Make Your First Blockchain Trade

Today, I’m going to teach you how to setup your blockchain dev environment and make your first blockchain trade on a locally hosted business network that we will create from scratch. All in all, this should take about an hour or two. So, let’s get started.

If you are new to the blockchain, here is a resources about what blockchain is: What is Blockchain? . Read this first before trying to build anything.

Second, this post is going to be a bit of a long post and assumes that you already know how to use the command line, have a recent mac os x operating, and have basic knowledge of javascript.

I’m breaking this up into three steps. The first step is setting up the configuration on your computer, then the second step is creating your own business network, and the third step is making your first trade.

Step One: Installing and Configuring your Developer Environment

1a) Install Docker.

Go to Docker. Setup a free account. Download Docker for Mac OS X. Setup Docker. Start running docker in the background after install.

1b) Install nvm.

curl -o- | bash

1c) Update or create your .bash_profile in the root directory of your computer.

1d) Rerun the command in 1b)

1e) Check to see that nvm was installed by running this command.

Run nvm --version in your console. It should return 0.33.11, which is the latest version as of this blog post.

1f) Install node.

Run nvm install --lts in your console.

1g) Switch to using the latest node.

Run nvm use --lts in your console.

1h) node --version to check that node is using the latest version. It should be version 8.11.3 as of this blog post.

1i) Install Visual Studio Code

Go to and download Visual Studio Code.

1j) Install the Visual Studio Extension for Hyperledger Composer

Go to the startup screen of Visual Studio, press the “Extensions” button. Search for “Hyperledger Composer”. Click Install. Once it is installed, you need to click the Reload button, which will appear where the Install button was before.

1k) Install the Composer CLI tool.

Run npm install -g composer-cli in your console.

1l) Install the utility for building and running a REST server to expose your business networks as APIs

Run npm install -g composer-rest-server in your console.

1m) Install utility for generating application assets

Run npm install -g generator-hyperledger-composer in your console.

1n) Install Yeoman which uses hyperledger-composer to generate applications:

Run npm install -g yo in your console.

1o) Install the Composer Playground.

Run npm install -g composer-playground in your console.

1p) In your root directory, make the directory where you will store your Hyperledger Fabric runtime to deploy your business networks to. Run the following commands in order.

1p1) `mkdir ~/fabric-dev-servers && cd ~/fabric-dev-servers`

1p2) `curl -O`

1p3) `tar -xvf fabric-dev-servers.tar.gz`

1p4) `cd ~/fabric-dev-servers`

1p5) `./`

Step Two: Creating and Deploying Your Business Network

  1. Let’s enter your directory of fabric development servers.

Run cd ~/fabric-dev-servers in your console. Then run pwd to check to make sure you are in the right directory.

  1. Let’s start a fabric!

Run ./ in your console.

  1. Let’s make a PeerAdminCard.

Run ./ in your console.

  1. Let’s get started with someone we can actually work on.

Run composer-playground in your console. You should see in your web browser a screen with a GUI that has several options. You should also see your peerAdminCard. There is an option to develop your business network using only the GUI. We will not be following that track. We will be following the developer track. If you would prefer the GUI, then please follow this tutorial called the Playground Tutorial.

  1. To create the scaffolding for your skeleton/empty business network, run yo hyperledger-composer:businessnetwork in your console. 5a) Enter tutorial-network as the name 5b) Enter project description 5c) Enter name of person developing the network (i.e. you) 5d) Enter your email for this project 5e) Select Apache-2.0 for the license 5f) Select org.example.mynetwork 5g) Select ‘No’ when asked if you want to develop an empty business network.

  2. If you have sublime text and the command line utility installed, run subl . in your project directory named ‘tutorial network’.

  3. Open your org.example.mynetwork.cto file, which is our Model file.

  4. Replace it’s contents with the following:

 * My commodity trading network
namespace org.example.mynetwork
asset Commodity identified by tradingSymbol {
    o String tradingSymbol
    o String description
    o String mainExchange
    o Double quantity
    --> Trader owner
participant Trader identified by tradeId {
    o String tradeId
    o String firstName
    o String lastName
transaction Trade {
    --> Commodity commodity
    --> Trader newOwner
  1. Open up your index.js file within your lib folder within the project.

  2. Replace it’s contents with the following and save the file afterwards:

 * Track the trade of a commodity from one trader to another
 * @param {org.example.mynetwork.Trade} trade - the trade to be processed
 * @transaction
async function tradeCommodity(trade) {
    trade.commodity.owner = trade.newOwner;
    let assetRegistry = await getAssetRegistry('org.example.mynetwork.Commodity');
    await assetRegistry.update(trade.commodity);
  1. Open permissions.acl in your text editor.

