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Conor Svensson

Published On - January 10, 2024

Web3j and the Hyperledger Foundation

At the end of 2023, Web3 Labs announced they had joined the Hyperledger Foundation. For us it was an obvious move to make given that we were offering commercial support for Hyperledger Besu and maintainers of the project.
 
However, our goals within the Hyperledger ecosystem extend beyond Besu. Our intention is to contribute the open source library Web3j to the Hyperledger Foundation too.

Web3j

Web3j is the Java and Android integration library for Ethereum. It was born out of my own experience back in 2016, when I first started learning about blockchain. I had spent the prior decade working at some of the world's largest financial institutions building trading, risk and regulator reporting platforms using the JVM technology. 
 
I saw a clear opportunity for providing the plumbing for these financial institutions to work with Ethereum blockchain technology, and Web3j was born. 
 
During the past seven years, Web3j has continued to go from strength to strength. This is reflected by key metrics of the project:
  • 4.8k GitHub stars

  • 192 contributors

  • 106 releases

  • 1.7k forks

  • Over 1000 resolved issues

  • Over 2 million downloads

Although it is a widely used project, Web3j has throughout this period remained a labour of love. Sustaining the project on an ongoing basis has been achieved via the Web3j community, the Web3 Labs team, and via grants we have been fortunate to have been recipients of.

Why Hyperledger Foundation?

Web3j is an important piece of infrastructure for the Ethereum and wider Web3 communities. I've always believed it important to ensure that Web3j does not rely on a single organisation for the long haul. Open source software needs to be able to outlive its creators and with the next phase of its evolution, this is what we want to achieve with it.

The Hyperledger Foundation with its focus on enterprise-grade open source blockchain projects is a natural place to bring Web3j into. With its member base comprising many large organisations of which Web3j was originally created for, along with its strong community and governance for its projects, I am confident that it will thrive there for years to come.

It's already being used by Hyperledger Besu (which Web3j also uses itself) and no doubt more opportunities for collaboration with further Hyperledger projects will emerge.

The Future

Web3 Labs remains firmly committed to Web3j and will continue to maintain it for the foreseeable future. However, one of the further benefits of bringing the project into the Hyperledger umbrella isn't just the greater visibility that comes with the organisation, but also the opportunity to bring other maintainers into the fold.

We are very keen to see other members of the Hyperledger community start contributing to the project and new maintainers emerge. This will help Web3j thrive further in the future!

What Happens Next?

A proposal was recently submitted to the Hyperledger Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), proposing that Web3j become a Hyperledger project with incubation status.

Provided this proposal is approved, Web3j will become an incubated project within Hyperledger. At this point it will start being hosted on the Hyperledger GitHub repository and  appear as a Hyperledger project to users.

From here, we will work to ensure Web3j can meet the criteria to exit the incubation status and become a graduated Hyperledger project.

For further information on the Hyperledger project lifecycle you can refer to the overview here.

A New Era for Web3j

The decision to bring Web3j into the Hyperledger ecosystem is one that has been on our radar for some time. We're excited that the process has now been set in motion and believe that there is no better place for the project to reside and thrive for the long term.

If you're interested in getting involved with the project, you can connect with the team via Discord or email.

 

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Web3j, Hyperledger Besu