Reflections on Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

HGF 2020 was pivotal for us as a company and for Hyperledger as a community. Here’s why.

Oliver Johnston-Watt
BTP Works


The significant of Hyperledger Besu should not be underestimated

A few months ago Hyperledger and ConsenSys, the company behind Ethereum, joined forces with the creation of Hyperledger Besu and this decision reverberated through HGF2020.

With the growth of enterprise blockchain use cases it was no surprise that ConsenSys wanted a slice of the pie. To this end it founded PegaSys, an in-house startup focused on developing enterprise blockchain solutions taking advantage of Ethereum’s infrastructure and developer community.

Although Ethereum is a public blockchain, both PegaSys and ConsenSys recognised the importance of permissioned blockchain for Enterprise. To this end they open-sourced Pantheon, an Apache 2.0-licensed, java-based mainnet compatible Ethereum client, in October 2018 and in February 2019 they extended it to support permissioned chains.

Fast forward to December 2019 and they made the decision to contribute Patheon to the Hyperledger Foundation as Hyperledger Besu. This decision reinforced the Hyperledger Foundation’s role as the natural home for enterprise blockchain and the importance of permissioned blockchains.

DAML on Hyperledger Besu in the news

On Day 2 of HGF 2020 Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger announced the integration of DAML on Hyperledger Besu delivered by us with our partner Digital Asset.

If you have been following us, you will be well acquainted with DAML, an open source smart contract language originally created by Digital Asset, whose recent $35m Series C financing included investments from Samsung and Salesforce.

With this announcement our management platform Sextant for DAML now supports DAML on Hyperledger Besu, augmenting its existing support for DAML on Hyperledger Sawtooth as well as DAML on Amazon QLDB and Amazon Aurora.

As a result enterprises can now deploy DAML smart contracts on an Ethereum-compatible blockchain network for the first time, commercially supported by us.

Introducing Sextant

To find out more about Sextant you can watch our HGF 2020 presentation or download our slides here.

Hyperledger Sawtooth gaining traction

It was clear from the traffic on our stand at HGF 2020, as well as the range of case studies featured in the conference, that an impressive array of companies are now working with Hyperledger Sawtooth and that they are making significant progress.

Delivering the TASE Blockchain Securities Lending platform

HGF 2020 was the perfect platform to talk about our engagement with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in more depth following our joint announcement in February during Fintech Week Tel Aviv.

In short, we were brought in to help ready TASE’s new Blockchain Securities Lending platform for production. This is an ambitious project that introduces a new market to the only stock exchange in Israel, which since its IPO in 2019 is leveraging the technological expertise of Israel to build a more globally competitive stock exchange.

You can download the slides for our talk here.

Leveraging nanotechnology and smart contracts to protect brands

Jointly presented by Quantum Materials Corp, a Texas-based company, and Digital Asset, the creators of DAML, this presentation is a great example of how the age-old difficulty of marrying the physical and digital worlds has been solved. Delivered by Sextant, QMC’s QDX Ledger platform has received wide attention for its use of nanoscale quantum dots — tiny particles so small you can fit 10 thousand around the diameter of a human hair — which are, in unique combinations, embedded into materials at manufacture. These quantum dots are precisely engineered to emit particular unique wavelengths which, when scanned digitally and compared to a cryptographic copy on the blockchain, assure absolute product identity.

This presentation is a must if you are tracking developments in supply chains.

You can download the slides for their talk here.

Sorting the Grain from the Chaff — How Tokenation is using Sawtooth to handle uncertainty

VOID Software and Tokenation, one of eight new Hyperledger members announced at HGF 2020, have partnered to create a durable, sustainable and scalable ecosystem for creating, issuing and exchanging tokenized assets.

In their presentation they explain their rationale for choosing Hyperledger Sawtooth based on its inherent separation of the network and application layers, pluggable consensus mechanism, smart contract support and agnostic language support for developing transaction processors.

You can download the slides to their talk here.

Delivering End-to-end Pork Meat Traceability for Unilever

In partnership with Unilever, ScanTrust are using Sawtooth in production to track pork meat in Vietnam at serious scale using their Smart Packaging Platform.

At the core of ScanTrust’s value proposition is their patented QR code technology. What is really cool about their QR codes is that they cannot be copied and reused. This is due to a special image centred within the QR code which, when reproduced, loses information which can be detected by image processing algorithms. ScanTrust has incorporated this technology into their Smart Packaging Platform which seeks to manage these unique identifiers to provide enterprises with meaningful data and enable them to intervene to defeat counterfeiture.

Launched on 22 July 2019 in Vietnam, ScanTrust has enabled enterprises and consumers to track the origins and processing of pork meat inside UniLever’s popular Knorr soup at volumes exceeding 30 million packets. This is a breakthrough example of how blockchain can be used to enhance food safety and develop greater consumer trust.

You can download the slides of their talk here.

Don Tapscott’s State of the Union keynote

Despite being unwell and unable to travel Don Tapscott, co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute and co-author of Blockchain Revolution, live streamed his keynote to a packed audience in Phoenix.

Recognized as a thought leader on blockchain and business strategy, Don’s keynote highlighted how blockchain developments are increasingly in production, particularly in supply chain (as attested above) and financial services. Significantly, Don also touches on Hyperledger Besu and its optimal use cases (20:53) which are already in production across payments, capital markets and supply chain.

Last word

This could be the last time we attend a conference for a while. If it is then at least it was a great conference, delivered by the Hyperledger team in trying circumstances, that will have lasting impact.