Today, Hyperledger, part of the Linux Foundation, announced its latest blockchain enterprise project, Hyperledger Grid. The initiative is a framework that provides a series of tools particularly suited to the supply chain blockchains. The main sponsors are the agri-food company Cargill and two of the maintainers of the blockchain protocol Hyperledger Sawtooth, Intel and Bitwise IO. This is the first project focused on a particular sector.
Many people associate Hyperledger with the Hyperledger Fabric. In fact, there are three blocking protocol protocols Hyperledger – Fabric, Sawtooth and Iroha – and eight other blockchain related projects involving identity, interoperability, smart contracts and other topics.
Grid's tracking code uses the Sawtooth blockchain and is based on Sawtooth's supply chain code, but the team ultimately wants a broad compatibility. James Mitchell, a leading consultant at Bitwise, commented on a Grid chat forum: "In the spirit of other high-level projects such as Explorer and Composer, we welcome contributions to support compatibility with the entire Hyperledger greenhouse."
One of the first steps on the roadmap are product models such as the GS1 / GTIN standards.
Dan Middleton of Intel presented the project at the December global Hyperledger forum.
Going up the food chain
Traditionally, open source projects cover quite deep technologies such as operating systems, network protocols, Web servers and databases. The above layer is middleware and the upper end usually covers applications and user interfaces. Grid is a middleware focused on industry.
During a last year's TechCrunch conference, Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger, described his organic vision of how the ecosystem could evolve: "[Ethereum’s] Solidity is not the last language of the intelligent contract. We'll start to see the apps built on top of those. We will see a library for doing business finance, a library for health documentation. "
"A library to do that kind of thing that is only enabled by this different approach now to blockchain technology, coming as projects. And our goal is [to] provide the substrate for it, provide the wish that they can enter and grow indoors. "
"And either they succeed in the market, or if they do not, then we have created a lot of interesting biological material for the next project.There are no failures, there are only projects that go so far, and then become mulch for the next".
The software mimics the business as a whole. Some offers in the initial stages are innovative and competitive differentiators. As everyone reaches, those same characteristics are later considered generic or commodified.
"If you're building a proprietary application on a set of open-source layers, you're always watching what that horizon is," said Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger at Ledger Insights last year. . "Because you do not want to wake up one morning and find out that someone has opened up something you now have to compete in. Competing against freedom is wrong, competing against the free and collaborated by all your competitors is even worse."
Speaking of food chains, Cargill is one of the largest agri-food companies in the world and the largest private company in terms of turnover in the United States. In the year up to May 31, 2018 it recorded revenues of $ 114.7 billion and earnings of $ 3.2 billion. And already has some activity in the blockchain sphere.
It is part of a new agro-industrial consortium that aims to digitize agro-food trade using blockchain and AI. The group is nicknamed ABCCD based on their name: Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO and Dreyfus (Louis Dreyfus Group). The companies combined revenue of $ 274 billion.
In the beginning of last year, Cargill participated in a pilot project for letters of credit for the Voltron commercial financing project. It was a shipment of soy beans from Argentina to Malaysia and HSBC and ING were the banks involved.