Blockchain is all the rage at the moment. Even if you’re not in the tech sphere, chances are you’ve been introduced to the concept and a few hazy pieces of information surrounding it. The immense amount of technology, knowledge, and innovation that are channeled into all things blockchain can make keeping up with the basics a little tough. Below, we’ve outlined six critical points that anybody looking to up their blockchain knowledge should know. Read on to find out more about this increasingly-popular technology– who knows, you may just surprise your boss with your findings.
1. Blockchain varieties– Hyperledger, Ethereum, and Quorum
Hyperledger is an open source, multi-project collaborative effort hosted by the Linux Foundation. It was created with the intent to advance blockchain technologies– especially those which cross industry lines. Linux recognized the revolutionary nature of blockchain and sprung to create Hyperledger, which is designed to empower software developers around the globe as they build blockchain platforms.
Ethereum, which was launched in 2015, is another popular blockchain. Itfeatures its own native cryptocurrency (called Ether) and provides a platform for developers to build new varieties of applications. Thousands of applications have been built on Ethereum, including:
- Decentralized markets for trading digital assets
- Financial applications for digital assets
- Cryptocurrency wallets
Quorum, a private blockchain developed by J.P. Morgan, is essentially another version of Ethereum. It’s an effort to improve traditional issues with blockchain technology, especially as they relate to finance. Quorum is notable for its high-speed processing and performance capabilities.
2. How to run a permissioned blockchain network
Blockchain as a Service (or BaaS) offerings have taken lead in the industry, especially with cloud providers like Azure and AWS coming into the picture. BaaS makes outsourcing blockchain hosting, maintenance, and support work to external providers simple for companies. Azure offers Azure Blockchain Service, which allows businesses to focus on logic and app development rather than concerning themselves with blockchain network formation and management. The feature is available via simple, per-node pricing that helps ensure costs remain predictable. Amazon also offers the Amazon Managed Blockchain service for AWS. It’s a fully managed service developed to help businesses avoid the overhead associated with creating blockchain networks. With Amazon Managed Blockchain, your blockchain will be fully managed, scalable, and secure.
3. The importance of middleware solutions
Middleware solutions like BaaS have the ability to fast-track blockchain implementation within an enterprise. As you read above, there are numerous tools, platforms, and services designed to make blockchain creation easier. There are a host of “no-code” platforms to encourage less-experienced or tech-savvy enterprises to tackle creating their own blockchain; plenty of these solutions also offer workflow tools. We’ve even got our own middleware solution: DEF! DEF is a plug and play data exchange framework powered by blockchain. It allows you to create multi-party workflows, integrate with existing tech, and leverage permission data sharing to increase security.
4. Blockchain shouldn’t be applied everywhere
Blockchain is for cross-organizational use cases where trust and data inconsistency is a big issue. Blockchain doesn’t work effectively in isolation– if transactions are only occurring within one organization, a decentralized network shouldn’t be the first solution. Trust and consistency should be achieved via other methods; blockchain as a solution in scenarios like these is unnecessary. Securing a blockchain is also much slower than applying the same securities to relational databases. That means that if the process isn’t truly worth your time, it’s time wasted.
5. Smart contracts aren’t so smart
Blockchain governance plays a significant role in the drafting and evolution of smart contracts. Once you’ve written your business rules on smart contracts, there needs to be a mechanism to change the business rules with time. Distributed governance is paramount to ensuring contracts are followed and decision-making process doesn’t become muddled by personal affairs. Integrating a dynamic governance layer into your blockchain efforts helps align every involved party’s reputational and financial incentives and goals. Many organization rely on GovBlocks to help achieve this. With GovBlocks, you’ll be able to leverage:
- An iterative approach to governance
- A modular, configurable approach for defining things like member roles and action triggers
- The power to manage a varied and constantly-growing range of factors
6. Auditing your blockchain application is critical
Much like OWASP testing is the norm for web-based applications, certain security considerations should be a regular part of auditing your smart contract-based blockchain application as well. Auditing the smart contract code is absolutely essential. Audits will protect you from losses of funds, value, and data; many experts in the field promote the idea that auditors need to be more vigilant than project developers. Interested in learning more about blockchain and how it could change the way your company does business? Schedule a 1:1 session with us today to speak to an expert about your organization’s future with blockchain. Whether you’re part of a budding startup or a massive enterprise, we’ve got the know-how and skills that you need to leverage to achieve success. And, if you’ve got smart contracts ready for audit, you can get them audited with us today! Our friendly, knowledgeable team is eager to help you gain a deeper understanding of blockchain technology and the immense power it can lend to your business. For three years, our steadfast commitment to re-engineering, designing, developing, and implementing innovative new blockchain technology has positioned us as experts and leaders within the industry.
Ish Goel established the ‘Blockchain Centre of Excellence’ at Somish in 2016. Through the Somish Group, he has worked with the Government, Real Estate, BFSI, Manufacturing, Retail, Agriculture and Logistics industry over the past one decade.
Ish is one of the key blockchain architects at Somish and has led delivery of multiple blockchain products using platforms like Ethereum and Hyperledger globally. Key product offerings include: DEF (Data Exchange Framework powered by blockchain, getdef.io), GovBlocks (Decision Making Protocol, govblocks.io) and Certy (Issue Certificates on Blockchain, certy.io)