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Blockchain technology has come a long way since its inception and continues to evolve rapidly. The various Blockchain development companies in the market currently include Ethereum, Corda, Cardano, Solana, Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum, Solana, and others that seem to be coming out almost daily.
But today, we will be delving deep into Blockchain-based Enterprise solutions, and in that, we will compare the top two contenders – Corda vs. Hyperledger.
Corda is an open-source blockchain-inspired DLT platform that removes costly friction in business transactions, interoperability, and a unique approach to secure data privacy.
Corda is the first of its kind of Blockchain-based platform built exclusively for businesses. By embracing Corda, you can join numerous developers building applications over Corda, which is known as CorDapps.
Enabling various companies to transact straight and in a secured private manner utilizing smart contracts by decreasing transaction and record-keeping expenses and streamlining company, operations have become the most crucial quality of Corda.
Over 60 companies from various industries have been working with enterprise software firms to R3 to develop distributed ledger technology (DLT) based on various applications on the Corda platform.
Hyperledger is a Distributed Ledger Technology-based open-source technology hub that intends to support enterprise Blockchain development. Hyperledger itself is neither a company nor a cryptocurrency nor a Blockchain but a collective effort initiated to accelerate the development of cross-industry open-source Blockchain technologies.
Hyperledger is an international alliance hosted by The Linux Foundation, comprising many leaders in banking, finance, Web of Things, supply chains, production, and Technology. The team Hyperledger made a clear announcement at the initial stage only that Hyperledger doesn't encourage any sort of cryptocurrency, nor do they have any plans to build a native cryptocurrency.
The policy of Hyperledger is to encourage a more collaborative approach for developing various Blockchain technologies as part of Hyperledger, rather than focusing on just one standard platform. Due to this, there are multiple Hyperledger projects with some or other functionality.
Hyperledger now has an impressive collection of over a hundred members, and the list includes a broad range of well-known business leaders from around the globe. A good deal of the world's biggest firms in Tech and Finance match at Hyperledger with a few of the trendiest blockchain start-ups, which include BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan, American Express, IBM, Huawei, Nokia, and Intel –
Hyperledger Fabric is considered the main base for which Hyperledger, backed by Linux Foundation as a whole, is known for developing solutions or applications with a modular architecture. The fabric allows elements like consensus and membership service providers to be plug-and-play. Due to its modular and flexible design, it caters to a wide range of business use cases. It offers an exceptional way of consensus that permits functionality at scale while maintaining privacy simultaneously.
Blockchains are currently the fastest-growing technology. Many blockchain frameworks exist in circulation. The below discussion explores and analyzes two popular frameworks for Blockchain enterprise applications.
Corda and Hyperledger as frameworks are private and permitted; those are built to provide a highly secure way of storing information. As the average transaction speed is much higher on a public Blockchain than on a private one, the performance here is neck to neck.
This section provides an extensive comparative analysis of both frameworks – covering the aspects outlined here.
Comparing performance between different Blockchains and other DLT systems is a difficult task. As it depends on the number of nodes and the topologies of networks, several metrics are required for predicting performance. The official performance benchmarks are usually collected under ideal conditions: a high-performance computer with 32/84 GB of memory and 8/16 core CPUs, closely linked components to guarantee minimal latency and a reasonable quantity of nodes. This could mean the production implementation is slower than specified performance benchmarks. Therefore, it would be better to run performance tests on the environment in which the framework would be implemented.
In terms of performance, the Corda faces some limitations for being coupled to the Corda Enterprise version. It can process only one flow at a time, which can be increased significantly to improve the performance of a single node.
Whereas in the case of Hyperledger Performance, there is a separate group to monitor testing standardization for Hyperledger, and this group is developing key metrics and basic terms for performance evaluation. A general rule here is that the more complex the network is, the slower it tends to be.
Blockchain Oracles are external services providing contracts with off-chain information. Smart contract design should be deterministic and not access external services directly as data may frequently change, inhibiting participants’ progress. Oracles are used as a proxy between smart contracts and external information. External Information can include currency fluctuations, sporting results, or hotel availability.
