Today Hyperledger unveiled a new Greenhouse project, Hyperledger Cactus. It’s an open source blockchain interoperability project started last year by Accenture in the Hyperledger Lab, and previously known as the Blockchain Integration Framework (BIF). Since then, Fujitsu and others have contributed code. The new branding is a nod to the March Hyperledger Forum in Phoenix, Arizona.
When BIF was first unveiled, it supported Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum and R3’s Corda. Since then, enterprise Ethereum client Hyperledger Besu has been added.
As more enterprise blockchains go into production, interoperability between different blockchain networks is becoming a pressing need. Sometimes a company interacts with more than one sector, such as insurance, where an enterprise may be part of an insurance blockchain. But if it’s insuring trade finance, it may want to participate in a trade finance network and perhaps a supply chain network.
Similarly, goods in a supply chain might transit through more than one regional blockchain network, raising the need to pass the data baton from one network to another. Tokenized digital money might live on one blockchain and be used for payment on another.
This hints at the different types of blockchain interoperability. For example, data might be transferred from one ledger to another. But if you think about it, often you don’t just want to transfer data, you want data from two networks to be merged, so Cactus allows for that too.
Instead of transferring data, there is also transferring value. So tokenized assets might be exchanged between two ledgers, where one might be a tokenized security, and the other tokenized money. Mixing it up, tokenized money might be exchanged for data. Cactus deals with these scenarios as well.
It’s worth noting that Cactus isn’t just thinking about integrating private permissioned blockchains. Hyperledger Besu is capable of being used on public Ethereum.
The Hyperledger Cactus code has a permissive Apache 2.0 license, and Accenture is also open-sourcing its two related patent filings.
In the previous BIF article, we highlighted numerous other blockchain interoperability initiatives.