Brian Behlendorf has been heading the Hyperledger project since the early days. We sat down with him at Open Source Summit to get an update on the Hyperledger project.
Hyperledger has grown in a way that mirrors the growth of the blockchain industry. “When we started, all the excitement was around bitcoin,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger. Initially, it was more about moving money around. But the industry started to go beyond that and started to see if it “could be used as a way to reestablish how trust works on the Internet and, and try to decentralize a lot of things that today with led to being centralized.”
“It might be OK for things like social networks or ride-sharing services to be centralized, but if you are talking about the banking or supply chain, you may not want that to be centralized,” said Behlendorf.
As the industry has evolved around blockchain so did Hyperledger. “We realized pretty early that we needed to be a home for a lot of different ways to build a blockchain. It wasn’t going to be like the Linux kernel project with one singular architecture,” said Behlendorf.
It was going to be more than just one architecture. Today, Hyperledger has 10 different technology projects. Five of those are called frameworks. Two of those frameworks are now production quality, including Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth.
“These two frameworks now drive about 40 production networks that we see out there and about 60 different vendors, hosts, and other companies building on top of it,” said Behlendorf. “One way we have grown is by growing the commercial ecosystem around this code.”
Hyperledger has created software stacks that organizations like banks run to participate in a blockchain project and a distributed ledger with several of other organizations with whom they want to do business.
One region where Hyperledger is witnessing incredible interest is mainland China. “The Chinese government has actually said this is a top-level priority for them, to figure out how to make distributed ledgers work,” said Behlendorf. “About 20 percent of our members come from Chinese companies like Baidu, Tencent, and Huawei. These companies are actually contributing code, which is great to see.”
As the adoption of Hyperledger projects is growing, the organization is also working on creating training and education courses in partnership with edX to meet this growing demand. Hyperledger also has a technical working group focused on communicating in Chinese with developers who are there to help them get involved with the project.
Hyperledger aims to be a global initiative. “There are a few Silicon Valley companies involved, but it’s New York. It’s London. It’s Singapore. It’s incredibly broad,” said Behlendorf. “That’s been really reassuring because open source is a global phenomenon and really should be about kind of uplifting all regions. So it’s been a great journey.”
Learn more in the video below:
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