Corda provides oracle-supported support, which allows you to remove confidential data from transactions before verification of your oracle information. However, Hyperledger Fabric requires the customization of oracles to perform a task as there is no oracle implementation. Here is a separate oracle organization with its smart contract, which would act as an oracle service.
Tokenization is the technique to transform an existing asset (e.g., stock, real estate, or fiat currency) into an image. This allows for creating new markets for all types of assets. Its primary applications are in financial institutions, real property, digital money, etc. Tokens can be both fungible and non-fungible. This may include real estate, art, diamonds, and property. Fungible tokens are typically exchanged highly intensively, and their performance should always be considered. There's a common method used to manage digital token state — account or non-transaction outputs — (UTXO).
Corda network already has a Token SDK for fungible and non-fungible tokens and is based on the UTXO model.
Whereas in Hyperledger, which lacks a token library, it is possible to implement a custom token using the account model or the ERC20 standard. Again it is wise to be informed that what works well in Ethereum might not work well with Hyperledger Fabric.
Governance relates in some sense to the rules and practices controlling the participants of the network and themselves. The network administrator can create a new member. All organizations have a system administrator managing node infrastructures and participating in the smart contract process.
Corda business network focuses on centralizing and controlling the network, nodes, onboarding, and configurations. The unified structure provides for the control of the network. Corda allows nodes to join one network. By default, all nodes in the network can connect with their smart contracts.
The network of Hyperledger is managed by multiple organizations, and there are orderer organizations and a consortium of application organizations. Now application channels with different sets of participants can be created by application organizations. In Hyperledger, each channel can be managed by policies determining whether all organizations, the majority of organizations, or only selected organizations can approve changes. Updating or installing a smart contract can be done with the approval of the required number of an organization’s administrators.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger, and the ledger is a database that holds records of asset modifications. Users are free to update their assets to their ledger states, but alteration of the existing ledger is prohibited. Data stored in these ledger files can affect the application's development and performance.
Corda is software for working with relational database systems. This technology provides clear benefits in designing complicated queries and integrates ledger and application data.
Hyperledger only supports NoSQL databases, and there is a limited option in designing their structure for a reliable read-write process that avoids concurrency conflicts. If you have a complex asset schema, then Fabric storage is more advisable for write-only requests and using an off-chain database for querying.
The deployment is not a hectic task in Blockchain as the nature of it is like a distributed ledger, so establishing and maintaining a private network is not an easy thing. Therefore, deployments are often imperfect, leading users to continually develop their solutions from scratch.
It's difficult to deploy and operate a web server for either Hyperledger or Corda-based systems. Corda offers the excellent option to join Corda Networks and deploy a single node only.
As of now, hyper ledger fabric is not a globally distributed network and usually requires new network deployment for each use case. If most firms are already equipped with the Hyperledger infrastructure at their place, then this can become easier.
The authentication for both frameworks uses Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) model as part of an X559 authentication certificate. PKI infrastructures provide an authentication technology using public key encryption to create digital identities and encrypt data. User identities are generated using an authenticated certificate authority (CA). X.509 is a CA-created certificate that combines the user’s private data identifier and the X508 certificate identifier.
In Hyperledger, the identity is bound by the certificate, which is enabled through fine-grained access rules in the chain code via certificate attributes.
Whereas in Corda, such access rules should be implemented in the application layer, and you have no option to customize access rules in the smart contract, as accounts are just public keys.
A consensus protocol is a system of rules for finding a mutually beneficial state change for the distributed Blockchain network. The most significant flaws in this system are double-spend. Double-spending involves transferring digital assets simultaneously, as in two payments to a partner.
There are different methods for reaching consensus and for achieving consensus. Let us examine two protocol implementations in Corda Enterprise and Hyperledger Fabric. Crash fault tolerance (CFT) - These protocols increase system resilience in the eventual absence of the participants.
As of now, both platforms do not have a production-ready implementation of the BFT protocol. There are many security risks in Corda due to the absence of the BFT implementation, where a malicious user may gain control of the notary component and execute a double-spend attack.
