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Hyperledger Project Releases Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0

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The Hyperledger project announced Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0 has reached general availability (GA). The project addresses requirements for enterprises building, deploying and running distributed ledger applications. The Sawtooth 1.0 release includes updates to on-chain governance, advanced transaction execution, dynamic consensus and support for Ethereum.

Hyperledger is a production-ready framework launched by the The Linux Foundation open blockchain consortium. The project originated in 2014 as a research project within Intel Labs called Sawtooth Lake. In 2016, Intel contributed the project to The Linux Foundation as an incubated project. Dan Middleton, Hyperledger Sawtooth project maintainer reflects on the progress the project has made:

Throughout this time, we’ve maintained our focus on making smart contracts safe and bringing blockchain to the enterprise without cutting the benefits of blockchain that inspired interest to begin with. While maintaining that focus, we’ve not rested on Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) and Transaction Families.

The GA release of Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0 includes many new enterprise capabilities including:

  • On-chain governance including the ability to vote on blockchain configuration values to enable consensus and ensure of consistency across the distributed ledger. This is accomplished through the use of smart contracts, and includes the ability to include/exclude new market participants. In many public blockchains consensus is achieved through the accumulation of hashpower. But, in smaller consortium settings, consensus needs to be achieved through a different mechanism. Using smart contract voting of configuration settings allows for a shared state agreement and avoids error-prone manual configuration.
  • Advanced transaction execution engine allows for transactions to be processed in parallel, which increases the overall throughput of the network through accelerated block creation and validation.
  • Dynamic Consensus provides the ability to change the consensus algorithm on the fly by submitting a transaction to the network. To support this, blockchain configuration settings need to be on the chain, which was introduced in version .8. The benefit of dynamic consensus is when you establish your blockchain, you may have a smaller number of participants. As your network grows, you may want to change your consensus algorithm without stopping validators, flushing state or starting a new genesis block.
  • Support for Ethereum through the execution of Solidity smart contracts and enabling Ethereum tooling. This integration is now being referred to as Seth and includes a new client ‘seth’ that is used to construct and send transactions to the network. There is also a transaction processor called ‘seth-tp’ that runs the Burrow Ethereum Virtual machine.

Ethereum is a popular public blockchain technology and providing support for Solidity and Ethereum tools creates interoperability opportunities for Hyperledger Sawtooth users. Adam Ludvik of Bitwise IO and Casey Kuhlman of Monax explain the experience of bringing these two blockchain projects together:

Thanks to the modular design of Hyperledger Sawtooth, getting the Hyperledger Burrow EVM running under Hyperledger Sawtooth was relatively easy. Transaction processors run in a separate process and communicate with the validation process over a network interface. The Hyperledger Burrow EVM code was wrapped in an adapter but was otherwise left unmodified.

The Hyperledger project includes over 185 members since its inception. Membership includes technology, semiconductor, entertainment, telecommunication and financial organizations making contributions in the areas of healthcare, finance, Internet of Things (IoT), credit card services, supply chain and aeronautics.

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