IBM’s “Hyperledger” Deemed ‘Not a Blockchain’ With No Real Solutions to Existing Scalability Concerns


In a recent post shared by the Co-Founder of Kadena, Stuart Popejoy reasons as to why IBM’s “Hyperledger” should not be considered a blockchain have been disclosed. In addition, many problems associated with the aforementioned blockchain have since been pinpointed, giving more food for thought.

Should IBM'S Hyperledger Be Considered a Blockchain?

1. IBM’s Blockchain is Not Decentralized

Popejoy, who had previously worked for IBM, made the argument that IBM fails at fully capturing what a blockchain is. In particular, he said:

“IBM’s definition of blockchain captures the distributed and immutable elements of blockchain but conveniently leaves out decentralized consensus – that’s because IBM Hyperledger Fabric doesn’t require a true consensus mechanism at all.”

In mentioning this, he also noted that IBM’s system does not require a “cryptographically-secure” voting scheme among participants, which implies that any interfering done cannot be “proven”.

2. Presence of Possible Vulnerabilities

As per the claims made, IBM has introduced the notion of public-key cryptography within the network with “validator signatures.” This is a problem to Popejoy, because this means user signatures hold no meaning and only those of the validators’ do.

He also reasoned that this approach fails to meet the standards of the “proven security model” Bitcoin and other “real blockchains” are known for – ultimately questioning the legitimacy and security of IBM’s system.

3. Complicated Blockchain Architecture

As previously noted, when it comes to security, it only holds inside the network. This problem is supposedly caused by the IBM blockchain’s complex architecture. Here’s how Popejoy describes the proclaimed complexity:

“IBM’s platform is complex, involving non-uniform nodes, unreliable smart contracts and many points of failure. Security-wise, its architecture provides assurance only within the system, meaning that there is always a risk that someone can subvert the intention of a user.”

In relation to the “unreliable smart contracts” witnessed here, Popejoy argued that IBM failed to implement easy to understand language and has instead considered multiple languages.

He believes that, “The easier or simpler your language is to use, the faster you will build the thing you want and get it in front of the eyes of stakeholders.” But, with IBM’s approach, the language is not “purpose-built”, which can leave the entire network at risk.

An example of the complexity of the language has also been provided as seen below, where something as simple as “hello word” requires hundreds of code lines.

4. IBM’s Performance Numbers Don’t Add Up

Another problem that Popejoy has discovered is the “misleading” performance numbers provided by IBM. In particular, he shared:

“Hyperledger uses a multi-chain environment as part of their confidentiality/ network security. However, their transactions cannot be replicated across the channels, meaning each channel should be evaluated independently from a performance point of view.”

Ultimately, Popejoy believes that IBM’s system is inefficient, and their performance claims cannot be appropriately measured. He also trusts that the Hyperledger should not be deemed a blockchain because of its lack of central features. Finally, it has been debated that Hyperledger’s complex structure is not user-friendly, especially for businesses.

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