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A Year in Review: ConsenSys Quorum Highlights

by ConsenSysDecember 17, 2020
Screen Shot 2020 12 16 at 3 25 00 PM

The updates, changes, and improvements to Hyperledger Besu and GoQuorum in 2020.

It is safe to say that this year has been anything but normal. Fortunately, the ConsenSys Quorum team’s work has been exceptional, even with the challenges of 2020. Today we highlight our accomplishments over the past year. 

Screen Shot 2020 12 16 at 3 25 00 PM
The ConsenSys Quorum stack – December 2020

The ConsenSys Quorum stack gives the end-user a bevy of useful features, including 

  • node allow-listing 
  • account allow-listing
  • permissioning APIs
  • private transactions
  • flexible privacy groups
  • monitoring
  • event streaming
  • plugins and plugin APIs

How did we get to this point? Across 2020, we launched new products, grew our community, and contributed to thought leadership in the enterprise blockchain space. Here are our top milestones for the year, and how they improve the experience of our users.

Screen Shot 2020 12 16 at 4 27 55 PM

February 2020

GoQuorum Remix Plugin Allows Private Transaction UI within Remix

Remix is an in-browser development environment to build smart contracts. With the Remix GoQuorum plugin, you can compile smart contracts with more customization such as a `privateFor` view of your nodes. The plugin adds an explicit private transaction checkbox to clean up UI and match different possible private states.

Want to try it out? Go to Remix and activate the “Quorum Network” plugin from the plugins list.

View the full release notes here.

Hackathon Teams Build on GoQuorum at ETHDenver! 

A permissioned email on Ethereum, a secure medical supply chain, and a platform for private sponsorship of investigative journalism—all built on GoQuorum. 

March 2020 

Hyperledger Besu Gains ‘Active Status’, Signaling to Developers and Contributors the Quality of the Project and Community.

In March 2020, Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee voted to approve Hyperledger Besu’s active status, making Besu the 5th project to achieve this milestone. Active status indicates that Besu meets all of the Incubation Exit Criteria, including legal requirements, high-quality documentation, consistent tooling usage, and diversity of community requirements. Each of these requirements demonstrates a project is a safe, welcoming, and vibrant space for community members to join and contribute. 

GoQuorum v2.5.0 Added Plug-in Support

This update allowed for the community to improve the GoQuorum client with their own innovative implementations of supported pluggable components. This decoupled new GoQuorum-specific features from core geth. The core development teams have a simplified process of merging upstream changes from core-geth, allowing them to spend more time building the features they need.

View the docs here.

Cakeshop v0.11.0 Introduces the Node Manager Screen, Privacy Enhancements, and UI Improvements.

Enhancements included the Node Manager tab, a widget to call methods from the Contracts tab, a better UI for pre-populating public keys from Tessara, and increased privacy.

View the full release notes here.

April 2020

Quorum Wizard Released: A command line tool that allows users to set up a development GoQuorum network on their local machine in less than 2 minutes.

With Quorum Wizard, developers can generate a local GoQuorum network to be run with either docker-compose or bash scripts. Create a simple network where you choose the number of nodes, which consensus mode, and which components to include (GoQuorum, Tessera, Cakeshop). Once you run your selected deployment, you’ll generate a fully customized network with generated keys, custom ports, and more.

View the docs here.

Hyperledger Besu Fast Sync Released, a Faster Method for a Node to Join Mainnet

Fast sync allows your Hyperledger Besu client to sync with the Ethereum mainnet without requiring a full sync. Fast sync allows for a user to get online without having to do a full sync, and at a later date the user can still validate the world state. Fast sync works across a self-hosted node or any cloud provider that is hosting your node.

Hyperledger Besu 1.4 Introduces Architectural, Privacy, and Customization Enhancements 

The introduction of multi-tenancy allows multiple participants in a private network to use the same Besu or Orion node. This allows an organization to optimize infrastructure resources when setting up a private network. Privacy Groups allow for nodes running Hyperledger Besu clients with an associated Orion node to send private transactions amongst each other while maintaining a connection to the Ethereum mainnet (or any public network with a non-final consensus mechanism). Transport Layer Security (TLS) support provides secure client and server communication, allowing for TLS between Besu, Orion, EthSigner, and deployed dApps. The Plugins API gives users the ability to extend Besu by exposing data and services to the end user, and can be used to build integrations with third party applications.

May 2020

GoQuorum v2.6.0 Brings Performance Optimization of Account and Storage Trie Access Patterns across Blocks, EVM Opcode Optimization, and Sync Process Optimization

We also added transaction pool optimization for better throughput and launched native GraphQL query capabilities for flexible querying.

Qubernetes v0.1.1 was also released, adding the ability to generate ingress K8s resources, network policy generation, optional annotations & storageclass to PVC, making the docker repo optionally configurable.

See the full release notes here (GoQuorum v2.6.0) and here (Qubernetes v.0.1.1)

June 2020

ConsenSys Launched the ConsenSys Partner Program, Hyperledger Besu and Orion are in the Partner-ready Product Offerings. 

The Partner Program allows system integrators, consulting firms, and independent software vendors to use Hyperledger Besu and Orion (and now the entire ConsenSys Quorum stack) by granting access to test and leverage our products for their solutions.

Qubernetes v0.1.2 and Quorum Wizard v1.1.0 Provide GoQuorum 2.6.0 Support and Increase the Speed and Ease of Installation and Deployment.

View full release notes here (Qubernetes v0.1.2) and here (Quorum Wizard v1.1.0)

July 2020

GoQuorum v2.7.0 Allows Adding New Members to Private Smart Contracts and Account Management Features and Tessera v.10.6 Introduces Logging Improvements

We added support for adding new members to private smart contracts, account management through HashiCorp Vault and JSON RPC API Oauth/authorization. The account management and API Oauth/authz work through external plugins that we also open sourced with their respective SDKs.