  2. Replace the contents with the following:

 * Access control rules for tutorial-network
rule Default {
    description: "Allow all participants access to all resources"
    participant: "ANY"
    operation: ALL
    resource: "org.example.mynetwork.*"
    action: ALLOW

rule SystemACL {
  description:  "System ACL to permit all access"
  participant: "ANY"
  operation: ALL
  resource: "org.hyperledger.composer.system.**"
  action: ALLOW
  1. Generate the business network archive or BNA file within the tutorial-network folder.

Run composer archive create -t dir -n . (do not forget the . at the end of the command) in your console.

  1. Install the business network within the tutorial-network directory.

Run composer network install --card PeerAdmin@hlfv1 --archiveFile tutorial-network@0.0.1.bna in your console.

  1. Start the business network using the following command.

Run composer network start --networkName tutorial-network --networkVersion 0.0.1 --networkAdmin admin --networkAdminEnrollSecret adminpw --card PeerAdmin@hlfv1 --file networkadmin.card in your console.

  1. Import the network admin identity as the usable business network card by running the following command:

Run composer card import --file networkadmin.card in your console.

  1. Check that it has been deployed successfully with the following command:

Run composer network ping --card admin@tutorial-network in your console.

You should see a response or an error. If an error, listen to the error and debug.

Your successful response should look like this:

The connection to the network was successfully tested: tutorial-network-generated
    Business network version: 0.0.1
    Composer runtime version: 0.19.11
    participant: org.hyperledger.composer.system.NetworkAdmin#admin
    identity: org.hyperledger.composer.system.Identity#somenumbersandletters

Command succeeded
  1. Let’s generate a REST server.

Run composer-rest-server within the directory of your BNA / tutorial-network in your console. 18a) Enter admin@tutorial-network for your card name 18b) Select ‘never use namespaces’ when asked about generating namespaces in the generated API 18c) Select ‘no’ to the request for securing the generated API 18d) Select ‘no’ to the request with the API 18e) Select ‘yes’ when asked about to enable event publication 18f) Select ‘no’ when asked to implement TLS security.

  1. Let’s generate an application! Run yo hyperledger-composer:angular in your console. 19a) Select ‘yes’ when asked to connect to existing business network 19b) Enter your project name, description, author name, author email for package.json file. 19c) Enter ‘admin@tutorial-network’ for your admin card name 19d) Select ‘Connect to existing API’ 19e) Enter http://localhost for your REST server address 19f) Enter 3000 for your port 19g) Select ‘namespaces are not used’

  2. Navigate to the directory named ‘tutorial-network’ within ‘tutorial-network’, i.e. the directory without the .bna in it.

  3. Run the following to install dependencies of the app. npm install in your console, while inside the ‘tutorial-network’ directory where the package.json file was generated.

  4. Run npm start within the same directory (‘tutorial-network’).

  5. Open your web browser and navigate to http://localhost:4200 to see your interface for your newly created business network.

Congratulations! You Deployed And Created Your First Blockchain Business Network!

Step Three: Making Your First Trade

  1. Navigate to Participants > Traders in your API.

  2. Click create Participants.

  3. Create Two Participants with unique id numbers

  4. Navigate to Asset. Create an asset.

  5. Go to your REST API on localhost:3000/explorer

  6. Navigate to Trade, click show/hide.

  7. Click on /Trade next to POST. You should see a set of example JSON for a successful trade. You should also see parameters for you to try it out.

    Copy and paste the following code into the value textarea:

  "$class": "org.example.mynetwork.Trade",
  "commodity": "resource:org.example.mynetwork.Commodity#ABC",
  "newOwner": "resource:org.example.mynetwork.Trader#TRADER2"

Replace TRADER2 with the name of your trader. (if there are spaces, separate them by adding %20 instead of a space). Replace the commodity name with your own commodity name after your resource:org.example.mynetwork.Commodity. Keep the $class as it is.

  1. Click on Try it out! If you get a ‘Response Code’ of 200, then your trade has been successfully completed!

    You can now go back to your Angular front end and check the commodity’s owner. It should represent the new owner that you have requested in your JSON.

Congratulations! You just completed your first trade on your very own blockchain network!

If you’d like to learn more about blockchain, then take a look at these resources below.


Blockchain Essentials Course

Writing Web Applications - Hyperledger Composer

Developer Tutorial - Hyperledger Composer

BNA deployment error - StackOverflow

Introduction to Smart Contracts - Solidity Docs

Sources used in this tutorial

Installing Development Tools - Hyperledger Composer

Installing Pre-requisites for Hyperledger Composer


Published 1 Jul 2018

founder && full stack && ethereum developer.
Max Goodman on Twitter