Hyperledger incubates and promotes a range of business blockchain technologies, including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries and sample applications. The Hyperledger umbrella strategy encourages the re-use of common building blocks and enables rapid innovation of DLT components. Over the past year, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has stirred a lot of interest and enthusiasm across multiple industries. A distributed ledger is a type of database spread across multiple sites, regions, or participants. Every record stored in the distributed ledger is timestamped and has its very own cryptographic signature which is used to both validate and secure the network. Enterprises are looking into distributed ledger technology to process, validate or authenticate transactions or other types of data exchanges in a more secure and scalable way. There are a wide-range of open-source projects that are available to developers looking to build applications using this technology. Two of the leading platforms in this space are Ethereum and Hyperledger. If you are contemplating which one to use in your project. This blog will give you a little more insight into the core paradigms of both these technologies and hopefully will help guide your decision.
ETHEREUMEthereum is an open source platform that enables developers to build and deploy decentralised applications. Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and developer. Ethereum officially launched in July of 2015 and has gained a lot of traction as a platform of choice for a lot of Applications as well as for the creation and launch of ICOs. It is a public blockchain network with it’s own built-in cryptocurrency called Ether. Ethereum has smart contracts that define rules and penalties around an agreement and also enforces those obligations. In Ethereum, smart contracts are treated as autonomous scripts or stateful decentralized applications that are stored in the Ethereum blockchain for later execution. Instructions embedded in Ethereum contracts are paid for in ether (or more technically “gas”) and can be implemented in a variety of scripting languages. Ethereum currently uses a proof of work (PoW) protocol but the plan is to update its network to proof of stake (PoS). Two important and related concepts you’ll need to understand before working with Ethereum are the Ethereum Virtual Machine and gas. We won’t get into all the details here but at a high level the Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM) is a distributed global computer where all smart contracts are executed. Given that smart contracts run in the EVM, there must be a mechanism to limit the resources used by each contract. Every single operation that is executed inside the EVM is actually simultaneously executed by every node in the network. This is why gas exists. An Ethereum transaction contract code can trigger data reads and writes, do expensive computations like using cryptographic primitives, make calls (send messages) to other contracts, etc. Each of these operations have a cost measured in gas, and each gas unit consumed by a transaction must be paid for in Ether. This price is deducted from the Ethereum account sending the transaction. Transactions also have a gas limit parameter that is an upper bound on how much gas the transaction can consume, and is used as a safe-guard against programming errors that could deplete an account’s funds. If you are looking for more information or an instructor-led ethereum training course Blockchain Training Alliance has an in depth course.
HYPERLEDGERHyperledger doesn’t refer to a specific technology, but rather it is a Linux Foundation banner project for multiple blockchain and DLT technologies which support the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers. each of which have slightly different characteristics. These projects include:
- Fabric from IBM
- Sawtooth Lake from Intel
- R3 form Corda