Hyperledger Fabric Can Now Launch Ethereum Smart Contracts

Hyperledger Fabric Can Now Launch Ethereum Smart Contracts

The open-source team behind Hyperledger Fabric has announced their blockchain can now run smart contracts written for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). That dynamic brings the total number of programming languages capable of underpinning Fabric smart contracts to five. 

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From Smart Contracts to ‘Chaincode’

On October 26th, the Hyperledger consortium announced that its Hyperledger Fabric “now supports Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) bytecode smart contracts.”

Hyperledger, which counts among its participants the likes of IBM, Intel, and many more, is an ecosystem of open-source blockchain projects first launched by The Linux Foundation in 2016.

Hyperledger Fabric is one of these projects, being a permissioned and modular blockchain capable of performing smart contracts, or chaincode in Fabric’s lexicon.

With the project’s v1.3 update, users will now be able to port over Ethereum smart contracts into Fabric chaincode. As the Fabric team explained in their announcement:

“Contracts can now be written in [Ethereum’s] languages such as Solidity or Vyper. Along with introducing a new smart contract runtime, Fabric also has a corresponding web3 provider which can be used to develop decentralized applications (DApps) using web3.js. This new feature comes as part of the 1.3 release and is motivated with the goal to enable developers to be able to migrate or create DApps for a permissioned platform.”

Before v1.3, Fabric had supported chaincode written in three programming languages: Go, Java, and Javascript. A wrapper around the Tendermint-underpinned Hyperledger Burrow, a permissioned Ethereum blockchain node, will accordingly be used to execute ported smart contracts.

All About That Choice

The Hyperledger team characterized their embrace of Ethereum’s programming languages as being in the “spirit of expanding choices.”

Now capable of running chaincode in 5 programming languages, Hyperledger Fabric is trying to attract the many.

It’s a rational strategy, and one that might insulate Fabric from coming smart contract fragmentation, i.e. different smart contract platforms gaining (or losing) ground in different sectors for different reasons.

That is to say, if Fabric can do what other platforms can do, it makes it that much more versatile in the rat race.

Of course, there are many fault lines in play here, not just for Fabric, but for smart contract platforms in general. The first one that springs to mind is the permissionless vs. permissioned fault line. Though there are many others.

Going forward, it will be key to watch whether mainstream companies gravitate toward the familiar faces backing Hyperledger, or whether insurgents like Ethereum and Cardano can do more than just hold their own.

What’s your take? Was this a smart move by the Hyperledger team? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images via Pixabay

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