Blockchain is a decentralized, public, trustless ledger that has brought a paradigm shift in digital currencies, finance, banking, and medical cases. The technology witnessed widespread adoption in several fields. Moreover, blockchain supports the ever-changing, continuously evolving infrastructures to eliminate security vulnerabilities, streamline management, protect property being thieves, and aid shelters to scale and grow.
After coming into fame back in October 2008 with the release of Bitcoin, a new-age of trust with P2P networks, which is a holistic data set that all actors in a network can trust. Trusted and shared transactions’ ledger, where encrypted and immutable information copies are stored. The technology has come a long way since 2008 as several enterprises, start-ups across the world have started implementing it.
Features that sets blockchain apart from other technologies:
- Provides complete transparency
- Implements cost-efficiency operations
- Seamless sharing of data across the network
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Successful blockchain Implementation Include these steps :
Blockchain is entirely decentralized, which allows servers or machines with nodes to control the blockchain network. Only one stakeholder has control over the blockchain network. If the stakeholder demands, the blockchain can be utterly permissionless by allowing the stakeholder to either make additions or view the blockchain. They can also make blockchain permission by putting restrictions on changes and viewing capabilities.
Implementing blockchain requires the steps below:
1.Identify a Use-Case
As a disruptive technology, there is a particular prowess of the technology that enterprise customers need to understand regarding the pitfalls and prerequisites to implement blockchain. Leaping to implement blockchain is a life-long commitment, but it is rewarding. Having an open mind regarding use cases can change the entire game as blockchain changes how it functions.
Some of the essential use-cases to ponder upon are:
Secured: None of the parties identified is linked together in a blockchain. Cryptography makes it easier for both permission and non-permissioned participants to see the data, which is ideal for them.
Shared & Replicated: Any ledger data, whether transactional or data-driver, is shared seamlessly in the network. Blockchain also provides participants with a copy of their ledger.
Immutable: The data once uploaded to the blocks cannot be deleted or modified; they are permanent. Blockchain allows attaching a system of records. At the same time, verifying an audit is also a critical use case for blockchain networks.
Verifiable: Blockchain associates all the essential business rules to oversee transactions of the network. Moreover, the trades are accepted throughout the network when business rules are put into motion. Proof of Work (PoW) is a mining derivative that selects endorsements round the clock.
Enterprises need to choose the use cases which deems fit to their requirement.
2.Developing a Proof of Concept (POC)
Proof of Concept or PoC in the blockchain is a groundbreaking process that verifies real-world application's real-life use. PoC determines if the project is functional and feasible to carry out a task. Developing a competent PoC will gravitate to ensure automation and streamlining repetitive and intermediaries actions. Blockchain PoC brings much more value to end-users and customers than any other technology.
Today many industries implement blockchain in their daily operations and rely on PoCs for optimum functionality. Some of the sectors where PoCs have revolutionized how they function are:
- Insurance, among others
3.Choosing the blockchain carefully
When organizations and businesses come with a choice of opting for blockchain, they develop a wrong notion. Often the enterprise users think blockchain is the blanket solution they need for everyday challenges. Yes, it is true that blockchain has insurmountable potential to change how businesses function. However, it is essential to carefully examine before they choose blockchain isn’t the ideal choice.
Blockchain isn't a universal technology, but it brings additional value to businesses. When you're about to choose a blockchain network, consider the following steps:
- Determine if the Blockchain technology is an ideal fit for challenges in the business
- Select the approach to integrating blockchain
- How hard it might sound, consider some existing solutions
Names of the cutting-edge blockchain platforms are as follows:
- Hyperledger Fabric
- Open chain
With adequate research, businesses can learn how not to get misled through marketing tactics. When it comes to choosing to rely on budget, ascertained that the technology possesses. Blockchain could either be public, private, permissionless, permissioned, decentralized, and centralized. The dynamism, as well as the responsiveness of blockchain, will not fail you, ever.
