable and pluggable STF, where you can change your state transition function even when your Substrate-based blockchain is live.

Substrate is a product of Parity Technologies, a company founded by Dr. Gavin James Wood back in 2016. Before founding Parity Technologies, Dr. Gavin Wood was the co-founder and CTO of Ethereum. He coded the alpha release of Ethereum, wrote the original Ethereum Yellow Paper that described the EVM specifications, and later worked on the general platform architecture and early design of Solidity.

Corda

Corda is a framework to build permissioned distributed solutions and networks. Unlike the Substrate framework, Corda is more focused on enterprises, such as the traditional financial institutions, to build distributed and shared ledgers and reduce human involvement in managing specific tasks and transactions.

Corda framework isn’t for building public and trustless blockchains. The whole idea of Corda is to target permissioned environments where the parties (nodes) are known to the network, and every party has to join the specific Corda network with permission from the node operator. This permissioned architecture is useful, especially when dealing with sensitive and private data.

Corda is a product developed by the team at R3, a company founded by David E. Rutter and Todd McDonald back in 2014 to drive digital transformation in highly regulated industries. The founding team has a background in financial services and capital markets, where they saw a serious lack of trust in how different firms in highly regulated environments collaborate and transact with each other. To solve this problem, the team launched Corda, a framework for purpose-built distributed ledger applications.

Hyperledger

Hyperledger is a set of community-focused, open source frameworks and libraries for enterprise-grade blockchain deployments. Under the umbrella of Hyperledger, we have various DLT frameworks such as Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth, Indy, Iroha, and Besu, along with developer tools like Hyperledger Caliper Explorer, and a set of libraries like Hyperledger Ursa, Quilt, and Transact.

Like the Corda framework, Hyperledger focuses on building permissioned blockchains for enterprise environments where the nodes are known across the network, and there is a level of trust among the parties. Hyperledger has gained a lot of traction in recent years and has clients across the globe ranging from many different industries, including finance, healthcare, and supply chain.

Hyperledger was launched back in 2016 by the Linux Foundation, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world, working to enable innovation through open source software. Soon after the launch, the Hyperledger project announced over 30 founding members that include the likes of Intel, IBM, Accenture, VMware, and Wells Fargo, to name a few.

Conclusion

The blockchain space has evolved very rapidly, from simple smart contracts to now large-scale and complex applications to cater to the growing needs of the consumers in the ecosystem. Building and launching a custom blockchains is hard, but we do have frameworks that add a layer of abstraction in building new blockchain platforms that are optimized to solve specific sets of problems.

These blockchain frameworks offer the required flexibility, and extensibility, so the developers can focus on both technical freedom and ease of development.

Vitalik Buterin: Why Eth2 will propel Ethereum’s use in enterprise

Eth2 will bring scalability and help open the door to more decentralized applications and enterprise use cases, said Ethereum’s creator and co-founder Vitalik Buterin at the Hyperledger Global Forum 2021, an enterprise blockchain event, taking place this week.

“Our vision in Ethereum has always been to be this platform that’s open to all these different applications where the limit is just your creativity,” Buterin said. “But if in practice, just the economics make it so it’s only viable to do a few things, then in some ways that’s a big limitation on how much of our mission we could actually accomplish.”

Buterin was speaking at a fireside chat with Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort hosted by The Linux Foundation, created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

Addressing Ethereum’s scalability issues

Alongside decentralized finance’s (DeFi) explosive growth on Ethereum, transaction costs (gas fees) have skyrocketed and scalability has been an issue. “Right now, transaction fees are high… it prices out users,” Buterin said.

See related article:Report: 1.7 million DeFi users now on Ethereum, 50% more since Jan. 1

Work to make Ethereum more scalable, secure and sustainable has been underway since 2014 — even before the blockchain platform’s official launch in July 2015.

Eth2 upgrades are taking place progressively. The Beacon Chain upgrade, implemented in December, marked the first of the Eth2 upgrades and brought staking to the Ethereum ecosystem. “The Merge” — Ethereum mainnet’s merge with the Beacon Chain’s proof-of-stake system — will mark the end of a proof-of-work Ethereum and is scheduled to take place later this year or next year.

Sharding, a multi-phase upgrade to improve Ethereum’s scalability and capacity through the use of shard chains to spread the network’s load across 64 new chains, is planned to follow in 2022, after The Merge.

Speaking at the Virtual Fintech Forum at the StartmeupHK Festival 2021 in May, Buterin said building Ethereum was taking more time than he anticipated.

“We thought it would take one year to do the proof of stake, but it actually takes six years,” he said.

Ethereum’s next major upgrade — London — scheduled to take place next month, will incorporate the EIP-1559 on fee market change, which is expected to reduce Ethereum transaction fees and add deflationary pressure to the supply of Ether.

At the Hyperledger fireside chat, Buterin said layer 2 solutions like rollups have also come to the fore. Rollups execute transactions outside the main Ethereum chain (layer 1), but post the transaction data on layer 1, resulting in lower fees for users and improves the blockchain’s throughput. At the same time, sharding will improve scalability by reducing network congestion and increase transactions per second by creating new chains, or “shards.”

“So sharing times a hundred, rollups times a hundred, the two multiplied times ten thousand. And the hope is that you can simultaneously make the platform able to handle more users and reduce transaction fees,” Buterin said.

See related article:Ethereum’s Berlin upgrade goes live. What’s next for Ethereum?

