Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin addressed the Hyperledger technical steering committee earlier today, discussing the ways in which it might be able to integrate the Ethereum blockchain into its existing codebases, or replace them altogether.
Currently, Hyperledger’s primary proof-of-concept consists of elements of three different sets of code contributed by IBM and startups Blockstream and Digital Asset Holdings, and combined into what the group calls a “fabric”.
During Buterin's lengthy address to representatives from the group of technology and finance companies he covered everything from the security considerations of Ethereum to different kinds of accounts before culminating with “integration opportunities".
Buterin told the group:
"In general, there [are] a few paths forward."
He broke down those paths into three possible directions, each of which depends on the degree to which the open-source Hyperledger project wants to embrace – or not embrace – Ethereum.
Three paths to Ethereum
First, Buterin suggested that the group of companies and startups could continue to use that fabric’s account model while running the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as an option for computation.
"Keep the way that you’re doing things exactly the way that your’re doing them right now with regards to the account model,” said Buterin. “Give people multiple ways to enter into agreements."
Buterin only briefly touched on the second way he said Hyperledger could work with Ethereum. In theory, he said Hyperledger could integrate both Ethereum's account model of smart contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine, a distributed computational computer.
Lastly, Buterin said Hyperledger could integrate with Ethereum through the development of a wholly new account model that starts with elements of the Ethereum Virtual Machine and tailors it to suit their needs.
"Try to come up with some type of architecture that essentially satisfies all the pain properties and abilities for the contracts to call each other," he said.
Possible next steps
Buterin said that Hyperledger's goals were new to him and that he would need more information about their objectives before going into any more detail about a possible integration.
Buterin told the group:
"This is probably the area where I know a bit less about and if you want to go more deeply into this, with more follow up calls, I’d need more information specifically about the kinds of things about how the Hyperledger architecture works at this point."
The technical steering committee he addressed is one of the major governing bodies of the open-source project, overseen by the nonprofit Linux Foundation. In February, the Linux Foundation announced the inaugural 30 members of its effort to build a cross-industry blockchain, adding ten more members later that month.
Buterin's appearance during this week's Hyperledger technical steering committee meeting comes after months for growing momentum for the project.
In March, Hyperledger member JPMorgan Chase announced its own Juno "distributed cryptoledger", marking an early presentation from one of the project's major corporate members.
Then, the following month Intel unveiled the so-called Sawtooth Lake distributed ledger platform, described as "a highly modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers".
Next week Hyperledger plans to host its second face-to-face meeting at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation's offices in New Jersey. Multiple members of the steering committee expressed interest in working with Ethereum during that event, and Buterin was invited to take part.
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