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4.Initializing the blockchain
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Initializing blockchain requires the first-ever block to come into being curated manually. Remember, the block should comprise all the characteristics of the said chain. Then the features are shared through network nodes. Moreover, a JSON format file is created for defining the block. There are numerous parameters like Nonce, Timestamp, which have to be specific. When the JSON file is further filled in, businesses could create folders that comprise blockchain and the initialization.
5. Choosing the right consensus protocol
Implementing blockchain would require a protocol to solve mathematical problems. Moreover, solving it requires significant calculation. For instance, if the miner comes around with a verifiable solution, it helps the cause. In the blockchain, the first person in the network to develop the solution could write the next block. Further, this allows the blocks to be written regularly. The consensus protocol also protects against spam and hacking attempts.
Moreover, the consensus protocols are greatly responsible for creating undeniable agreements among devices in a holistically distributed network. Some of the essential consensus protocols are:
- Proof-of-Stake (PoS)
- Proof-of-Work (PoW)
- Proof-of-Weight (PoW)
- Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)
- Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS)
6. Designing Deliberately
The designing of blockchain requires careful curation. Integrating blockchain into business means only one thing- to equip the technology for solving all kinds of issues persisting in an organization irrespective of their size. Blockchain also needs to co-exist with the already prevailing processes. A blockchain that is extremely powerful but cannot fulfill the requirement and factors would require further evaluation. Moreover, it is the evaluation that would determine the foundation level groundwork for the blockchain implementation.
7. Navigating Uncertainty
Blockchain has been around since the 80s. However, the technology never came into much prominence until the release of Bitcoin. As blockchain is essentially associated with cryptocurrency, there are several regulations that the technology goes through.
The regulatory practices will change in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the regulations are the reason why organizations have to monitor the ever-changing regulatory framework. Organizations would also have to put their effort into shaping blockchain. Different countries have specific regulations and approaches for integrating blockchain.
Organizations and businesses should work alongside regulators. The collaboration will aid in enhancing the overall implementation of blockchain.
Blockchain Implementation Examples & Use Cases
Before you begin to implement blockchain, don’t you want to see some blockchain implementation examples that will inspire you? Let's have an overview of different industries.
Banking is regarded as the most famous domain for implementing blockchain in its core. Security is the essential aspect of the financial vertical. Hence, blockchain's precedence to integrate security in banking couldn't only revolutionize banking and bring a paradigm shift in the vertical.
1. Enhanced cross-border payments
Payments are an integral part of the banking or financial system. Blockchain empowers commercial and central banks globally to tap the new technology to process payment. The trend also ensures seamless cross-border payments without relying on Western Union and Swift.
2. Stock Share and Exchange
Before blockchain, buying and selling of stocks and shares involve third parties. Trading with blockchain will reduce the overall redundancy concerning the information. Further, it would improve the overall performance. Blockchain empowers in providing smaller transactions between both traders' groups to take place outside the blockchain. Only the concluding transactions will be recorded on the blockchain. The best part is, it doesn't require any intermediary steps.
3. Trade Finance
Financial pursuit is an amalgamation between international trade and commerce (not only the stock exchange). The present-day world relies heavily on technology, but economic activities still incorporate much paperwork, leading to bills, credit letters, invoices, among others. Trade finance backed up by blockchain can seamlessly streamline the whole trading process. It gets rid of the taxing bureaucracy and paperwork.
4. Identity Verification
Without digital verification, online transactions aren't possible. Digital verification also involves numerous steps such as:
- In-person checking
- Authentication of the banking client to prove the identity of people
- Reliable proof of the client's intentions
Fintech allows users to choose a seamless solution to initiate identification. Users also have the right to select the individuals with whom they can share the identity on the blockchain network.
5. Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing
Blockchain enlists standardization that allows auditors to verify data automatically. The process decreases the overall costs and saves time. Furthermore, blockchain ensures ease in proving the overall integrity concerning electronic files. The approaches will aid in aiding the hash string that further represents the said file's digital fingerprint. It also helps in creating a proper timestamp by writing directly into the blockchain.
