Continuing our series of innovative and useful open source projects that you should know, we spoke this month with Hyperledger’s Director of Ecosystem to learn more about their project.
First released in December 2015 by the Linux Foundation under the Apache License 2.0, Hyperledger is an open source environment for analyzing, building, experimenting, and collaborating on the development of distributed ledger systems with blockchain technologies.
The main goal of the Hyperledger Project is to facilitate the collaboration between businesses, developers, and other enterprises in the field of distributed ledger technology.
Hyperledger focuses primarily on building distributed ledger solutions for permissioned blockchains and consortium networks. The project has gained a nice following among large tech and financial players as blockchain has received more attention in recent years.
According to Hyperledger’s Director of Ecosystem Marta Piekarska, “The idea of Hyperledger was our answer to the Bitcoin hype. It was our open source community asking what can we do with this phenomenon and how can it help businesses. What came out was a set of frameworks and tools that all focus on private or public permission blockchains.”
At its core, the Hyperledger Project is an umbrella project for modular open-source frameworks and tools for building and experimenting with blockchains.
“We don’t think that there is one ultimate answer to how businesses should work. There are many solutions to the same problems, and our community aims to develop that spectrum of base technologies for others to implement and use,” explains Piekarska on the variety of solutions that have emerged from their project.
With blockchain technology emerging as one of the cutting-edge innovations in today’s technology sector, it seemed only natural that an open-source ecosystem for enterprises was conceived.
Despite being only three years old, the Hyperledger project’s popularity continues to grow with its 28,000+ membership.
Piekarska says that their collaboration project gained the interest of open source projects in different industries. “Some exciting projects like Medicalchain or Hashed Health in the medical industry are using Hyperledger Fabric. Numerous sustainable supply chain solutions like Everledger, DHL and IBM are also using Hyperledger. In the past few months, we have seen huge interest in secure manufacturing and IoT from startups like Jitsuin to more established companies like Filament.”
While nearly every developer loves working with open source, it is not always a given for a company to decide to take one of their products open source. Open source is at the core of the Linux Foundation’s mission and Hyperledger is a continuation of that vision.
Piekarska explains that open source is driving innovation across industries, bringing more minds into the open source community. “Open source is about sharing the knowledge, experience, and brilliance of the people. What I enjoy in this space are the natural, evolving and constant improvements. It’s a truly agile and versatile process. There have been studies done on what we know versus what we think we know. No single person would be able to design a computer or discover a new drug. It is about the process of sharing information and being a team.”
“That is what open source is about: it is about sharing pieces of data that individuals have to build a unique thing that only a group can come up with by working together.“
However open source also comes with its challenges according to Piekarska, “The challenge is, as always, how to convince people to contribute back. While using the technology is great and we always appreciate it, projects will not grow or develop if we don’t get contributions.”
Over the years we have seen great things created with the help of the open source community, with HyperLedger as a prime example of what can be accomplished. Piekarska explains that the community plays a major factor in the advancement of the project. “We are 100%, fully, to the core, open source. Hyperledger provides the infrastructure to enable the community to do its work. We are only about open source contributions.”
“There was never a time when Hyperledger was not open source. Anything that has to do with the technology: the Special Interest and Working Groups, the code bases, the Chat and Mailing lists, [and] even the Technical Steering Committee is all open to the public. Anyone is welcome to join, benefit and contribute.”
To learn more about the Hyperledger project, please visit their GitHub page and try it out for yourself.
Piekarska has a deep appreciation for the work of other open source projects. When asked what is her favorite open source project other than her own, she says that she has “So many! I love the fact that in the blockchain space most of the projects at least aim to be some way open source.”
Piekarska was a late bloomer to the world fo coding, with her first coding language being Pascal which she learned in university. However, her entrance to the wonderful world of computers was at a much younger age. At 9 years old, she received her first computer which was a Windows computer. But today she runs a dual boot and most of the time it’s a Mac. “The usability and convenience of the device handoff beats the geek in me.”