Blockchain still not enterprise ready, but the Hyperledger Fabric 1
The Future of Business Operations is here – The Digital OneOffice™
Tired of the Blockchain hype? You should be, but the emergence of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 gives us a sense of the reality to come and where this is all heading. Let’s dive in.
Hyperledger announced the release of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 yesterday (see press release). Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source platform, hosted by the Linux Foundation that permits organizations to develop Blockchain applications. Version 1.0 marks the release of a production-ready platform that goes beyond pilots and proof of concepts. One hundred fifty nine engineers from twenty eight organizations collaborated over a 16-month period to make this happen.
There are numerous Blockchain platforms that exist today. Ethereum is the most mature public platform (besides Bitcoin) with tremendous potential and over five hundred use-cases in various stages of development. There are numerous other private or semi-private platforms such as Ripple and Chain. Hyperledger Fabric is junior than many others, but there are three characteristics that make it significant for enterprises that want to solve business agony points, leveraging Blockchain:
- Lithe. The architecture of Hyperledger Fabric can run like a private or hybrid or public platform, making it potentially more secure from a data-privacy standpoint thus rendering itself enterprise ready
- Open-Source. Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and Technology. This structure gives it the potential to become the de-facto standard which will become an significant adoption criterion going forward
- Not crypto-currency based. Hyperledger does not have a crypto-currency (such as Bitcoin or Ether) which potentially renders it more usable for business applications as not every potential use case needs a currency
The announcement marks a significant budge forward to leverage Blockchain for business use cases. The Hyperledger Fabric project commenced in March two thousand sixteen based on merged codebases from IBM and Digital Assets Holding. It moved out of incubation twelve months later and was ready for pilots and POCs. Now four months later, they have released Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 – a production ready version.
Does this mean that Blockchain can now become mainstream for enterprise adoption? No.
These are the three challenges the Blockchain pioneers must address to make the technology truly enterprise ready:
1) Technical challenges. Blockchains by design will never be able to finish thousands of transactions in a 2nd, but the technologies do need to be able to scale up for enterprise-grade spectacle, efficiency, and costs. Hyperledger Fabric promises to solve this by not using consensus-driven Proof of Work (PoW) that most other Blockchains are built upon and requires major computing power
Two) Policy challenges. There are no Blockchain standards, there exist numerous platforms with no interoperability, and there are no regulations in this space. And these are not effortless questions to solve. For example, given that all Blockchains are Distributed Ledgers, which geographical jurisdiction will be applicable?
Three) Nascency challenges. Several challenges stem from its nascency and novelty. Lack of proven use cases, limited understanding of technology and its potential, limited talent and skill-sets shortage across IT and business, etc. The inherent power and potential of the concept with the help of some pioneering risk-takers will help pull it through such nascency challenges, but it will take time
Bottom-line: There is still a long road ahead for Blockchain, but real progress is being made .
Notwithstanding these challenges, the advancements in Blockchain technology are happening at a frenetic tempo. Market developments such as this Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 release are significant milestones in the development of this space. It’s significant for enterprises to take notice and begin investigating.