Blockchain use cases in terms of finance also include:
- Credit Reports for both individuals and businesses
- Crowdfunding or ICOs
- Hedge Funds
- Syndicated Lending
- P2P or Peer-to-Peer Transfers
Around 80% of Insurance companies worldwide claim to adopt or plan to integrate blockchain into their existing operations. For the better part of two years, many insurance companies have either begun using blockchain or made plans to incorporate blockchain technology. Several projects involving blockchain insurance are trying their hand due to the PoC stage. Additionally, many companies choose to collaborate or form alliances with B3i (Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative).
The alliances are nothing but trailblazing; the platforms based on blockchain makes use following use cases:
Prevent abuse and fraud
Fraudulent activities cost insurance industries a lot of money. Detecting fraudulent activities involving data available to private and public sources is expensive and burdensome. There are chances that data can sometimes be found in fragments because of legal constraints.
The gaps are apparent to fraudsters who ultimately compromise these data. Blockchain can empower insurance companies by providing customers with digital cards. These cards cannot be faked for misutilization.
Enhance the level of trust and transparency
Blockchain empowers companies by providing completely shared and decentralized ledges. The three most essential benefits of these ledgers are:
- The ledgers will aid insurance companies in building comprehensive customer profiles. These profiles will eliminate the duplicity of records. In any blockchain, data is entirely immutable. Hence insurance companies won't doubt the authenticity.
- Customers will garner visibility of what the insurers have. Insures control the processing and evaluating of data. Blockchain alongside AI and machine learning can bring accelerating payout automatically.
- Lastly, blockchain can verify third-party claims automatically. It can also verify payments automatically via personal devices. Insurance companies can refer to the transactions stored on blockchain.
Managing and selling insurance policies is a very-much labor-intensive process. Additionally, insurance industries also have to take care of stiff competition, paperwork, and conventional approaches. The cutting-edge ledger in blockchain alongside intelligent contracts to integrate seamless processing. Having a single reliable technology can make the payout process eliminate considerable delays.
Most decisively, blockchain is transforming the core of the insurance industry. It aids in breaking free from unconventional traditions and puts forward the need to strive for constant innovation. Customers crave both cost flexibility, transparency, and speed which blockchain is capable of providing.
Healthcare is the most underrated industry globally, but it does manage to generate revenue better than any other verticals. The unprecedented trying times like COVID-19 have made everyone aware of how important it is to have a robust health care facility. Blockchain provides brand new opportunities in health. For instance, it ensures the storing of patients' data. Electronic health records can move to blocks for storekeeping. The ledger can store all the data of hundreds of thousands of patients. The technology also allows duplication of the whole information & storage with great encryption in the backup.
The substitution further eliminates the precedence of any potential DDoS attacks. Blockchain doesn't allow hackers to replace or destroy health records. Many blockchain platforms comprise private keys excludes any possibility of hackers stealing information.
Blockchain tech in healthcare can initiate:
Counterfeiting of products is a severe problem that blockchain can solve. Transaction amid distributor and manufacturer could be easily recorded in certain chains. The system would allow seamless checking, authenticity, history of momentum, and learning about manufacturers in no time.
Electronic Health Records
Blockchain creates the single-most patient registry greatly. EHR ensures higher security levels alongside remote accessibility and stable operation. The infrastructure allows data synchronization, which patients usually worry about. With blockchain, doctors can seamlessly review the entire medical history once patients allow it. The approach would significantly diminish hardware costs at clinics. Data gets updated in real-time, the processing will immediately reduce. In seconds, doctors will find out details of chronic diseases, blood groups, and allergic reactions.
Blockchain technology allows people to bring EHR and standard protocols. Moreover, blockchain makes it very much possible to initiate international standards for patients.
Blockchain technology would allow health care and medical clinics would allow efficient functionality with a seemingly low cost.
Real estate :
Real estate constitutes a massive proportion of revenue and assets in the whole world. The transactional activity of real estate makes it a meaningful way to generate income. Today, independent networks have saturated the real estate world. Blockchain allows benefits like:
- Tokenizing the assets in real estate
- Efficiently process the fundamental operations in the industry
- Blockchain reduced the costs from the automation process
- It provides access to the worldwide distribution assets
- Blockchain also provides investors dedicated pools because of fractionalization of the overall ownership
- Accessing the secondary opportunities in the market
- The data accessibility will increase the transparency level while informing portfolio management and investment decisions
The use cases of blockchain in the real estate industries are:
- Project Financing
- Funds of estate funds and asset management
- Mortgage securitization as well as loan
- Managing property
- Urbanized planning
- Selling, registering, and the reassignment of both properties and lands
- Development of property and construction
- Leasing and payments
- Identity if both Tenants and Investors
- Accounting in real-time
The supply chain is witnessing significant disruption due to the inception of blockchain in the ecosystem. Blockchain in supply chains reduces liabilities, increases efficiency, and fights counterfeiting while improving both compliances and providing the ability to make very precise recalls. There are a wide array of use-cases that supply chain and blockchain have incurred today!
Applications designed in blockchain will be easy to trace and track any application. While providing increased visibility and transparency, blockchain can empower track-and-trace of application in the whole supply chain. Blockchain benefits the supply chain in allowing quicker settlement, operational monitoring, automated orchestration, and counterfeit products.
Things to Consider When Implementing Blockchain
Organizations have been looking to integrate blockchain for the seamless transfer of data from one source to another. As blockchain ensures the network is distributed on the process chain, data encryption is done by a single-most central authority. Before implementing blockchain in distinct verticals requires extensive knowledge of how the technology works. Companies would also need to know how integrating blockchain will affect growth while incorporating the technology into the core process.
Here are specific points that companies need to consider while implementing blockchain:
Make it Work
In the beginning, companies need to check thoroughly if blockchain technology works in real-life. Additionally, testing will ensure that the technology is perfect for the said industry and its goal. Then comes the hard part, choosing the real-life benefit of blockchain. There are even chances that companies will find the parameter which they didn't consider beforehand. It is essential to determine the variable that affects the blockchain's implementation before it's too late.
Finding opportunities in Failure
Like any other technological implementation, using blockchain first will not yield the results you had in mind. Idealism is not going to change the reality of things, even in blockchain. In the beginning, make sure that you list out all the problems and shortcomings and then fix them. There are a lot of ways by which you can improve these issues. The most important thing to consider is keeping blockchain extremely basic.
During difficult times, the trial-and-error methodology will be your only savior. So, it is essential to conduct as much research as possible, and the learnings shouldn't go to waste. Blockchain implementation is an integral part of the learning curve for anyone.
While editing protocols and making significant improvements, it is vital to have a definitive goal. Several technical aspects can confuse even the most technical person. If you're a little confused, then the entire strategy will get hurt. Make sure that your company does whatever it takes to keep the clients. It is up to the decision-maker to make the process quite successful and not change its very essence.
If the focus does get a little bit waived, the diversion will lead to something fatal. Moreover, fatal might sound a strong word, but if you're not careful, your entire blockchain effort will end. The impending doom will not only result in deceit, but there will be a massive financial loss.
Prepare for the Future
Once the blockchain implementation protocol is created, you must come up with a plan of what follows. You can have an open mind to see if there are specific changes. Scaling of blockchain and testing the technology can aid you in your future growth.
The entirety of cryptography and cutting-edge ledger provides massive benefits to any business. Companies make use of blockchain technology for several reasons. The technology is static, firm, and rigidity which ensures hackers will not get into the network to manipulate any information.
Blockchain did take the world by storm, not just digital currency. The ability of the blockchain for solving the complicated problems is cost-effective, efficient, and also time-sensitive is the reason why blockchain is here to stay. The massive adoption and implementation will become a growing trend in the time to come.