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IBM To Offer Decentralized Smart Contracts Through Hyperledger Fabric 2.0

May 27, 2020


IBM To Offer Decentralized Smart Contracts Through Hyperledger Fabric 2.0

IBM ‘s enterprise-grade BaaS (blockchain as a service) solutions introduce the addition of decentralized smart-contracts to Hyperledger Fabric clients, who will be eligible to transact, issue, and monitor transactions in a decentralized fashion.

The International Business Machines Corporation, among other industrial titans such as Microsoft and EY, suggest that using public and decentralized ledgers is the way to go for enterprises, urging those who already work with a private DLT to ditch it for public blockchains or decentralized solutions such as IBM’s Hyperledger Besu – essentially an enterprise-level blockchain based on the Ethereum. 

For private DLT providers of the likes of IBM this is a win/win scenario, considering they still get to access their clients’ data, be assured of the network’s security/integrity, while at the same time being able to curate a network stored in other people’s computers, or simply they don’t have to sustain it at their own cost.

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Obviously, IBM is not a newcomer to the DLT realm, and if anything, it is the company that has the most patent filings subjecting the technology in question.

In a recent announcement, the IBM Blockchain Platform cited it would carry over the changes in Hyperledger Fabric 2.0, basically IBM’s main chain, suggesting it vastly improves overall security and usability. 

In addition, overall performance and data privacy are expected to be improved according to a relevant blog post from IBM that states Hyperledger’s smart contract model will be lifted to new standards. 

Smart-contracts is not a new aspect of modern distributed ledgers, but it is one often misinterpreted by industry players who still struggle with understanding how automated digital contracts work and why they are set to shapeshift physical and digital reality as we know it. 

In a nutshell, a smart-contract enables netizens to engage in a complex, predesigned, and pre-agreed set of conditions that is registered, stored, and executed on-chain. 

Here’s a typical example that shall help you better understand smart contracts in action:

  • Alice and Bob register a digital art piece using Ethereum’s ERC-721 protocol, which allows non-fungible tokens to be minted. An ERC-721 token or NFT is already a smart-contract that describes the relationship of a user (web3 wallet) and the respective token/art piece. 
  • Since the artwork was generated by both Alice and Bob, when a collector buys their art off the market, the value can be split between Alice and Bob automatically, using a smart-contract. So, if the artwork was sold for 1ETH, Alice and Bob would instantly get 0.5 ETH each without any further actions. 

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The public Ethereum blockchain was the first platform to introduce smart-contracts and it still is the leading player in the field with tens of thousands of decentralized applications (dapps), decentralized finance tools (DeFi) and sophisticated asset tokenization protocols running on the Ethereum. 

In IBM’s case, Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 aims on utilizing a decentralized model where various users can suggest and amend contract details and parameters before they are deployed on the mainnet. In some cases, more than just one user should be in-line with a contract proposal or modification request in order for the transaction to be promoted, giving an end to single-output contracts. 

More details regarding the Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 update can be found at this Linux Foundation post, which is also a founding member of Hyperledger Blockchain alongside ‘Big Blue’ IBM.