Blockchain for Business Applications

1   Introduction

After success with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins & Ether, blockchain is now being evaluated for developing enterprise applications as well. With enterprises there’s no need for incentives, mining, proof of work, no wastage of power or specialized hardware but privacy of transaction and security of assets is of paramount importance.

Blockchain has opened door to new styles of digital interactions, where virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded without central point of control. All this comes for a fraction of cost, development & deployment.

Business Applications typically manage Assets, which can be digitally represented JSON or Binary. Asset is anything that has value and its state may change over a period of time e.g. money, car, house, insurance and so on.

Take for example, a Car’s attributes like its “Owner” may change once it leave manufacturing unit, dealer, and buyers. While its other attributes like Model, Capacity etc. may never change, all this can be modeled and implemented well.

Different organizations need to collaborate, each with its specific role & responsibilities.

Transactions is another component that participates in managing Assets state / value. Blockchain shines here.

All this can be modeled, implemented and executed with ease and securely with tools that are being developed.

Here are few quotes:

  • “Blockchain isn’t just an evolution in technology but rather a revolutionary change in how things work and a paradigm shift with regards to who is in control,”
  • “The disruptions we are seeing [aren’t] limited to the banking industry and commerce. It has the potential to positively impact all sectors of the economy.”
  • “Blockchain technology can make many aspects of our life easier on a mathematically provable platform.”

It’s time for architects and organizations to evaluate and explore Blockchain.

2 Applications that can Benefit from Blockchain

Following are some typical applications that can benefit from this revolution.

  1. Banking & Financial Markets

Bring trust, simplicity & enhanced customer experience to financial services.

  1. Supply Chain

Add greater visibility and efficiency across the entire supply chain and deliver higher value.

  1. Insurance

Revolutionize the trust that powers insurance with an immutable foundation of transparency and shared purpose.

  1. Retail & Consumer Goods

Harness blockchain to reinvent the product authenticity, operational excellence and consumer experience

  1. Government

Protect citizen information, maintain trust and ensure the accuracy of public records

  1. Health Care

Streamline clinical data across organizations and enable patients to control their medical data to increase the quality of care.

3   Frameworks Available

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, under the aegis of “The Linux Foundation”.

It is intended to enable enterprises develop blockchain based application really fast. It is currently one of the most stable permissioned, general purpose and enterprise-ready blockchain development platform.

3.1   Hyperledger Fabric

This is a blockchain development framework for developing Enterprise Applications with a modular architecture. It is a component-based system with an emphasis on plug-and-play features such as pluggable consensus, and unique membership services for different user roles. Hyperledger Fabric leverages container technology to host smart contracts called “chaincode” that comprise the application logic of the system.

3.2    Hyperledger Composer

Hyperledger Composer is a set of collaboration tools for building blockchain business networks that make it simple and fast for business owners and developers to create smart contracts and blockchain applications to solve business problems.

Built with JavaScript, leveraging modern tools including node.js, npm, CLI and popular editors, Composer offers business-centric abstractions as well as sample apps with easy to test devops processes to create robust blockchain solutions that drive alignment across business requirements with technical development.

4  How to Start

One of the ways to start is to get your hands dirty. Linux/ Mac machine with 8 GB RAM is enough to start with, though Windows is also supported.

Understanding of Docker, X.509 Certificates, REST, Node.js, Angular.JS is required to build your first Business Network Application (bna).

Presently all components are packaged as Docker container to simplify development & deployment.

It may take 4-5 weeks to have a feel of its power, concepts and create a simple application.

There are great tutorials and samples available over Internet and host of active users supporting its adoption.

Please feel free to contact me for any help.

5       References

https://www.ibm.com/blockchain/use-cases/

Hyperledger Fabric

https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/composer

 

2 thoughts on “Blockchain for Business Applications”

  1. Very well written, accurately defined article. Some day even we will also be a part of this change which is taking place in technology. Hope that our system of working will improve with this.

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