Audience: Architects, Application and smart contract developers, Business professionals
Let’s analyze commercial paper in a little more detail. PaperNet participants such as MagnetoCorp and DigiBank use commercial paper transactions to achieve their business objectives – let’s examine the structure of a commercial paper and the transactions that affect it over time. We will also consider which organizations in PaperNet need to sign off on a transaction based on the trust relationships among the organizations in the network. Later we’ll focus on how money flows between buyers and sellers; for now, let’s focus on the first paper issued by MagnetoCorp.
Commercial paper lifecycle¶
A paper 00001 is issued by MagnetoCorp on May 31. Spend a few moments looking at the first state of this paper, with its different properties and values:
Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Owner = MagnetoCorp Issue date = 31 May 2020 Maturity = 30 November 2020 Face value = 5M USD Current state = issued
This paper state is a result of the issue transaction and it brings
MagnetoCorp’s first commercial paper into existence! Notice how this paper has a
5M USD face value for redemption later in the year. See how the
Owner are the same when paper 00001 is issued. Notice that this paper could be
uniquely identified as
MagnetoCorp00001 – a composition of the
Paper properties. Finally, see how the property
Current state = issued
quickly identifies the stage of MagnetoCorp paper 00001 in its lifecycle.
Shortly after issuance, the paper is bought by DigiBank. Spend a few moments looking at how the same commercial paper has changed as a result of this buy transaction:
Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Owner = DigiBank Issue date = 31 May 2020 Maturity date = 30 November 2020 Face value = 5M USD Current state = trading
The most significant change is that of
Owner – see how the paper initially
MagnetoCorp is now owned by
DigiBank. We could imagine how the
paper might be subsequently sold to BrokerHouse or HedgeMatic, and the
corresponding change to
Owner. Note how
Current state allow us to easily
identify that the paper is now
After 6 months, if DigiBank still holds the commercial paper, it can redeem it with MagnetoCorp:
Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Owner = MagnetoCorp Issue date = 31 May 2020 Maturity date = 30 November 2020 Face value = 5M USD Current state = redeemed
This final redeem transaction has ended the commercial paper’s lifecycle –
it can be considered closed. It is often mandatory to keep a record of redeemed
commercial papers, and the
redeemed state allows us to quickly identify these.
The value of
Owner of a paper can be used to perform access control on the
redeem transaction, by comparing the
Owner against the identity of the
transaction creator. Fabric supports this through the
getCreator() chaincode API.
If Go is used as a chaincode language, the client identity chaincode library
can be used to retrieve additional attributes of the transaction creator.
We’ve seen that paper 00001’s lifecycle is relatively straightforward – it
redeemed as a result of an issue,
buy, or redeem transaction.
These three transactions are initiated by MagnetoCorp and DigiBank (twice), and drive the state changes of paper 00001. Let’s have a look at the transactions that affect this paper in a little more detail:
Examine the first transaction initiated by MagnetoCorp:
Txn = issue Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Issue time = 31 May 2020 09:00:00 EST Maturity date = 30 November 2020 Face value = 5M USD
See how the issue transaction has a structure with properties and values. This transaction structure is different to, but closely matches, the structure of paper 00001. That’s because they are different things – paper 00001 reflects a state of PaperNet that is a result of the issue transaction. It’s the logic behind the issue transaction (which we cannot see) that takes these properties and creates this paper. Because the transaction creates the paper, it means there’s a very close relationship between these structures.
The only organization that is involved in the issue transaction is MagnetoCorp. Naturally, MagnetoCorp needs to sign off on the transaction. In general, the issuer of a paper is required to sign off on a transaction that issues a new paper.
Next, examine the buy transaction which transfers ownership of paper 00001 from MagnetoCorp to DigiBank:
Txn = buy Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Current owner = MagnetoCorp New owner = DigiBank Purchase time = 31 May 2020 10:00:00 EST Price = 4.94M USD
See how the buy transaction has fewer properties that end up in this paper.
That’s because this transaction only modifies this paper. It’s only
New owner = DigiBank that changes as a result of this transaction; everything else
is the same. That’s OK – the most important thing about the buy transaction
is the change of ownership, and indeed in this transaction, there’s an
acknowledgement of the current owner of the paper, MagnetoCorp.
You might ask why the
Purchase time and
Price properties are not captured in
paper 00001? This comes back to the difference between the transaction and the
paper. The 4.94 M USD price tag is actually a property of the transaction,
rather than a property of this paper. Spend a little time thinking about
this difference; it is not as obvious as it seems. We’re going to see later
that the ledger will record both pieces of information – the history of all
transactions that affect this paper, as well its latest state. Being clear on
this separation of information is really important.
It’s also worth remembering that paper 00001 may be bought and sold many times. Although we’re skipping ahead a little in our scenario, let’s examine what transactions we might see if paper 00001 changes ownership.
If we have a purchase by BigFund:
Txn = buy Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Current owner = DigiBank New owner = BigFund Purchase time = 2 June 2020 12:20:00 EST Price = 4.93M USD
Followed by a subsequent purchase by HedgeMatic:
Txn = buy Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Current owner = BigFund New owner = HedgeMatic Purchase time = 3 June 2020 15:59:00 EST Price = 4.90M USD
See how the paper owners changes, and how in our example, the price changes. Can you think of a reason why the price of MagnetoCorp commercial paper might be falling?
Intuitively, a buy transaction demands that both the selling as well as the buying organization need to sign off on such a transaction such that there is proof of the mutual agreement among the two parties that are part of the deal.
The redeem transaction for paper 00001 represents the end of its lifecycle. In our relatively simple example, HedgeMatic initiates the transaction which transfers the commercial paper back to MagnetoCorp:
Txn = redeem Issuer = MagnetoCorp Paper = 00001 Current owner = HedgeMatic Redeem time = 30 Nov 2020 12:00:00 EST
Again, notice how the redeem transaction has very few properties; all of the
changes to paper 00001 can be calculated data by the redeem transaction logic:
Issuer will become the new owner, and the
Current state will change to
Current owner property is specified in our example, so that it
can be checked against the current holder of the paper.
From a trust perspective, the same reasoning of the buy transaction also applies to the redeem instruction: both organizations involved in the transaction are required to sign off on it.
In this topic, we’ve seen how transactions and the resultant paper states are the two most important concepts in PaperNet. Indeed, we’ll see these two fundamental elements in any Hyperledger Fabric distributed ledger – a world state, that contains the current value of all objects, and a blockchain that records the history of all transactions that resulted in the current world state.
The required sign-offs on transactions are enforced through rules, which are evaluated before appending a transaction to the ledger. Only if the required signatures are present, Fabric will accept a transaction as valid.
You’re now in a great place to translate these ideas into a smart contract. Don’t worry if your programming is a little rusty, we’ll provide tips and pointers to understand the program code. Mastering the commercial paper smart contract is the first big step towards designing your own application. Or, if you’re a business analyst who’s comfortable with a little programming, don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper!