Hyperledger is one of the most important and interesting developments within the Blockchain space of innovative initiatives.
It was spun off from leading software engineers from The Linux Foundation in order to develop and create Blockchain ecosystems that would be deployed for business applications. As of today there are already a few of these: Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Composer, etc…
Each of these projects is built with the Blockchain as the core infrastructure for distributed systems and distributed computing. So Hyperledger is software infrastructure built with the Internet as a backbone from the outset. The thing that we need to understand about Hyperledger though is that its developement approach to Blockchain rests on permissioned chains instead of permissionless ones, that is, its premise favours private blockchains over public blockchains (this may be disputed and I would like check further).
From the about section in the website:
Think of it as an operating system for marketplaces, data-sharing networks, micro-currencies, and decentralized digital communities. It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of getting things done in the real world.
Only an Open Source, collaborative software development approach can ensure the transparency, longevity, interoperability and support required to bring blockchain technologies forward to mainstream commercial adoption. That is what Hyperledger is about – communities of software developers building blockchain frameworks and platforms.
This is really a truly awesome galaxy of open-source projects aiming at innovation in business applications and deployment for the Internet age of our economies. For example the video below gives us a nice outlook about Hyperledger Fabric by describing a Hyperledger Fabric Demo:
The core motivation for a project such as this is the issue of business transaction. Business transactions are a core business function in our times of globalized business units spread across continents or parts of the World. The need for a proper software infrastructure for a distributed transactional ledgers or environments was all there for the take. If we can do all these transactions with the required privacy, immutability, security and tamper proof validity, then Blockchains and Hyperledger frameworks are the ideal option. The video below from OpenTechSummti2016 in Asia features a young but accomplished computer scientist – Justin Lee – explaining in more detail what Hyperledger is and what is its promise:
Of course one important aspect in this talk is the necessary distinction between blockchains and Hyperledger frameworks. Blockchains provide the cryptographic primitives and the consensus protocols and Hyperledger comes a layer above with the distributed applications deployed within a distributed systems framework, where the capacity to quickly deploy for instance, a smart contract, is streamlined.