THIRUVANANTHPAURAM: The Kerala Blockchain Academy, a joint initiative of the IIITM-K and global Blockchain Education Network (BEN), has become the first Indian institution to be granted associate membership by Hyper-ledger project (HLP) hosted by Linux Foundation. Hyperledger, which was launched in 2016, is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It aims to enable organisations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger frameworks and code bases.
KBA can now use the vast technical expertise of the HLP ecosystem to fine-tune and develop socially relevant solutions it had been pursuing using the blockchain technology. The KBA has already developed innovative solutions like SkillChain, which links migrant labourers directly with job providers, and AgroChain, which connects farmers directly with consumers. Both do away with middlemen. Incidentally, AgroChain won the NITI Aayog prize at the International Blockchain Hackathon organised last year by NITI Aayog and Proffer, a Harvard-based blockchain startup.
Blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, does away with a central server, and uses a distributed ledger system. Every single transaction is recorded, and once it is recorded in the blockchain, it cannot be changed. It is by nature tamper-proof because it works on a consensus-based system. “Any data can be either added or deleted only with the consent of other ‘participating nodes’ or persons involved in the ecosystem,” said Dr Asharaf S, IITM-K professor and the man leading the state's blockchain charge. KBA and Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (University of Cambridge) are the two new HLP associate members. The Associate Member category of membership, which is the third kind of membership after premier and general members, is limited to non-profits, open source projects, and Government entities, and requires approval by the Governing Board of HLP.