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Intel chips in with blockchain code for Hyperledger

Partners gather around the Big Blue Linux block

The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project has another big name on board: Intel.

The project was announced in December, but got its first serious impetus back in February when IBM slung its blockchain code into the effort.

During this month, the project has coalesced further, and is on the prowl for more contributors.

A joint proposal between IBM and Digital Assets has now become "Fabric," an incubator-level project (under active development but not yet production-ready) that the two hope will form the foundation code base of Hyperledger.

The aim with Fabric is to let components – the examples given are consensus and membership services – to be plugged in. Application logic dubbed "chaincode" will be hosted in containers.

Chipzilla has chipped in as well, with its own blockchain suite, "Sawtooth Lake." Again at incubator level, Sawtooth Lake has a consensus algorithm, called Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET), designed for "large distributed validator populations."

Intel's contribution includes its core code, the PoET validator, developer tools, and simple arcade game demonstrations of the implementation.

While Bitcoin doesn't interest big name vendors as a currency, the underlying concept of a blockchain – a distributed and cryptographically tamper-proof, or at least tamper-evident, record of transactions – is attractive to anyone who shifts money around, with a big if.

The "if" is that the blockchain implementation needs to scale, and it needs to be secure.

Any new blockchain proposal has to be both willing to accept scrutiny, and able to survive that scrutiny – and, as we've just seen in the recent Ethereum debacle, it'd be nice if the blockchain in question demonstrated its security before it starts representing real currency. ®

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