The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project has a singular focus on the blockchain, but this morning it announced a framework for building supply chain projects where it didn’t want blockchain stealing the show.
In fact, the foundation is careful to point out out that this project is not specifically about the blockchain, so much as providing the building blocks for a broader view of solving supply chain digitization issues. As it describes it in a blog post announcing the project, it is neither an application nor a blockchain project, per se. So what is it?
“Grid is an ecosystem of technologies, frameworks and libraries that work together, letting application developers make the choice as to which components are most appropriate for their industry or market model.”
Hyperledger doesn’t want to get locked down by jargon or preconceived notions of what these projects should look like. It wants to provide developers with a set of tools and libraries and let them loose to come up with ideas and build applications specific to their industry requirements.
Primary contributors to the project to this point have been Cargill, Intel and Bitwise IO.
Supply chain has been a major early use case for distributed ledger applications in the enterprise. In fact, earlier today we covered an announcement from Citizens Reserve, a startup building a Supply Chain as a Service on the blockchain. IBM has been working on several supply chain uses cases including diamond tracking and food supply protection.
But the distributed ledger idea is so new new both for supply chain and the enterprise in general that developers are still very much finding their way. By providing a flexible, open source framework, The Linux Foundation is giving developers an open option and trying to provide a flexible foundation to build applications as this all shakes out.