Hyperledger Foundation 2021 End-of-Year Update

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In 2021, after six years of community building and expanding from two projects to 18 projects, to over 50 labs, 16 Special Interest and Working Groups, and over 200 members, Hyperledger became a Foundation. 

This newfound identity arches over all of its projects, labs, regional chapters, and community groups. Hyperledger Foundation is now leading the collective effort to advance enterprise blockchain technology and fulfill its mission to foster and coordinate the premier open source enterprise blockchain community.

At Hyperledger Foundation, being open is core to what we do. We’re here to lead an open, global and welcoming enterprise blockchain ecosystem—a community where no contribution is seen as too small or insignificant. Our foundation comprises organizations, developers, executives, students, teachers, government leaders, and more. It’s supported by the Technical Steering Committee, various working groups, special interest groups, and Meetup communities all across the globe, now numbering more than 80,000 participants. 

According to LFXInsights, there has been a 53% growth in the total commits in the last three years, and new code contributors increased by 37%. A total of 366 organizations from both large and small companies have made code commits since 2016. And the pace of activity among new community members is accelerating as commits by new contributors have increased by 286% in the last year.

Some of the largest and most important production enterprise blockchain projects today are built using Hyperledger technologies. They include:

  • Supply chain networks, like IBM and Walmart’s Food Trust (Hyperledger Fabric)
  • Circulor’s mine to manufacturer traceability of a conflict-mineral for automobile sustainable supply chains (Hyperledger Fabric
  • Top trade finance platforms such as TradeLens (Hyperledger Fabric), which has more than 300 orgs, across 600 ports and terminals and has tracked over 42 million container shipments, with close to 2.2 billion events 
  • we.trade, who have already onboarded 16 banks across 15 countries to join their blockchain-enabled trade finance platform (Hyperledger Fabric)

Over 13 Central Bank Digital Currency production and pilots using multiple Hyperledger projects have been identified this year alone.

With this transition, Hyperledger Foundation also gained new leadership with the appointment of Daniela Barbosa as its new Executive Director. Barbosa is a seasoned veteran of the open source community with over 20 years of enterprise technology experience, including previously serving as Hyperledger’s Vice President of Worldwide Alliances, where she was responsible for the project’s community outreach and overall network growth.

New Growth in Hyperledger Technologies 

According to research from Blockdata, Hyperledger Fabric is used by more of the top 100 public companies in the world than any other blockchain platform. 

Hyperledger-based networks are used by some of the largest corporations around the world, including more than half of the companies on the Forbes Blockchain 50, a list of companies with revenue or a valuation of at least $1 billion that lead in employing distributed ledger technology.

As an ever-growing library of case studies shows, Hyperledger technologies are already transforming many market spaces, including supply chains, trade finance, and healthcare. Hyperledger technologies are used in everything from powering global trade networks and supply chains to fighting counterfeit drugs, banking “unbanked” populations, and ensuring sustainable manufacturing. 

In addition, Hyperledger technologies are being applied to a number of new markets and business models. These include digital identity and payments, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and NFTs like Damien Hirst’s The Currency project and DC Comics powered by Palm NFT with a near-zero carbon footprint using Hyperledger Besu.

Digital Identity 

Hyperledger technologies are being adopted to put individuals in charge of their own identity. People often need to verify their status, prove a birthdate, board a plane, comply with vaccine mandates, prove their education, or access money. Leveraging Hyperledger Aries and Hyperledger Indy, organizations worldwide are reshaping how digital information is managed and verified to increase online trust and privacy. These digital identity solutions create verified credentials that are effective, secure, accessible, and privacy-preserving. 

  • The Aruba Health App makes it easy for visitors who have provided required health tests to the Aruba government to share a trusted traveler credential — based on their health status — privately and securely on their mobile device. Launched initially as a trial, the Aruba Health App is built using Cardea, an open-source code base that has since been contributed to the Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPH) project by Indicio. Cardea leverages Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Aries, and Hyperledger Ursa.
  • IDUnion addresses the demand for migrating centralized identity systems towards decentralized self-sovereign management of digital identities for people, organizations, and machines. The service has 39 cross-sector partners building production-level infrastructure to verify identity data in finance, manufacturing, the public sector, and healthcare. IDunion has launched a Hyperledger Indy test network, built components for allocating, verifying, managing digital identities, and more. This consortium includes Hyperledger member companies Siemens, Bosch, Deutsche Telecom, and others.
  • The International Air Transport Association IATA Travel Pass, built in partnership with Evernym using Hyperledger Indy and Hyperledger Aries, is a mobile app that helps travelers store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. 
  • MemberPass, built on Hyperledger Indy by Bonifii, is the first global digital identity ecosystem for credit unions and their members. It provides consumer identity while protecting personal information. Adopted by more than seven credit unions and counting, 20,000+ credentials issued. 

Digital Currency

Blockchain technology has already helped rewrite some of the rules for currencies and payments. Governments worldwide are now moving towards Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) or digital forms of their official currency. These will give central banks a more flexible, more secure form of their national currencies and lower the risks from alternative cryptocurrencies. Backed by a central bank, any CBDC, whether developed for wholesale or retail use, will be legal tender with the stability that regulation confers.

Governments are moving carefully, but many of the early projects are using Hyperledger platforms. The goals range from modernizing payment processes to removing barriers and costs associated with back-end settlement to boosting financial inclusion.

This fireside chat from Hyperledger Global Forum on CBDCs by experts from Accenture and DTTC offers a great overview of the benefits and different approaches to these new currencies and a look at the current landscape of CBDC research and experimentation across the globe.

  • The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank launched DCash, built on Hyperledger Fabric, as a mobile phone app for person-to-person and merchant payments. ECCB stated at an OECD event in 2020 that it selected Hyperledger Fabric because of its strong security architecture (a private permissioned blockchain with strong identity management) and open source code, contributing to its security, flexibility, and scalability, among other desired attributes.
  • The National Bank of Cambodia created Bakong, a fiat-backed digital currency, using Hyperledger Iroha to promote its national currency use, giving the large percentage of its population without bank accounts a mobile payment system and cutting costs for interbank transfers.
  • Additionally, a mix of retail and wholesale CBDCs trials using Hyperledger Besu has helped several other countries, including Thailand and Spain, to advance planning for new digital fiat currencies.

These efforts are made possible by the hundreds of enterprises that support the Hyperledger Foundation. To learn how your organization can get involved, click here