Building public blockchains

Noting that there were groups building public blockchains for enterprises, Buterin said, “We should have an ecosystem where the enterprises and everyone, they can just all live together and the ecosystems can kind of plug into each other and benefit each other much more.”

“But the challenge is that if you want anyone to be building on the public chain then, the transaction fees have to go down and then also privacy issues have to be solved,” Buterin said. “And that’s like the other benefit… you have all of these very diverse, different groups just building and working on this technology and everyone can just use each other’s stuff ideally. So I’m optimistic about that future.”

Transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake

On Ethereum’s upcoming transition from a proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, Buterin said it was “a big motivation” that Etherum’s resource requirements as a whole will reduce by more than a thousand times. At the same time, there was no need to have a trade-off on the supply of coins and the security of the network. “It’s good for the Ethereum community and good for the users, good for the world, it’s always great when things line up that way,” Buterin said.

Fostering the Ethereum community

In terms of having a good open-source community to foster the development of Ethereum, Buterin said that the ecosystem needed to be “one that’s open and welcoming.”

“Not everyone that might want to contribute speaks English,” said Buterin, adding that “trying to engage with all of the local communities is something that we have valued and really tried to do for a long time.”

“It’s an open platform and people can just go and build their own interesting and amazing things,” Buterin said.

See related article: Vitalik Buterin speaks: What lies in the future of Ethereum?

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An Introduction to Hyperledger Sawtooth

With the emergence of blockchain as a universally distributed ledger system, blockchain platform like Hyperledger Fabric has acquired immense popularity and adoption across numerous verticals. It is primarily due to its unique structure and highly scalable features to support enterprise-grade applications. Giving a tough fight to Hyperledger Fabric is another robust platform – the Hyperledger Sawtooth.

Propounded by Intel, Hyperledger Sawtooth is an enterprise distributed ledger. It was conceptualized to impart modularity, scalability and support to permission and permissionless networks. It is remarkably known as the first project to join Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger umbrella.

Most standard blockchain platforms face performance and security issues as they execute and host the applications and core on the same platform. Hyperledger sawtooth overcomes this challenge by isolating the core ledger system from the application-specific environment. Hence, application development becomes easier yet ensuring the security and safety of the system with high transaction throughput.

Characteristics of Hyperledger Sawtooth

SETH Compatibility

SETH stands for Sawtooth- Ethereum Integration project. SETH allows the feasibility of deploying Ethereum smart contracts to the Sawtooth platform in collaboration with the SETH transaction family. The SETH transaction processor, along with Hyperledger Burrow Ethereum Virtual Machine, helps execute Ethereum smart contracts on the Sawtooth platform.

Parallel Transaction Support

Several blockchain platforms require serial transaction execution to maintain consistent order at every network node. On the contrary, the capability of Hyperledger Sawtooth for grouping the transactions into batches makes it suitable for processing parallel transactions. Sawtooth comprises an advanced parallel scheduler to categorize transactions for similar flow. If the transactions comply with the ACID principle, it is also possible to configure them into different permutations and combinations with Sawtooth.

Private permissioned Networks

Sawtooth can tackle the challenges of a permissioned network because it is possible to deploy the cluster of its nodes with isolated permissioning. Hence, it becomes difficult for centralized service to leak any confidential information or transaction pattern.

Pluggable Consensus Mechanisms

Sawtooth supports various consensus types on the identical blockchain. The consensus mechanisms can be selected at the initial stage during the network setup and can also be altered on a running blockchain with a transaction.

Customized transaction Processors

Sawtooth enables defining of custom transaction processors to fulfill the unique needs of each application. It offers transaction families to serve the requirements related to low-level functions. Low-level functions generally include storing on-chain permissions, managing chain-wide settings, saving block information, and performance evaluation.

Segregation of Core system and application level

Hyperledger Sawtooth simplifies the application development and deployment with isolation of application-level and core system level. It offers smart contract abstraction so that developers can create contract logic in the programming language.

Consensus Implementation supported by Hyperledger Sawtooth

Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET)

It represents Nakamoto-style consensus, designed explicitly as a production-grade protocol to support a vast network. Depending upon the secured instruction execution, it enhances the scalability of the Nakamoto-style consensus mechanism without power consumption issues of the PoW algorithm.

PoET Simulator

It allows PoET-style consensus on any hardware and a virtualized cloud environment.

Dev mode

It is the most accessible random-leader mechanism adopted for development and testing.

For executing the transaction, Hyperledger Sawtooth builds a transaction family comprising a data model and a set of transaction languages. With Hyperledger Sawtooth, users can create custom transaction families to represent their unique requirements. It also offers the following transaction families as models:

  • IntegerKey performs the testing of deployed ledgers.
  • Identity handles on-chain permissioning for validator and transactor keys to simplify identity management for public keys’ lists.
  • Settings enable implementation for saving on-chain configuration settings.
  • BlockInfo offers an approach for storing information related to several historic blocks.
  • Smallbank evaluates performance analysis of performance testing and benchmarking while comparing blockchain systems’ performance.

Due to the availability of all features and characteristics, Hyperledger Sawtooth serves as a promising blockchain platform to build enterprise-grade modular applications. When it comes to developing applications that require high scalability, efficiency, and complex transaction execution, Hyperledger Sawtooth is a perfect choice.

Look out for a team of blockchain experts who can assist you in streamlining your business operations with distributed ledger technology.

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