Book Image

Blockchain Quick Start Guide

By : Xun (Brian) Wu, Weimin Sun
Book Image

Blockchain Quick Start Guide

By: Xun (Brian) Wu, Weimin Sun

Overview of this book

Blockchain is a technology that powers the development of decentralized applications.This technology allows the construction of a network with no single control that enables participants to make contributions to and receive benefits from the network directly. This book will give you a thorough overview of blockchain and explain how a blockchain works.You will begin by going through various blockchain consensus mechanisms and cryptographic hash functions. You will then learn the fundamentals of programming in Solidity – the defacto language for developing decentralize, applications in Ethereum. After that, you will set up an Ethereum development environment and develop, package, build, and test campaign-decentralized applications.The book also shows you how to set up Hyperledger composer tools, analyze business scenarios, design business models, and write a chain code. Finally, you will get a glimpse of how blockchain is actually used in different real-world domains. By the end of this guide, you will be comfortable working with basic blockchain frameworks, and develop secure, decentralized applications in a hassle-free manner.
Table of Contents (14 chapters)
Title Page
Copyright and Credits
About Packt

Enterprise blockchain – Hyperledger

The arrival of Ethereum revolutionized blockchain technology. Applying technology to resolve business problems well beyond the financial industry has become feasible. However, there are many scenarios where Ethereum is not enough. Ethereum's issues include the following:

  • Real enterprise applications, particularly in the financial industry, require a high throughput, which can mean billions of transactions a day. The current form of Ethereum has a maximum capacity of 1.4 million a day. Bitcoin is even worse: 300,000 transactions a day. During a stress test, Bitcoin Cash reached 2.2 million. Ethereum 2.0 under development aims at getting to a billion transactions a day while maintaining a decentralized and secure public blockchain.
  • Many financial markets, for instance OTC Derivatives or FX, are permission-based. A public blockchain supported by Ethereum or Bitcoin does not meet such a need.

To satisfy their needs, well-established companies across industries form consortiums to work on enterprise blockchain projects, which are permission-based only. In other words, a node has to receive approval before it can join in the blockchain network. Examples of enterprise blockchains are Hyperledger and R3's Corda.

In December 2015, the Linux Foundation (LF) announced the creation of the Hyperledger Project. Its objective is to advance cross-industry collaboration by developing blockchains and distributed ledgers. On 12 July 2017, the project announced its production-ready Hyperledger Fabric (HF) 1.0.



Currently, Hyperledger includes five blockchain frameworks:

  • Hyperledger Fabric (HF): A permissioned blockchain, initially contributed by IBM and Digital Asset, it is designed to be a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture. It takes plugin components for providing functionalities such as consensus and membership services. Like Ethereum, HF can host and execute smart contracts, which are named chaincode. An HF network consists of peer nodes, which execute smart contracts (chaincode), query ledger data, validate transactions, and interact with applications. User-entered transactions are channeled to an ordering service component, which initially serves to be HF's consensus mechanism. Special nodes called Orderer nodes validate the transactions, ensure the consistency of the blockchain, and send the validated transactions to the peers of the network as well as to membership service provider (MSP) services that are implemented to be a certificate authority.
  • Hyperledger Iroha: Based on HF, it is designed for mobile applications. Iroha was contributed by Soramitsu, Hitachi, NTT Data, and Colu. It features a modern and domain-driven C++ design. It implements a consensus algorithm called Sumeragi.
  • Hyperledger Burrow: Contributed initially by Monax and Intel, Burrow is a modular blockchain that was client-built to follow EVM specifications.
  • Hyperledger Sawtooth: Contributed by Intel, it implemented a consensus algorithm called Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET). PoET is designed to achieve distributed consensus as efficiently as possible. Sawtooth supports both permissioned and permissionless networks. Sawtooth is designed for versatility.
  • Hyperledger Indy: Contributed initially by the Sovrin foundation, it is intended to support independent identity on distributed ledgers. Indy provides tools, libraries, and reusable components, which are implemented to provide digital identities.

Early members of the initiative include the following:

  • Blockchain ISVs, (Blockchain, ConsenSys, Digital Asset, R3, Onchain)
  • Technology platform companies such as Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, NTT DATA, Red Hat, and VMware
  • Financial institutions such as ABN AMRO, ANZ Bank, BNY Mellon, CLS Group, CME Group, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, J.P. Morgan, State Street, SWIFT, and Wells Fargo
  • Software companies such as SAP
  • Academic institutions such as Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, blockchain at Columbia, and UCLA blockchain lab
  • Systems integrators and other firms such as Accenture, Calastone, Wipro, Credits, Guardtime, IntellectEU, Nxt Foundation, and Symbiont