Burrow, which is a permissible smart contract machine, has become a project under Hyperledger. It is expected that the Burrow project will move to Hyperledger’s infrastructure in the coming weeks. Burrow has been functionally separate from Ethereum and its users can use any smart contract so long as it has been compiled by any Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) language compiler.

What is Burrow?

Burrow finds favor with businesses that need permissions on their deployment of Blockchains because of various legal or commercial requirements. The Burrow smart contract machine is general purpose and cross industry in its nature. According to Casey Kuhlman of Monax,

“Burrow provides a permissioned deployment of the Ethereum Virtual Machine allowing its users to leverage the emergent industry standard, deterministic smart contract interpreter in a permissioned Blockchain network.”

He adds than in the future, Burrow will be available as an engine on a range of industrial Blockchains such as Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake and Hyperledger Fabric.

Ethereum and Hyperledger “not competitors”

In a blog post, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger, announced Burrow becoming a project under Hyperledger.

His take on this event is that it sends a strong message that “any positioning of the Hyperledger and Ethereum communities as competitive is incorrect.”

Brian goes on to explain in his blog that ‘permissioned’ and ‘unpermissioned’ are two ends of a range of options for setting up a distributed ledger and not only the only two available choices. He writes, “Being able to collaborate on various approaches to these problems is fundamentally important to getting really innovative ideas into production-quality code as quickly as possible.”

Other distributed ledgers can experiment with EVMs

Now that Burrow is a part of the Hyperledger project, the door is open for other distributed ledger projects under Hyperledger to experiment with EVMs.

As Brian Behlendorf says, “with 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.”