Privacy plays an integral part in business applications. In an enterprise establishment, knowing who performed the modification must be obvious.
In Corda, transaction execution is private by default, consisting of private data collection, where confidential information can be hidden from the future asset owner.
While Hyperledger Fabric lets users configure their private information by channel or private collection, it adds complexity to managing networks, particularly in situations with many participants, and offers finer control over who gets information. The best approach varies according to the particular product use cases.
Sometimes there is a need to enhance a smart contract with file attachments such as legal agreements, which facilitate dispute resolution, such as a contract PDF or contract code sources, etc.
Corda supports the attachment feature by having an in-built system, which means it is easy to implement document management, workflow implementation, and attachment can be integrated within a smart contract. This saves time when installing external file systems. At the same time, Hyperledger Fabric lacks any such attachment feature.
A major part of the time is spent in development, so it’s not wise to ignore how easily one can find a good Corda development company or a Hyperledger development company with great developers and how long it may take to start working at full capacity.
Both frameworks share similar learning curves, and it is highly recommended that a competent developer drives the Blockchain technology since there are umpteen pitfalls that could take you in the wrong direction.
Blockchain experts claim that blockchain as a technology has been part of almost many industries, but if we take these two platforms’ use cases, we can find them in a whole range of industries like banking, financial institutions, financial assets, as well as real estate. These frameworks work for all of these sectors.
In this financial industry, Corda enjoys the due to its inherent data privacy, as data is not shared globally. Corda allows for confidential identity hiding for former owner's records. But the asset information remains visible. Corda comes with inbuilt components, attachments for legal prose and invoices, and oracles for retrieving real-time data.
In the Hyperledger Fabric network, you would need to create multiple channels or private collections for each private collaboration, complicating network management.
In the supply chain, both platforms work well in use cases to track asset provenance and movements, whereas there are some cases it might become necessary to store asset prices in the blockchain and hide prices from certain participants.
Hyperledger Fabric here allows the functionality to update private and public data in the same transaction, so asset ownership changes are visible for everyone, but prices are only visible between seller and buyer.
Whereas in Corda, such things are visible for all participants, so it would be necessary to split asset ownership change and money exchange into different transactions.
In the field of insurance, there is private data communication between different parties. Such generally go through a third party like a hospital or the police, and these interactions are one-to-one and not shared with other participants in the network.
This feature of private transactions is supported by Corda by default, while in Hyperledger Fabric, the developer needs to define these private relationships explicitly.
In the use cases of governance-related works which require high transparency between all participants, Hyperledger would have the upper hand as it has a shared global state.
While in Corda, implementation of such a function requires sharing information explicitly between every interested party.
Comparing two matured platforms is an uphill task and announcing a clear winner is even harder, but you need to decide which use case you are choosing?
The idea of Corda is undoubtedly great, where users join the global network and get access to all existing participants simultaneously. While for Hyperledger Fabric, there are many segregated subnets for users. Again Corda may serve as an excellent platform for some use cases like attachments, the UTXO model, and oracles, which offer capabilities that are not as easy or, in some cases, not possible to implement in Hyperledger. The idea of Corda is undoubtedly great, where users join the global network and get access to all existing participants simultaneously. While for Hyperledger Fabric, there are many segregated subnets for users. Again Corda may serve as an excellent platform for some use cases like attachments, the UTXO model, and oracles, which offer capabilities that are not as easy or, in some cases, not possible to implement in Hyperledger.
While Hyperledger, in reality, serves more use cases due to its flexible block-like features where you can take the bricks and craft whatever experience your client wants. The thoroughly designed identity and key management architecture allow users to own their identity keys without hosting a node.
Again not forget that many features like commercial databases (Oracle, MSSql), HSM, parallel flow execution, high availability mode, and private network deployment tools of Corda Enterprise are only available in the Enterprise edition.
Now again, if we look at the respective track records of both the platforms, then we see that both have sufficient demand, and it would be really exciting to see how both perform and contribute to Blockchain development services.
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