Tessera features including ‘bootstrap’ mode, supporting CUSTOM encryptor type with Unbound’s UKC as pilot implementation and other minor fixes. This enables logging improvements, recognizes localhost peers with IP or hostname when updating partyinfo, allows no Q2T servers to be specified to support bootstrap node setup, and more. 

View full release here (for GoQuorom v2.7) and here (for Tessera v10.6)

Quorum Wizard v1.2.0 Supports Deployments for Local Kubernetes-based Quorum Network

View full release notes here.

August 2020

Hyperledger Besu 1.5 Release Introduces Performance Improvements that Increase Transactions per Second (TPS)

The Hyperledger Besu team announced improvements to performance across many fronts, including adding support for native encryption libraries to tuning the EVM execution code, experimenting with different JVMs and building more robust benchmarking infrastructure. This resulted in performance improvements across sync times, transactions per second and requests per second.

ConsenSys Acquires Quorum

JP Morgan and ConsenSys announced that the Quorum open source project would be acquired and managed by ConsenSys as part of a strategic investment by JPM. You can read the full press release here and watch the “Introducing ConsenSys Quorum” Webinar. The ConsenSys open source protocol offering was rebranded ConsenSys Quorum. ConsenSys Quorum is made up of four layers of open source codebase: client software, private transaction management, external transaction signing, and additional tooling.

On top of the open source layer, developers and businesses can also deploy a range of institutional-grade product features via Codefi, developed by ConsenSys to enable asset tokenization and management, payments, document management, workflow optimization, risk compliance, and more.

ConsenSys Quorum Quickstart Improves the Developer Experience

Navigate to the Developers page and click the “Get Started” button to see the npx command to install ConsenSys Quorum, along with system requirements, documentation links, and contact information for ConsenSys Quorum.

Getting Started with Quorum webinar (demos the Quickstart)

Monitoring Improvements with the Release of Qubernetes v0.1.3 and Quorum Wizard v1.2.2  

Cakeshop can be Deployed on Qubernetes with Kubernetes. In addition, prometheus geth/quorum metrics collection can now be enabled and there is a docker-compose grafana dashboard that can be optionally deployed for monitoring.

Quorum Wizard introduced Splunk with Quorum, for monitoring of chain analytics, as an optional third-party tool. 

View the full release notes here (Qubernetes v0.1.3) and here (Quorum Wizard v1.2.2)

October 2020

ConsenSys Quorum moved to Calendar Versioning 

All ConsenSys Quorum projects, including GoQuorum, Hyperledger Besu, Orion, Tessera, and EthSigner moved away from the original versioning scheme to follow calendar versioning (CalVer). The team chose to move to CalVer to make it easier for users to recognize the latest major releases, and identify which versions of Quorum bundle components have been tested extensively with each other. 

GoQuorum v20.10.0, Tessera v1.0.0 and v20.10.0 Introduce Privacy Enhancements

We introduced a new `privacyFlag` parameter to `sendTransaction` APIs enabling us to define the mode for execution of a private transaction. 

View the release notes here (GoQuorum v.20.10.0)

Tessera now supports privacy enhancements, e.g. counterparty protection and private state validation. These improvements also include improved performance on peer to peer transaction `push` by parallelisation and other minor fixes.  There were also privacy enhancements made to Tessera for Private State Validation (PSV) support here.

View the release notes here (Tessera v1.0.0) and here (Tessera v20.10.0)

Qubernetes v0.2.0 Added Command line Tool 

Command line tool added for initializing, modifying, and interacting with the network.

Binaries available attached to the release: mac, linux. View the release notes here.

Quorum Profiling and Quorum Reporting

Quorum Profiling is a toolset built for the purpose of running stress tests on networks running on Quorum and monitor the TPS and other benchmarking parameters at network level. 

Quorum Reporting as a tool that indexes blocks and transactions in a GoQuorum network and generates reports to give users insights into what is happening with their contracts. 

Read the docs here (Quorum Profiling) and here (Quorum Reporting)

November 2020

ConsenSys Quorum’s First Bundled Release Allows for Quicker Installation

These bundles include binaries for the projects so that developers can spin up the projects all together, and start building their applications that much quicker. This is added to the Quickstart

GoQuorum Wizard 1.3.0 (Latest) Adds Support for Quorum/Tessera 20.10.0

We added support for GoQuorum/Tessera 20.10.0, which enables enhanced privacy features when using GoQuorum 20.10.0+, and adds GoQuorum Reporting Tool (Beta) to optional tools to deploy alongside the network.

View full release notes and update instructions here.

December 2020 — 2021+

ConsenSys Quorum Support Available for Individuals and Enterprises

The Support Contact Form and ConsenSys Quorum Enterprise webpage have been modified to contact the team for support subscriptions.

Ongoing Work on Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559, An Update to Ethereum’s Monetary Policy that Improves Gas Price Predictability

While this feature isn’t complete, we’ve spent a lot of time working on it in preparation for EIP-1559. Updates have been included in ConsenSys Quorum Release 20.10.0 and Besu 1.5 Release. Read an overview of EIP-1559 and community outreach report for EIP-1559

This has been a wild ride for all of us. With all of the important work done in 2020, the ConsenSys Quorum team is more than ready for what’s to follow in Q1 2021. As we see more interoperability, extensive engineering support, and ecosystem development through community efforts—we’re excited to bring Enterprise Ethereum to more industry use-cases. 

If you want to keep up with the latest, join us here: 

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