The Year of the Open Blockchain

jzemlin's picture

Just before the holidays, we announced a new open source effort to advance blockchain technology for a distributed ledger that could be used across industries. Blockchain is about harnessing one of the core technologies behind Bitcoin, but developed in an organized, collaborative environment and optimized for myriad use cases. In the quiet depth of late December, we received more than 3,000 inquiries in response to this news. This was the biggest response we’ve ever experienced for a new open source project.

Fast forward to the early weeks of 2016 and the effort, formally called the Hyperledger Project, is ramping up incredibly fast, a confirmation of the pent-up demand for an enterprise-grade, cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers. This week we’re announcing a total of 30 founding members are helping to establish this project for long-term market transformation.

Just two weeks ago, the founding members came together in New York to kickstart the technical committee and its work. The room included the best minds in blockchain and cryptocurrency hashing out the critical architecture concepts and the ultimate scope of the project. It was clear from the start that everyone in the room had the right goals in mind with real code and technology to share. There was a genuine exchange of ideas and open, productive conversations about various technologies and code bases. Ideas were flowing freely and the discussion zeroed in on technical merits rather than the company proposing its architectural approach. Contributions are now taking place with code and technology proposals from Blockstream, Digital Asset Holdings, IBM and Ripple in review. We expect additional submissions in the coming weeks. All parties have agreed that whatever code we go forward with will be released under the Apache open source license.

The Linux Foundation believes a shared infrastructure that is open to critical inspection and collaboration will be pivotal in driving global adoption of blockchain for distributed ledgers. The underlying technology is very complex but not highly specialized. Establishing an open blockchain standard means any business in any market that depends on individual transactions (i.e., all of them) stands to benefit. Just as the same power management algorithms in Linux are used in both smartphones and data centers, there are significant overlaps in requirements across various use cases. By unifying a community and resources, the Hyperledger Project is able to work faster and smarter than any one company could on its own. This frees up all organizations to focus on adding value and differentiating on top of the standard blockchain fabric.

I’m extremely bullish about how the developers involved in Hyperledger Project are openly looking at various architectures, concepts and technologies, aiming to integrate code from a variety of sources to build a neutral technology platform that can work for all. If you’re not already looking at this project or involved at some level, please join us: https://hyperledger.org/