Launched in 2015 by the Linux Foundation, the Hyperledger Project, also referred to as Hyperledger, started small, with just a handful of developers focused on making blockchain as a technology more accessible, therefore allowing smaller companies or even individuals the opportunity to create blockchain-enabled solutions for their businesses
As of January 2019, Hyperledger had grown to over 100 members, consisting of industry-leading organisations the likes of; Airbus, Samsung, Intel, Nokia, American Express and JP Morgan, to name just a few.
But what exactly is Hyperledger?
Well, Hyperledger consists of a number of sub-projects, 12 at the time of writing this article, each of which makes use of various technologies and techniques e.g. distributed ledger frameworks and smart contracts, to cater for a particular industry, business model or niche.
It is therefore important to note that Hyperledger is not in itself a blockchain, a cryptocurrency or a company.
The most popular or at least well known of all Hyperledger projects is Hyperledger Fabric. .
In fact, Hyperledger Fabric has to a degree become synonymous with the term Hyperledger. However as we’ve learned, Hyperledger Fabric is but one of the multiple projects currently making up the Hyperledger suite of projects.
At its core, Hyperledger Fabric is a platform used to build enterprise-grade blockchain-enabled Dapps for business.
Originally started by IBM as the IBM OpenBlockchain project, it was ultimately adopted by the Linux Foundation under its new name Hyperledger Fabric.
Let’s take a closer look at Fabric
Hyperledger Fabric is an enterprise-grade, permissioned distributed-ledger that uses smart contracts (chain code) to enforce trust between parties.
Let's break down this sentence to better understand Fabric
Enterprise-grade: This means that Fabric is a tried and tested platform robust enough to roll out at scale for enterprise-level solutions
Permissioned: Many businesses regardless of the industry they operate within require some of their data to remain private. Fabric solves this problem by allowing its users to harness the power of permission-based blockchains, granting authorisation at an individual user or peer level.
Distributed ledger: As we’ve already learned, this means that a copy of the entire ledger or database is distributed amongst all of the users of the network i.e. everyone has a copy.
These attributes have enabled Hyperledger Fabric to become one of the most popular means by which to deploy a Dapp, remaining as a preferred choice of many developers to this day.