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Interview with Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member of Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM

“People cannot just adopt blockchain on their own”

JAX Editorial Team
blockchain
Arnaud Le Hors

If you want to know more about what blockchain is and Hyperledger’s role in taking the technology behind Bitcoin to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. JAXenter editor Gabriela Motroc talked to Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member of Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM about developers’ interest in blockchain, Fabric — a blockchain framework—, and more.

What a difference a year can make! Last year, developers did not want to hear about blockchain and now there’s even a blockchain startup which aims to create “a new internet for decentralized apps.”

Times change, we need to change as well. Meet the Hyperledger Project, a new kind of platform for the next generation of the Internet. Why the next generation? Let’s allow Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member of Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM to explain why blockchain is ready to assume a new role and why the Hyperledger Project is here to stay.

Arnaud Le Hors is Senior Technical Staff Member of Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM. Arnaud has been working on open technologies for over 20 years, focusing on standards and open source development, both as a staff member of XC and W3C, and as a representative for IBM. He has been involved in every aspect of the standards development process: technical, strategic, political, and legal. Arnaud was editor of several key web specifications including HTML and DOM. He has also participated in open source projects such as Xerces, the Apache XML parser, and currently the Hyperledger Project. Arnaud is the main representative for IBM at W3C, and a member of the Hyperledger Project Technical Steering Committee.

If you want to learn more about what blockchain is, Hyperledger’s role and its incubated projects, don’t miss Brian Behlendorf’s JAX London keynote.

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If you want to get a taste of Mr. Behlendorf’s upcoming keynote, check out this interview:

JAXenter: Hyperledger is one year old. What are the most important accomplishments so far?

Brian Behlendorf: At the end of January, Hyperledger has seen 3,821 commits made by 119 contributors representing 222,865 lines of code. Fabric and Sawtooth Lake projects picked up new contributions, developer momentum, and significant commercial interest over the past year. More than 25 proof of concepts and pilots built on top of the technologies in 2016 by some of the world’s leading financial services institutions. Hyperledger also launched Healthcare Working Group in October to house and foster technical and business-level conversations about appropriate applications for blockchain technology.

We owe a lot of the growth and success of Hyperledger in its first year to The Linux Foundation’s model of governance. The model has allowed for collaboration at the highest level among organizations of all shapes and sizes, as well as for developer communities, and technical experts to iterate in an open, fair and structured manner. All contributions are valued and are encouraged within Hyperledger.

JAXenter: What are your plans for the near future? What is the next milestone for Hyperledger?

Brian Behlendorf: As we head towards further maturation of the Hyperledger umbrella projects to 1.0 releases and beyond, our goal is to increase enterprise developer interest and traction by communicating the benefits of developing in a truly open community. Like we see in other thriving open source communities, the power comes from public development processes, from the “do-ocracy” where governance is based on participation, and where development ideas get input and scrutiny from some of the brightest developers in the industry. The end result of all this is code that will change how the world works.

JAXenter: New members Airbus, Wanda, and Energy Blockchain Labs point to more industries with potential to be reinvented by blockchain technology in 2017. What other industries can benefit from blockchain’s use?

Brian Behlendorf: It’s hard to argue there is an industry that can not be touched by this in some way. Every industry uses transactions to get work done. Every industry has trust challenges. Every industry suffers from contracts being manually executed and assets being opaque. Some will adopt before others, though I think every industry will have early adopters who benefit.

JAXenter: Is the fact that more industries are interested in putting blockchain to use an indication that this technology is ready to go mainstream?

Brian Behlendorf: It’s not too crazy to think that in the next five years, nearly every Fortune 500 company (perhaps even the top 1000) will be transacting on a distributed ledger, and automating their processes using smart contracts. Blockchains really only make sense as a way to build a common system of record within a network of peers – that is, you can’t implement a blockchain by yourself, you need to do it with others. So anywhere where a company participates in a network of trading partners, a supply chain, a regulated market, etc., then they likely will see an operational and strategic investment in blockchain tech. Plus, the prospect for using this tech to go beyond a common system of record, to creating actual digital assets on a chain (an insurance contract, an options contract, shares in a company, etc) is very real and people are already piloting this. Sadly, most consumers won’t see this, as this will be mostly about making B2B systems more efficient and transformative. But it should result in more competitive and trustworthy marketplaces.

Read the entire interview here

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