This article is part of ProgrammableWeb's series on Crytocurrency and Blockchain. Please check out our articles on Ethereum, an overview of the businesses providing tools and services to the blockchain world, a look at some well known APIs in the space, and a case study on Ripple.
With the popularity of blockchain, tools will most certainly come along so that companies don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ethereum is a popular means to create blockchain apps, building on Ethereum’s flavor of blockchain. Up-and-coming in 2018 is HyperLedger, from the Linux Foundation.
While often perceived as competitive to Ethereum, HyperLedger actually operates on a different wavelength. In fact, new efforts have come along to enable HyperLedger to work alongside Ethereum. While Ethereum enables new applications on its blockchain, HyperLedger provides a set of agnostic tools for developers who are building blockchain apps, regardless of the core blockchain layer. For instance, if I wanted to build blockchain technology from the ground up, like Ripple has done, HyperLedger provides supportive tools. Likewise if I want to build with a pre-existing blockchain platform.
HyperLedger is therefore an umbrella project involving a suite of the following tools for blockchain developers:
Defined as “a modular platform for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers,” Sawtooth essentially provides a platform layer for blockchain application development to build applications on one’s own blockchain (similar to what Ripple has done for itself). It’s designed for enterprises building with their own blockchain.
Another platform layer to start building blockchain apps more easily, lead by IBM. Like Sawtooth, this can be used to build applications on your own blockchain.
A blockchain framework intended for infrastructure projects.It has a focus on mobile development, with tools for iOS and Android.
Burrow is essentially a set of tools built on top of Ethereum to support Ethereum development. It includes an Ethereum virtual machine, and an API gateway to expose REST and JSON-RPC APIs from one’s application.
Indy provides a framework for “decentralized identity”, basically supporting identity management on the blockchain.
HyperLedger’s community boasts many high profile members, such as IBM, Intel, and Cisco. Several of these members are bringing their blockchain efforts to the HyperLedger community, opening-up frameworks such as IBM’s Fabric as part of the HyperLedger program. We anticipate more tools being shared through the Linux foundation as the offerings from the various players mature.