The Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee has approved the Ursa project, a modular cryptography software library, according to an official announcement Dec. 4.
According to the statement, as Hyperledger has matured, projects “have started to find a need for sophisticated cryptographic implementations.” The post describes Ursa as a shift from having each project implementing its own protocols to collaborating on a shared library.
Ursa is meant to avoid wasted work on duplicate projects, enhancing security by simplifying analysis and making it “less likely for less experienced people to create their own less secure implementations.”
Furthermore, the project is supposed to grant “the ability to enforce expert review of all cryptographic code” and simplify cross-platform interoperability since multiple projects would use the same libraries.
Hyperledger states that with the new library “blockchain developers can choose and modify their cryptographic schemes with a simple configuration file.” Also, Ursa will purportedly have “implementations of newer, fancier cryptography.”
The library is divided into two, smaller libraries. The first contains simple, standardized, modular cryptographic algorithms and the second one “more exotic cryptography.” Advanced cryptographic algorithms like pairing-based signatures, SNARKs, aggregate signatures, and threshold signatures are cited as examples.
Software will be primarily written in Rust, but will have “interfaces in all of the different languages that are commonly used throughout Hyperledger.”
Hyperledger expects that Ursa will ease development since “it is easier for new projects to get off the ground if they have easy access to well-implemented, modular cryptographic abstractions.”
Hyperledger is increasingly popular for institutional and commercial use. Major Russian bank Sberbank recently concluded an over-the-counter OTCforeign exchange repurchase agreement by employing smart contracts on the Hyperledger Fabric Platform.
In November, French retail giant Carrefour deployed a food tracking platform based on Hyperledger in its Spanish network. The system will be used to track free-range chickens raised without antibiotics.