Linux’s Hyperledger Project Announces New Members

The Linux Foundation has announced new members of the working group for creation of an open source blockchain. The project, dubbed Hyperledger, was launched in late 2015, and currently incorporates over 30 institutions.

According to the press release, the project was joined by numerous well-known companies from both technical and financial industries, including ABN AMRO, Accenture, ANZ Bank, Blockchain, BNY Mellon, Calastone, Cisco, CLS, CME Group, ConsenSys, Credits, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Deutsche Börse Group, Digital Asset Holdings, Fujitsu Limited, Guardtime, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, IntellectEU, J.P. Morgan, NEC, NTT DATA, R3, Red Hat, State Street, SWIFT, Symbiont, VMware и Wells Fargo.

Initially dubbed Open Ledger, the project ran under auspices of the Linux Foundation, which is widely recognized and respected in terms of running open source projects. Upon the prior announcement from late 2015, the group, then smaller than now, also described the project as a development library capable of empowering various enterprises to develop their own distributed ledger solutions requiring no application of the original blockchain concept and anything related thereto, as opposed to those based on Bitcoin or Ethereum.

“I don’t have a strong opinion on cryptocurrencies, but I have a strong opinion on the blockchain as a solution for contracts and supply chains and the Internet of Things. I think bitcoin is an interesting application for blockchain but there are thousands of applications and wider use cases beyond that,” IBM’s Jerry Cuomo said back then.

Earlier reports stated that leading the project were IBM and Digital Asset. However, the press release made it clear that the code would also be supplied by other companies, including Blockstream and Ripple. The project’s cumulative effort will be targeted both to financial services and optimization of business processes in general.

Digital Asset, which had owned the brand Hyperledger, donated it to the project. Earlier the name was mentioned as one of possible brands for the final product.

The project’s recent press release reads:

“Peer-to-peer in nature, distributed ledger technology is shared, transparent and decentralized, making it ideal for application in finance and countless other areas such as manufacturing, banking, insurance and the Internet of Things. By creating a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers, virtually any digital exchange with value, such as real estate contracts, energy trades, marriage licenses, can securely and cost-effectively be tracked and traded.”

The release emphasizes that Hyperledger is not a closed community and any party willing to contribute in the project’s development is welcome. All incoming proposals will be subject to reviewing at the project’s technical management committee, which incorporates the industry’s experts. The committee will be responsible for technical management of the project and the initial unified base for the source code.

The document also mentions “ratified governance structure”, which implies that marketing and strategic decisions shall be made by the management board.

Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, stated:

“The Hyperledger Project has ramped up incredibly fast, a testament to how much pent-up interest, potential and enterprise demand there is for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers. Working on its own even the largest global corporation could not match the speed at which our new members are moving blockchain technology forward. Such a broad effort and investment is sure to have a great impact on our personal and professional lives.”