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What is a Hyperledger Fabric: A Pioneer of Blockchain

What is a Hyperledger Fabric? A Significant Blockchain

Hyperledger Fabric is a collaborative venture that is currently being hosted by Linux Foundation. Recently, the second-gen version of Hyperledger Fabric was launched, offering faster transactions, updated smart contracts, and streamlined data sharing. Now, a lot of you would have multiple questions about this blockchain framework and would want to understand what is Hyperledger Fabric. That is what we are here to clear from our front. 

What is Hyperledger Fabric? 

With an intention to upgrade the current blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric has been gaining a lot of attention lately. It is an open-source and proven enterprise-grade distributed ledger. It works to provide smart contract support for business use cases. The automated smart contracts list terms written as lines of code on the blockchain. So the business documents are processed on this ledger with self-executing terms between the parties. Also, the transactions on this ledger are irreversible, with hyper privacy options. The user’s data gets shared among the known network participants only. 

Note : Don’t mistake open-source here with decentralization because this protocol is made largely for enterprises and most of the operations are centralized similar to a private blockchain).

How does Hyperledger Fabric Work?

How does Hyperledger Fabric Work
Source: Investopedia / Working of Hyperledger Fabric

Modular Architecture 

Smart contracts, offered by the Hyperledger Fabric, are chain codes that consist of distributed logic processing, smart transactions, transaction validation, and commitment. This modular architecture also offers plug-and-play for various components for the easy reuse of existing features and for integrating various modules in a ready-made fashion. So, if a party requires a feature that already exists on the framework, they can just plug and reuse it on their ledger. Transaction first gets submitted to the endorser peers and, after sufficient endorsement, it gets passed on to the committer. They validate the transaction, and the consenter provides permission to update the transaction on the ledger. 

 1. Assets 

They are represented in the JSON form or the binary one on Hyperledger Fabric. An asset can be anything that contains a monetary value on the ledger. It can be tangible or intangible, and you also get the chance to modify it using the chaincode facility. They are represented using key-value pairs on the network. 

2. Chaincode 

On the Hyperledger Fabric network, chaincode acts as a business logic that can be used to define an asset or any other transactional modification. Chaincode optimizes network security by enforcing the rules to alter key-value pairs. Executing a chaincode can be done through the transitional proposal. While chaincode is similar to smart contracts, they are not entirely identical. 

3. Ledger 

It acts like a transcript for all transactions on the blockchain. It cannot be modified once transactions are updated on it. Ledger comes with an SQL query-like capacity. It can be accessed only by the participants on the access list. Ledger also ensures that the information box configuration has the same flow and structure. 

4. Identity 

We have already discussed the security details, and the permissions to access the framework are only given to specific participants. We have separate identity modules to identify these participants on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. Every enterprise has the option to allocate a separate identity to different participants and accordingly grant them access to the ledger. 

5. Confidentiality and Privacy 

The framework’s key feature is ultimate privacy and security for the transactions occurring on the ledger. The enterprise must modify the chaincode according to which participant gets access to various types of information. Every transaction does get recorded on the ledger, but who gets to see them is up to the enterprise. 

6. Security Protocols

On the Hyperledger Fabric framework, the users get a highly secure network of peer transactions. The information regarding every transaction is available for reading, but only the encrypted version. Since the high-end companies are the target audience, Hyperledger Fabric provides very high-security protocols in its chaincode with several safety features for the highest authority on the ledger. 

7. Consensus 

Under this framework, the end users also have the option to choose how their organization comes to a consensus as well. Currently, the consensus mechanism on Hyperledger Fabric works on the Kafka model, where the consensus is reached when every active participant in the network approves the transaction. You can also choose to allow the BFT model for the consensus. 

Industry Use Cases for Hyperledger Fabric

1. Supply Chain

Supply chains involve a wide range of participants, including suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers, who are spread out across the globe. Hyperledger Fabric networks can enhance supply chain operations by providing increased visibility and traceability of transactions within the network. By allowing companies with access to the ledger to view the same unchangeable data, accountability is reinforced and the likelihood of counterfeiting is reduced.

2. Trading and Asset Transfer 

Trading involves a wide range of organizations, such as importers, exporters, banks, shipping companies, and customs departments, that must collaborate with one another. With Hyperledger Fabric, financial and trading groups can easily establish a blockchain network in which all parties can engage in electronic transactions and handle trade-related documentation, without the need for a central trusted authority.

