back to article Hyperledger 3 years later: That's the sound of the devs... working on the chain ga-a-ang

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project was announced in December 2015. When Apache Web server daddy Brian Behlendorf took the helm five months later, the Foundation’s blockchain baby was still embryonic. He called it “day zero.” Driving Hyperledger was the notion of a blockchain, a distributed ledger whose roots are in …

  1. frank ly

    re. "Sawtooth - contributed by Intel -"

    "Its consensus mechanism relies on extensions in Intel processors, though, limiting it to that architecture."

    Can't this be emulated on other processors, or is there a timing issue?

    Am I alone in thinking that allowing Intel to slip this into the project may not have been a good idea?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: re. "Sawtooth - contributed by Intel -"

      Architecture-specific extensions from Intel and disparate over-the-fence, hard-to-integrate contributions from IBM. It's got all the the hallmarks of an astroturfed open source project, allowing the corporate backers to ride the hype cycle and tick the "open source" compliance box.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Welcome back Register Authors!

    After your long Christmas break... We wondered if you were ever going to return!

    1. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: Welcome back Register Authors!


      And welcome back to El Reg's lurking pop fan who cannot possibly be a millennial.

      Chain ga-a-ang : this time Chrissie Hynde.

      Does El Reg allow transistor radios (or whatever the modern equivalent is) to be played in the workhouse?

  3. CookieMonster999

    no real use case ?

    Without real use case it's just masturbation

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: no real use case ?

      Or at least a real use case that can't be solved by existing, simpler means.

      1. Martin Gregorie

        Re: no real use case ?

        A related problem: if the stuff I've been seeing recently about the number of CPU cycles, and hence energy consumed, required to generate the cryptohashes used to verify a blockchain is true, then blockchains are not only looking very much like solutions in search of problems but are also legitimate targets for energy efficiency taxes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: no real use case ?

          The bitcoin method is deliberately intensive and escalates over time. Other blockchain implementations can make choices that are more energy efficient.

        2. pdh

          Re: no real use case ?

          Two things: one is that there are reports from people who have checked the math, and they claim that the bitcoin energy consumption is nowhere close to what's been reported. As far as I know there's just one source for the sky-high energy estimates (Digiconomist) and they admit that there's no way to verify their numbers. See for example:

          Second, bitcoin and blockchain aren't the same thing, although of course bitcoin uses blockchain technology. Bitcoin mining is CPU-intensive on purpose -- that's a design goal that's central to how it works -- but blockchain systems in general don't have to work the same way.

        3. GrapeBunch

          Re: no real use case ?

          A possible solution: cryptohash only during heating season in the computer's locale.

        4. ismichie

          Re: no real use case ?

          The electricity information you're currently hearing is related to the BTC blockchain's approach to consensus which is proof of work. There are a number of other consensus mechanisms that allow for faster/more efficient additions to the blockchain so the electricity argument goes away.

        5. 2cent

          Re: no real use case ?

          Use blockchain on the carbon exchange?

    2. Brian Miller

      Re: no real use case ?

      The use case is for forming a chain of authenticity and verifiability, i.e., trust. Take Iota, which uses a Winternitz signature. The data is validated by peers, so instead of a monolithic chain of trust, the chain is distributed throughout the cluster.

      The question is how does a document go from mortgage papers to being digitally verified. No, the hash is not the document. The document has to be stored some other place, and its hash is put in the system.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no real use case ?

        > The question is how does a document go from mortgage papers to being digitally verified.

        Maybe hi-res scan, and added to the block chain? Or some similar-ish other way of adding the relevant data directly to it. Shouldn't be hard, as long as the software itself can incorporate data blocks.

        Note - Haven't looked at Hyperledger at all, but am familiar with general blockchain concepts and have written some working code around parts.

  4. Solarflare

    The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project was announced in December 2015....So where are we three years on?

    Two years on. Or if you want to be 'toddlerish' about it you could say 25 months.

    Great. But is anyone actually using it? Behlendorf isn’t in a position to track these things, he says.

    This smacks a whole lot of the simpson old "I dunno. All this equipment is just used to measure TV ratings."

    We're three years into Hyperledger

    Still 2, Danny.

  5. tmenner

    Having worked at IBM and with Hyperledger (full disclosure: now at R3), I have two quick comments:

    - DTCC is building their post-trade processing platform on Axoni; IBM GBS is managing the project, and R3 is providing some support. No Hyperledger technology is in plan.

    - Private blockchains such as Fabric and Corda in general do not require the heavy processing consensus algorithms (such as proof of work or proof of stake) required by public blockchain-based platforms such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.

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