In Focus

Hyperledger Ursa Joins Hyperledger Products Family

Usra is a modular, flexible cryptography library that allows other to use existing, time tested, and trusted cryptographic libraries but also new cryptographic library implementations being developed.

Hyperledger Ursa 

Hyperledger Ursa just became the latest project to join Hyperledger Blockchain products family.
 
Cryptography is one of the core technologies of blockchain. Not only cryptographic algorithms difficult to understand but they also take time to learn and implement.
 
Usra is a modular, flexible cryptography library that allows other to use existing, time tested, and trusted cryptographic libraries but also new cryptographic library implementations being developed.
 
Ursa is written in Rust programming language but will have interfaces in all of the different languages that are commonly used throughout Hyperledger.
 
From the announcement:
 
As Hyperledger has matured, the individual projects within Hyperledger have started to find a need for sophisticated cryptographic implementations. Rather than have each project implement its own cryptographic protocols, it is much better to collaborate on a shared library. There are many reasons to do this, including the following:
 
Avoiding duplication: Crypto implementations are notoriously difficult to get correct (particularly when side channels are taken into account) and often require a lot of work in order to achieve a high level of security. The library allows projects to share crypto implementations, avoiding unnecessary duplication and extra work.
 
Security: Having most (or all) of the crypto code in a single location substantially simplifies the security analysis of the crypto portion of Hyperledger. In addition, the lack of duplication means maintenance is easier (and thus, hopefully security bugs are less numerous). The presence of easy to use, secure crypto implementations might also make it less likely for less experienced people to create their own less secure implementations.
 
Expert Review: In addition, the ability to enforce expert review of all cryptographic code should increase security as well. Having all of our cryptographic code in a single location makes it easier to concentrate all of the cryptographic expertise in the project and ensures that code will be well reviewed, thus decreasing the likelihood of dangerous security bugs.
 
Cross-platform interoperability: If two projects use the same crypto libraries, it simplifies (substantially in some cases) cross-platform interoperability, since cryptographic verification involves the same protocols on both sides.
 
Modularity: This could be the first common component/module and a step towards modular DLT platforms, which share common components. While we have already outlined most of the advantages this modularity brings in terms of actual functionality, a successful crypto library encourages and pushes forward more modular activities.
 
New Projects: It is easier for new projects to get off the ground if they have easy access to well-implemented, modular cryptographic abstractions.
 
Learn more about Ursa: https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/ursa