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Hedera Hashgraph CPO: Big Companies Are Embracing The Open Source Movement

Lionel Chocron, Chief Product Officer at Hedera Hashgraph, began building three to five years ago at Oracle a portfolio of private ledger cloud solutions for large companies. Customers at Oracle were adopting blockchain technology quicker than they were adopting AI and IoT, because, he believes, distributed ledgers represent low risk ways to prove use cases compared to AI and IoT.

“You can isolate a set of processes on the use case and decide to fork that info on a private or public ledger and, thanks to the companies like the Oracles, IBMs and Microsofts of the world, who have now cloud-based blockchain platforms, it is pretty easy to enable a proof of concept that you can trigger in a few weeks,” said Chocron. “The ease of adoption through the cloud providers––the key ones being Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others––is making it much easier for people to access and test the technology.”

Chocron helps companies adopt Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology. He says they are not choosing DLT just for the sake of doing it, though. “[They] make a decision on supply chain, on identity management, on settlement or payment,” says Chocron. “That’s the use case [they] care about. If we and the other players in the market want to enable companies to adopt distributed ledger technology, we need to find a way to integrate ourselves into this ecosystem.” Part of this is working on technology like Hyperledger, which is working with many global companies.

Towards this end, Hedera Hashgraph is building a native integration with the open-source Hyperledger distributed ledger so as to enable private ledger use cases. Chocron believes an open-source approach is important for enterprise technology.

Chocron’s open-source experience dates back to his days at Oracle. The programming language Java is owned by Oracle, and it is open source today. “There’s a major component of Oracle that is OS, and it’s just going to continue to increase,” said Chocron. “Look at Microsoft, which maybe 10 years ago was probably viewed as a non-open source player in the market and faced harsh critiques because of that. And now you look at where Microsoft is, they’ve open sourced a lot of their new innovation. The big companies, especially today, have really engaged and embraced the open source movement for the past five to 10 years. And this is just reaffirming what you see in the blockchain space. A lot of that is going to be open source.”

As you are releasing your technology, innovators do need to follow specific frameworks so that the community can embrace it even faster, said Chocron. “So we have to raise the bar in terms of both documentation and access to reports.”

Open source also entails a different way of engaging the community. “Our developers are heavily engaged in participating, reviewing, and contributing to code,” said Chocron of Hedera Hashgraph. “This is actually a very nice way, when you’re a small company, to get a bigger community to actually contribute to the evolution of technology. We see that as very positive. The bottom layer, which is the platform itself, won’t be fully open-source. It will be an open review, but everything else will be open-source.”

Hedera Hashgraph is presently experimenting with features, such as ‘state proofs.’ “That’s the ability to give a state proof component to any transaction on the network,” said Chocron. “If there’s a contention between you and I, let’s say we do a transaction and you want to be able to prove legally that that transaction happened at that time, we are going to be able to enable the state proof component features on our network, which will meet the needs of many use cases, especially in the regulatory environments.”

Hedera Hashgraph leans on a governance council, a group of up to 39 global organizations, many of them private companies, and also academic institutions, etc..They will be running nodes, governing the roadmap, and managing the Treasury.

“We already have nine major companies who joined us and are running nodes, some of them being in the technology space like IBM and others in telecommunication space, like Deutsche Telekom and Swisscom Blockchain, and DLA Piper, which is one of the largest law firms in the world.”

He adds: “We believe that having a trusted group of global companies with brand awareness, known to govern and drive the evolution of these networks, and contribute by running nodes on the network, will raise the level of trust for companies who want to look into the public blockchain space. We believe this is a direction that the market will reward over time and is already rewarding as we speak.”

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