Understanding Blockchain Frameworks: Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric

Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric

These are the most popular blockchain frameworks currently. Ethereum is more a public blockchain, running for several years, and people keep developing application on this public blockchain. Hyperledger Fabric is an enterprise blockchain platform, enabling consortium application across business entities. At this point they are different.

Ethereum: the Infrastructure Portion

The infrastructure portion of an Ethereum network is a network of nodes running Ethereum client. These nodes have all the required capability to form a functioning Ethereum network.

Ganache (from Truffle) is an Ethereum simulator with accounts and ethers.

Ethereum: the Application Portion

Ethereum application is always known as Decentralized Application (DApp) as the contract code is executed across the network in a decentralized way.

Hyperledger Fabric: the Infrastructure Portion

Unlike Ethereum being public and permissionless, Hyperledger Fabric is positioned as an Enterprise blockchain application framework. It is deployed in the business world, and mainly in a consortium model instead of as public as Ethereum network. For example, we can see a Hyperledger Fabric network deployed in the datacenters of participating banks for a trade finance network. There is no a public Hyperledger Fabric that we are deploying application on top of it, like what we do on the Ethereum Mainnet.

Hyperledger Fabric: the Application Portion

The Application portion is composed of the chaincode and the client application. The chaincode is the code being executed inside the endorsing nodes when requested by the client application. After processing by Orderer and verification by all other Peers, the result is to update the ledger (the transaction logged in blockchain and the world state updated accordingly).

Conclusion

In this small article I try to use a way to better understand blockchain frameworks, by dividing them into the infrastructure and application portion. Each portion has its own design, and application development should be independent on how the infrastructure is evolving. We have some further exploration on both Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric frameworks, and see how this division helps understand what is what and where.

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