Type: Distributed ledger software
Hyperledger Fabric is intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture. Hyperledger Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. Its modular and versatile design satisfies a broad range of industry use cases. It offers a unique approach to consensus that enables performance at scale while preserving privacy.(https://www.hyperledger.org/use/fabric)
Hyperledger Fabric is an open source enterprise-grade permissioned distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, designed for use in enterprise contexts, that delivers some key differentiating capabilities over other popular distributed ledger or blockchain platforms.
One key point of differentiation is that Hyperledger was established under the Linux Foundation, which itself has a long and very successful history of nurturing open source projects under open governance that grow strong sustaining communities and thriving ecosystems. Hyperledger is governed by a diverse technical steering committee, and the Hyperledger Fabric project by a diverse set of maintainers from multiple organizations. It has a development community that has grown to over 35 organizations and nearly 200 developers since its earliest commits.
Fabric has a highly modular and configurable architecture, enabling innovation, versatility and optimization for a broad range of industry use cases including banking, finance, insurance, healthcare, human resources, supply chain and even digital music delivery.
Fabric is the first distributed ledger platform to support smart contracts authored in general-purpose programming languages such as Java, Go and Node.js, rather than constrained domain-specific languages (DSL).
The Fabric platform is also permissioned, meaning that, unlike with a public permissionless network, the participants are known to each other, rather than anonymous and therefore fully untrusted.
One of the most important of the platform’s differentiators is its support for pluggable consensus protocols that enable the platform to be more effectively customized to fit particular use cases and trust models.
Fabric can leverage consensus protocols that do not require a native cryptocurrency to incent costly mining or to fuel smart contract execution.
Fabric one of the better performing platforms available today both in terms of transaction processing and transaction confirmation latency, and it enables privacy and confidentiality of transactions and the smart contracts (what Fabric calls “chaincode”) that implement them.
At a high level, Fabric is comprised of the following modular components:
- A pluggable ordering service establishes consensus on the order of transactions and then broadcasts blocks to peers.
- A pluggable membership service provider is responsible for associating entities in the network with cryptographic identities.
- An optional peer-to-peer gossip service disseminates the blocks output by ordering service to other peers.
- Smart contracts (“chaincode”) run within a container environment (e.g. Docker) for isolation. They can be written in standard programming languages but do not have direct access to the ledger state.
- The ledger can be configured to support a variety of DBMSs.
- A pluggable endorsement and validation policy enforcement that can be independently configured per application.
New Architecture For Transactions Execute-Order-Validate
- execute a transaction and check its correctness, thereby endorsing it,
- order transactions via a (pluggable) consensus protocol, and
- validate transactions against an application-specific endorsement policy before committing them to the ledger
Hyperledger Fabric, being a permissioned platform, enables confidentiality through its channel architecture and private data feature. In channels, participants on a Fabric network establish a sub-network where every member has visibility to a particular set of transactions. Thus, only those nodes that participate in a channel have access to the smart contract (chaincode) and data transacted, preserving the privacy and confidentiality of both. Private data allows collections between members on a channel, allowing much of the same protection as channels without the maintenance overhead of creating and maintaining a separate channel.
Several research papers have been published studying and testing the performance capabilities of Hyperledger Fabric. The latest scaled Fabric to 20,000 transactions per second.(https://hyperledger-fabric.readthedocs.io/en/latest/whatis.html)
USE CASE HYPERLEDGER FABRIC – WALMART FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
Walmart Inc. an American retail chain with branches around the world, founded by Sam Walton. The company had $500,3 billon revenue in 2018 and has more than 11.200 stores under 55 banners in 27 countries. Walmart employees over 2,2 million people.
When an outbreak of a food-borne disease happens, it can take days, if not weeks, to find its source. Better traceability could help save lives by allowing companies to act faster and protect the livelihoods of farmers by only discarding produce from the affected farms.
Walmart thought that blockchain technology might be a good fit for the decentralized food supply ecosystem. To test this hypothesis, the company created a food traceability system based on Hyperledger Fabric. Walmart, together with its technology partner IBM, ran two proof of concept projects to test the system. One project was about tracing mangos sold in Walmart’s US stores and the other aimed to trace pork sold in its China stores.
The Hyperledger Fabric blockchain-based food traceability system built for the two products worked. For pork in China, it allowed uploading certificates of authenticity to the blockchain, bringing more trust to a system where that used to be a serious issue. And for mangoes in the US, the time needed to trace their provenance went from 7 days to… 2.2 seconds!
Walmart can now trace the origin of over 25 products from 5 different suppliers using a system powered by Hyperledger Fabric. The company plans to roll out the system to more products and categories in the near future. In fact, it has recently announced that it will start requiring all of its suppliers of fresh leafy greens (like salad and spinach) to trace their products using the system.(https://www.hyperledger.org/learn/publications/walmart-case-study)