Hyperledger Aries to scale identity based solutions

Nathan George, CTO, Sovrin Foundation, Hyperledger Aries sponsor and contributor blogged about the announcement of the new project on 14 May.

Nathan indicated that identity is one of the most commonly quoted use cases for distributed ledger technology (DLT). He opined that solutions and initiatives focused on creating or transmitting digital credentials would be benefited from an integrated tool kit. Nathan introduced Hyperledger Aries as the thirteenth Hyperledger project that enables the exchange of blockchain-based data while supporting peer-to-peer messaging.

While quoting on the evolution of the project, Nathan expressed –

“Hyperledger Aries is related to both Hyperledger Indy, which provides a resolver implementation, and Hyperledger Ursa, which it uses for cryptographic functionality. Aries will consume the cryptographic support provided by Ursa to provide both secure secret management and hardware security modules support. One of the main purposes of this project is to change the client layers in Hyperledger Indy to be interoperable with other identity projects.”

Nathan clarified on the salient aims of Hyperledger Aries. The project would provide code for secrets management, peer-to-peer interaction, verifiable information exchange, and secure messaging for different decentralized systems. It would also promote practical interoperability in support of standard works and extend the applicability of technologies. These would be developed from the Hyperledger stack into a single, effective business solution.

the goal of hyperledger aries is to provide a robust set of capabilities to store and exchange data related to blockchain-based identity.

Nathan added that Hyperledger Aries is an infrastructure for blockchain-rooted, peer-to-peer interactions. He provided clarity that it was not a blockchain nor an application. Nathan threw light on some inclusions of the project like a blockchain interface layer for creating and signing blockchain transactions. A cryptographic wallet for safe storage of cryptographic identities used to build blockchain clients was among the others.

In April, there were reports about ushering Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) smart contracts to Hyperledger Sawtooth. There was ongoing work with Hyperledger personnel, Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP), to integrate the DAML runtime with Hyperledger Sawtooth. Much emphasis was given on the need to have an independent DLT application while having a new language for smart contracts.

Nathan wrapped up by informing about what was in store for Hyperledger Aries and the people behind the work. The broad goal of Hyperledger Aries was to provide a resilient set of tools to store and exchange data related to blockchain-based identity. These capabilities would range from the secret storage of data to the facility of globally accessible data. While the Sovrin Foundation has been the primary contributor, several other organizations are expected to contribute.