HyperLedger Fabric

hyperledger fabric

What is HyperLedger Fabric?

HyperLedger Fabric is introduced as an expansible blockchain framework that serves as a foundation for developing products, applications, protocols using its essential component of plug-and-play for private enterprise’s purpose.

The framework was introduced by Linux Foundation in December 2015 as an enterprise-grade-based open-source distributed ledger.

It is a decentralized ledger technology platform that is highly modular and designed by IBM for industrial use.

The concept was initiated by Digital Asset and IBM which later emerged as a collaborative venture and is presently hosted by Linux Foundation. Since the Fabric framework is specifically structured for private enterprises.

Thus, permission is required to access and segregate the information and transaction as the number of nodes on the network is reduced.

Among the various Hyper ledger projects, Fabric came up as the first one to step ahead of the “incubation” stage and enter into the “active stage” in March 2017. 

What are the features of HyperLedger Fabric? 

  • The architecture of Hyper ledger is highly modular and based on a permission mechanism.
  •  It provides the plug-and-play consensus as to its essential feature.
  •  It is based on the open smart contract which provides the desired flexible solution to any requisite model.
  • The framework strongly supports the EVM and solidity in the blockchain culture. 
  • The query-based data (key-based queries and JSON queries) are supported by this technology. 
  • It facilitates the multi-language smart contract feature for languages like Go, Java, and JavaScript. 
  • It ensures flexible data privacy by analyzing the needs and leveraging private data collection accordingly.
  • The consensus across the required nodes can be established by its non-rigid endorsement model. 
  • The continuous operation of including rolling upgrades and asymmetric version support is efficiently provided by the framework. 

How Hyperledger Fabric Works? 

The Hyper ledger Fabric was framed and executed with the aim to ensure a modular, scalable, and secure foundation for the enterprise blockchain ecosystem which was absent in the traditional blockchain network.

The identity verification of the participants in the network is mandatory. The Hyper Ledger Fabric is completely based on Modular Architecture.

  • The modular architecture bifurcates the transaction processing flow in three stages including, Smart contracts (also known as chain code which comprises several distributed logic and agreement processing), transaction ordering, and transaction validation &Commitment. 
  • The segregation of steps in the process leads to certain significant benefits as the number of trust levels and verification procedures are reduced which eliminates the processing chaos. The improved network scalability and performance can be witnessed.
  • Being based on Play-and-Plug consensus, the participants in the network have three distinct yet coordinated roles as Endorser, Committer, and Consenter. The transaction gets initiated by the submission of a proposal by the endorser as per the endorsement policy dictating the number of endorsers required.
  • Once the endorsement is passed on successfully by the endorser(s), then the particular transactional block or batch is delivered to the committer(s) who then validate the policy followed & ensure non-confliction within the transaction. After the required validation, the transaction is included in the ledger.
  • Furthermore, only committers and endorsers are allowed to access the transaction and key data points which ensures better security.

What are the applications of Hyperledger Fabric? 

With the growing importance and suitability of features for the digital ecosystem, Hyper ledger Fabric has paved the way for many use cases, some of which are as follows: 

Digital Payments

Being the decentralized private Blockchain network it facilitates secure transactions.

Additionally, Fabric is aiming to establish Interledger for the finance field which in turn will connect different ledgers & ease the execution of transactions.

The introduction of the concept aims to encourage communication for international payment by making the cost minimal. 

Diamond Tracing

With the application of the Fabric concept in the process of diamond mining. The separators, exporters, retailers, and miners can form a consortium that will facilitate the recording of all transactions and thus making the process transparent. 

Food Supply Chain

If the features of Hyper ledger Fabric are aligned with the process of the Food supply chain then each supply chain transaction can be tracked easily, including the history.

The infected& defective products, source of such infection and the defect can be figured out resulting in the implementation of necessary steps to curb the shortcomings.

B2B contracts

The hyper ledger Fabric concept enables enterprises to codify their contracts and ensures that confidential and sensitive information is not leaked out. 

Digital Identity

With the usage of the permission Blockchain ledger, the enterprises can ensure robust security and control the consortium of contributors to share their digital credentials. 

Why Hyperledger Fabric?

  • There have been continuous improvements in the Hyper Ledger fabric to ensure security, usability, robustness, and performance which are critical features from the enterprise point of view. 
  • No other distributed ledger technology framework has enjoyed the privilege of being adopted by Cloud Service Providers such as AWS, Azure, IBM, Google, and Oracle.
  • The open-source and the availability of world-class technology providers and contributors have made the blockchain a diverse ecosystem that supports the innovation, strong frequency, and intensity in the transactions. 
  • The contributors from the list of countless members can be scanned and selected for the process through email, chat, published articles, feedback mechanism, etc. 
  • The combined contribution of industry, academics, and individuals drives the concept towards rapid innovation. Production blockchain solutions are built using hyper ledger Fabric which gave rise to hundreds of potent networks. To access the list of tools and solutions based on this concept one can visit hyperledger.org. 

What are the setbacks faced by Hyper ledger Fabric? 

With the breaking down of crypto-enthusiasm in 2018 adhering to the downfall of Bitcoin prices.

The optimistic approach related to the technology got shattered and was replaced with Skepticism due to which related technologies suffered a lot too. 

  • Hyper ledger Fabric’s competitors: The fabric competes with other projects of Hyper ledger like Iroha, Indy, Sawtooth, and R3’s Corda (strongest competitor). As per the report of Chain stack published in January 2020, the Corda seemed to perform historically better than Fabric. Despite having three times fewer developers than Fabric, Corda made two times more contributions to the system. 
  • Hyper fabric is not Blockchain: It has been observed by certain critiques that private permission-based mechanism is not the feature of blockchain and being non-blockchain technology it is ideally expensive and efficient. It also lacks resiliency and does not provide consistent guarantees to be deployed in the ecosystem. 

Why Hyper ledger Fabric2.0?

 In January 2020 the advanced version of the Fabric concept was introduced with the name Hyper ledger 2.0. This advanced concept came up as the solution to curb the limitations associated with the former concept.

As per the report of Ron Miller at Techcrunch, the latter involved the compulsory agreement among parties before the addition of any new data to the ledger which came to be known as the Decentralized governance of smart contracts.

Although the update could create seafaring differences with the applicability of Fabric, it certainly demonstrates the progress that is incorporated in the betterment of the existing crypto framework. It is expected that in a decade undoubtedly it will find its best use and application.