Hyperledger Releases its Second Blockchain Platform, Sawtooth

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EXCLUSIVE— Collaborative blockchain company Hyperledger has made Hyperledger Sawtooth, the second of its active projects to reach a 1.0 version status, available to developers, banks, and other companies wishing to experiment with it, the company announced today.

While its older cousin, Hyperledger Fabric, has enabled scores of developers and companies to work on blockchain projects and pilots, Sawtooth, a platform for blockchain development, comes with unique features that could endear it to users, including its use of smart contracts.

The key to Sawtooth’s features is that Sawtooth relies on a different consensus mannerism than Fabric, Brian Behlendorf, executive director for the Hyperledger project, told Bank Innovation.

“If you look at this different consensus mechanism, proof of lapsed time, it enables [projects] to scale in a very different way from how they scale on Fabric,” Behlendorf said. Proof of lapsed time, a way to use the nodes on a larger blockchain network, “is a very different approach to scalability than Fabric,” he added.

This consensus mechanism could prove valuable to banks, fintechs, or other companies when it comes to allowing additional participants into a network or in structuring compliance, Behlendorf said, as well as in creating or experimenting with other financial initiatives, like Know Your Customer projects.

The new mechanism also allows Sawtooth — and thus, the developers and companies using the platform — to approach its use of smart contracts in a different way than Fabric, potentially opening the technology’s use to more areas of finance.

As smart contracts were an original part of the Ethereum blockchain, Behlendorf highlighted Sawtooth’s support for Ethereum as a key for companies experimenting with the blockchain.

“The Ethereum support is pretty exciting; enterprises are starting to look at it,” Behlendorf said. “I think it’s the first chapter of a pretty long book.”

To learn more about the latest developments in blockchain and smart contracts, join us on March 5-6, 2018 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco for Bank Innovation 2018. Click here to request an invitation.

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