Hyperledger Absorbs The Ethereum Virtual Machine Via Monax

Hyperledger has finally achieved its goal of absorbing a piece of Ethereum. The project’s original attempt to acquire the Ethereum C++ client failed after Gavin Wood blocked the relicensing effort. For a project to join Hyperledger, it needs to be under the Apache 2.0 open source license, as all other projects in Hyperledger use that license.

There have been over 100 enterprises absorbed by Hyperledger but Monax is the first to submit a codebase with a piece of Ethereum in it. Formerly known as the Eris DB blockchain client, Burrow (as it’s now being called) contains the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which is meant to allow Monax to run executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs).

With the addition of Monax to the project, Hyperledger will now be able to utilize the EVM. That means adding EDCC functionality to Hyperledger, which is highly advantageous for the project, seeing as how EDCCs are among the most powerful features of a Turing-complete blockchain platform.

A blog post announcing the EVM integration was written by Hyperledger’s Executive Director Brian Behlendorf. In it, he said that “having an Ethereum derived project under the Hyperledger umbrella should send a strong message that any positioning of the Hyperledger and Ethereum communities as competitive is incorrect.” The blog touched on the unsolved challenges in the blockchain tech community and the multiple approaches to solving them. Speaking about the benefits of collaboration in a burgeoning industry, Behlendorf continued:

“[W]ith an Apache licensed Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), other distributed ledger projects in Hyperledger (e.g. Fabric, Sawtooth Lake and Iroha), can now experiment with integrating the EVM into their respective platforms. There is still much work to do to make this happen, of course, but the prospect of this is now much more tangible. This also marks the start of a productive relationship with the broader Ethereum community, including the [Enterprise Ethereum Alliance], as we monitor the specifications developed there for their application towards Burrow.”

Now that the many-armed project that is Hyperledger has reached out and grabbed a hold of the EVM, it should enhance the Ethereum public chain and increase the demand for Solidity-written contracts. This could push more people to learn Solidity, which in turn may advance the entire contract coding ecosystem. More eyes on contracts means catching more bugs, which leads to an increase in overall security – which everyone should agree is a very good thing.