At the recent Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 mentioned previously (Oracle at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020) hundreds of blockchain practitioners from member companies and end-user organizations attended the keynotes, joined numerous breakout sessions and panels across the technology and business tracks, and learned from demonstrations and hands-on workshops. This is a brief summary of key takeaways and highlights from the event.
Highlights from Hyperledger Forum Keynote Sessions
At the keynotes a number of members discussed production applications leveraging blockchain, including American Express (AMEX) (loyalty points management), Honeywell (aircraft spare parts marketplace), and most recent Hyperledger member, Walmart (food traceability.) The panel featuring AMEX, Honeywell and Walmart emphasized that their Blockchain use cases are actual production deployments with real results. The panelists stressed that in the areas of food safety, aircraft parts trading, and credit card reward programs, blockchain is having a real impact on the business processes. Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain & DLT at the World Economic Forum gave an inspiring keynote about the ways blockchain technology is changing the world, from giving digital wallets to refugees to helping to establish digital identity. Appearing by video, Don Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution author and Blockchain Research Institute co-founder shared his views on “uneven and combined development” of blockchain in the marketplace and signs of accelerating adoption of enterprise blockchain, including two supply chain examples that leverage Oracle blockchain: Everledger (diamonds traceability from mining to retail) and Volvo Cobalt Traceability in its electric vehicle battery supply chain, implemented by Oracle partner, Circulor.
Don went on to cover many other industry examples, but also discussed critical challenges, including profound changes in business processes and legacy attitudes, scalability and interoperability, governance, and negative image that stems from abuses in the world of cryptocurrency. However, Don has finished on an inspiring note: "Future is not something to be predicted, it's something to be achieved." Much of the conference was about how to achieve it.
The business track topics increasingly focused on business value of blockchain and how to show it (e.g., see IDC's James Wester's session on Selling Blockchain to the C-Suite) and how blockchain impacts the world around us (see Coindesk report from the forum about how blockchain can help fight global warming.) Other use case sessions covered supply chain, education, healthcare, and public sector as well as various uses of decentralized identities.
Supply Chain Tracking for Electric Vehicle Batteries Session
My session with Circulor CEO, Doug Johnson-Poensgen about Sustainable Supply Chain Tracking for Volvo Cars’ Electric Vehicle Batteries on Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain delineated how complex supply chains and physical processes involved in mining, refining, smelting, and recycling minerals and metals can be tracked on Oracle Blockchain Platform with the Circulor solution. The session stressed that supply chain blockchains can be started by a few companies and later expand to cover additional suppliers and additional companies sourcing from the same suppliers, thereby seamlessly adding collaborators to the blockchain.
Technology Session and Solution Showcase Highlights
Several sessions in the technology track focused on tooling (e.g., Xooa, Kaleido) and best practices around key Hyperledger platforms, like Fabric and Indy. We also had a number of presentations on new Hyperledger projects, such as Aries (tool kit designed for initiatives and solutions focused on creating, transmitting and storing verifiable digital credentials), Avalon (an approach to offloading intensive processing from a main blockchain to improve scalability and latency, and to support attested "oracles"), and Besu (Enterprise Ethereum Client.) Most interesting sessions were on research-level technology, e.g., a new Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus protocol - Mir-BFT, and a View from the Trenches: Practical Issues In Enterprise Blockchain Implementations and Potential Solutions, presented by OBP architect Baohua Yang. This session raised 10 key issues in enterprise implementations of Oracle Blockchain Platform and discussed various approaches, which we will summarize in an upcoming blog post here.
We also discussed the integration and interoperability topics, including the work of the Hyperledger Interoperability Working Group, kicked off at the previous Hyperledger Global Forum in 2018, and partner solutions for flexible deployments and integration across multiple blockchains. One of the most interesting sessions on A Standardized Approach to Creating Digital Tokens and the work on The Token Taxonomy Framework (TTF) showcased a demo by HACERA, where TTF-defined tokens were used in a DAML-based smart contract deployed on Oracle Blockchain Platform via the HACERA integration solution, more about which we’ll share in a separate post.
In the showcase area a number of other partner solutions integrating or leveraging OBP covered development and business areas, including:
More info on these will be appearing on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace and this blog.
To dig into specific sessions you can follow the links above, or visit the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 playlist on YouTube, which at this point has 88 recorded sessions. To download the presentations, check out the agenda where many sessions have their slides linked.