3. Insurance

Insurance fraud causes the insurance sector to lose billions of dollars each year. By using Hyperledger Fabric, insurance firms can refer to transaction data that is saved on the ledger to detect duplicate or fabricated claims. Blockchain can also speed up multi-party subrogation claims handling by utilizing smart contracts to automate the repayment from the responsible party back to the insurance company.

Benefits of Hyperledger Fabric 

1. Open Source 

As mentioned earlier as well, Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source blockchain framework that is currently being hosted by the Linux foundation. It currently has a large active developer community which is growing at a rapid pace. 

2. Suitable for wide-ranging industry 

Hyperledger Fabric is suitable for many industries because of its adjustable asset integration and the option to choose the chaincode for security purposes. Supply chain, IoT, Banking, Healthcare, Government, Media, etc. are some of the big industries this framework can be a part of and is even working in some. 

3. Quality Code 

Hyperledger Fabric is synonymous with quality. The framework runs all the transactions through crucial inspections before adding them to the ledger. The quality of chain codes and other transactional operations is also great since the open source framework allows continuous upgradation. 

4. Efficiency 

Every node on the framework takes up different work. The ledger network separates every transaction to be worked on by the nodes. Each node can also work on different parts of a transaction simultaneously to reduce time consumption. There are nodes in place for maintenance and upgradation as well. 

5. Modular Design 

One of the biggest benefits of Hyperledger Fabric blockchain is its modular design. The option to choose different algorithms for different purposes helps the end users in different ways. Encryption, consensus, and transaction processing can then occur through different algorithms. 

Criticism of Hyperledger Fabric 

1. Hyperledger Fabric’s Competitors 

A report in 2020 suggested that one of the competitors of Fabric, Corda, had been historically more developmental. Corda is another Hyperledger project along with Iroha, Indy, and Sawtooth. One of the critical things about Fabric is that even after having three times more developers on board, the contributions were half of what Corda developers made into the network. 

2. Hyperledger Fabric Is Not Blockchain and Is Not Efficient

“Fabric’s architecture is far more complex than any blockchain platform and less secure against tampering and attacks. You would think that a “private” blockchain would at least offer scalability and performance, but fabric fails here as well. Simply put, pilots built on fabric will face a complex and insecure deployment that won’t be able to scale with their businesses,” says Cointelegraph’s Stuart Popejoy while pointing out the inefficiencies in Hyperledger Fabric blockchain.

Example of Hyperledger Fabric

There are multiple use cases of Hyperledger Fabric. Cross-border trading can be easy with the help of Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. IBM food trust and coffee growers have got into a collaboration using this blockchain framework for maintaining the chain of supply as well as proper transactional flow. Shipping processes also get easier with live package updates from every warehouse automatically updated on the ledger. The banking industry can also use this framework since it offers high-security protocols.

Conclusion 

As a part of the continuous upgradation, Fabric developers are working on adding more codes to the network. The end users might not want to add separate coders to their team just to create chain codes for their ledger. So, it falls upon the Hyperledger Fabric framework to be updated faster. With this, we have concluded what is a Hyperledger Fabric in blockchain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the Difference Between Hyperledger and Hyperledger Fabric?

Hyperledger is an open-source project from the Linux Foundation that aims to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It includes a number of different frameworks, one of which is Hyperledger Fabric. Hyperledger Fabric is a specific blockchain platform that is designed for enterprise use cases and focuses on modularity, scalability, and privacy. In short, Hyperledger is a family of blockchain projects, and Hyperledger Fabric is one of the projects in this family.

2. What is Hyperledger Fabric vs Ethereum?

Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum are both blockchain platforms, but they have some key differences. Hyperledger Fabric is an enterprise-grade blockchain platform that is designed for use in private, permissioned networks. On the other hand, Ethereum is a public blockchain platform that is designed for use in open, permissionless networks, with a focus on decentralized applications and smart contract functionality.

3. Which Crypto uses Hyperledger?

Hyperledger is a blockchain platform that is utilized more for constructing decentralized applications (DApps) rather than creating a digital currency itself. Therefore, it does not have any direct connection with any particular cryptocurrency.

But it is feasible to utilize Hyperledger Fabric to create DApps that incorporate cryptocurrencies as part of their operation. For example, a DApp developed using Hyperledger Fabric might use a cryptocurrency as a method of payment or as a way to keep track and transfer assets.

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