Microsoft, Salesforce and the Ethereum Foundation Join Open-source Hyperledger Blockchain …

In a recent press release, Hyperledger, an open-source blockchain and distributed ledger project, announced eight new members have joined their consortium including Microsoft, Salesforce and the Ethereum Foundation. These organizations join established members like Airbus, Cisco, IBM and Intel.

The Hyplerledger project is a multi-stakeholder initiative, hosted by the Linux Foundation, which focuses on building blockchain frameworks and tools for enterprises. The existing frameworks include capabilities for smart contract machine development (Hyperledger Burrow), decentralized identity (Hyperledger Indy) and permissioned/permission-less support for Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVM) (Hyperledger Sawtooth). From a tooling perspective, Hyperledger supports the infrastructure for peer-to-peer interactions (Hyperledger Aries), performance benchmarking (Hyperledger Caliper) and shared cryptographic libraries (Hyperledger Ursa).

Microsoft’s involvement in blockchain goes back several years as they have been building out capabilities in Azure for organizations requiring blockchain-as-a-service capabilities. These investments include Project Bletchley, R3/Corda/Quorum protocol support and Microsoft-Truffle partnership, to name a few.

In addition, Microsoft has been focused on contributing to open standards and specifications by being a founding member of both the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and the Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI). With Microsoft’s current involvement in collaborating on open standards, joining the Hyperledger project seemed like a logical next step. Marley Gray, principal program manager on the Azure Blockchain team, explains:

We’re excited to join the Hyperledger community and look forward to rolling up our sleeves and being an active contributor to both discussions and project code. We believe that developing standards and open specifications, as well as collaborating on implementations of them, is critical to removing customer blockers and accelerating blockchain as a mainstream technology. Through our work related to the EEA and TTI, we have identified several opportunities for Microsoft to lean in and contribute code in project areas such as tokens, ledger integration, and developer experience.

Salesforce is relatively new to the blockchain space having recently introduced their low-code blockchain platform for CRM. Their offering was built on Hyperledger Sawtooth and customized for the Salesforce Lightning platform. The goal of Salesforce Blockchain is to:

Lower the barrier for creating trusted partner networks by enabling companies to easily bring together authenticated, distributed data and CRM processes.

The motivation for Salesforce to join the Hyperledger project includes tapping into the broader blockchain community. Adam Caplan, SVP, emerging technology, Salesforce, explains:

Blockchain is quickly becoming a foundational technology for organizations to deliver a truly connected customer experience and Hyperledger has created a great blockchain community that we’re excited to learn from and be a part of.

The Ethereum Foundation and Hyperledger have often been seen as competitors. However, this does not seem to be the case moving forward. In a recent tweet, the Ethereum Foundation twitter account shared their support:

The Ethereum Foundation is proud to lend our support to the efforts of both the @EntEthAlliance and @Hyperledger through our membership today. Together, we’ll continue to drive forward #Ethereum’s progress and adoption.

For additional information about Hyperledger’s open source frameworks and tools, please visit their GitHub repository.

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Build Blockchain Applications with Hyperledger Fabric and Composer on IBM Cloud

  • Deploy Blockchain-as-a-service Applications with IBM Cloud

    IBM Cloud (https://www.ibm.com/cloud/), previously known as IBM Bluemix, provides an enterprise blockchain platform as a flexible blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS), which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric. The customer can easily create, deploy, and manage a secure enterprise blockchain on IBM Cloud without caring about the underlying infrastructure.

    IBM Cloud is an expensive service for a developer who wants to learn. Therefore, instead of deploying a custom example which requires a premium plan, we present here one of the samples—Marbles—provided by IBM from its free starter plan.

    The application will create a marble (a glass ball used as a children’s toy) and store it in the blockchain by invoking Chaincode. We will create a UI that creates or updates the marble’s attributes and stores them in the ledger. The Hyperledger Fabric Client SDK will call the network Chaincode through the RPC protocol.

    To run this sample in the IBM Cloud, we need to create an IBM Cloud account and select the blockchain service:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Select the Starter Membership Plan, which is free:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Once created, you’ll need to launch the network and set up the toolchain for Marbles. For that, browse to the IBM Blockchain GitHub link at https://github.com/IBM-Blockchain/ marbles/blob/master/.bluemix/README.md , and click Get Marbles. You should see a page similar to the following one, where you should click Create to create the Marbles sample toolchain:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    During setup, it will ask you for your GitHub login. Enter all the required login information, and click Authorize IBM-Cloud.

    Once GitHub’s code is set up in IBM Cloud, click Create to continue to the next step—Delivery Pipeline:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Click on Delivery Pipeline and it will start deploying the Marbles application to the blockchain:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Once completed, click on the Marbles Node.js application:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    You should see the web interface of the Marbles application launched in the browser:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Login as admin, and a welcome demo page will pop up. You can select Express or Guided

    setup. Let’s click the Express button:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    The Marbles application is now loaded:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Try to add one Marble by clicking the Ava add (+) button. Add the marble, and then click

    Create:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    You should see that a new green Marble is added to Ava:

    IBM Clouds and Blockchain Hyperleder Development

    Congratulations! You have just run a sample Hyperledger Fabric blockchain application on the IBM Cloud platform!

     

    IBM Cloud is a powerful platform with built-in services that can easily be integrated into your blockchain project. For instance, we can utilize Watson, which is IBM’s AI solution, to analyze and customize application data to share among authorized network participants.

    After finishing this recipe, you can move on to Building A Blockchain for Letter of Credit Using Hyperledger Fabric and Composer and Ultimate Guide for Building A Blockchain Supply Chain Using Hyperledger Fabric and Composer tutorials that cover more advance topics on Hyperledger Fabric.

    This recipe is written in collaboration with Brian Wu who is a senior Hyperledger Developer at DC Web Makers in Washington DC.

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    Blockchain Platforms Software Market Forecast Benefits and Business Opportunities to 2024 by …

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    The Blockchain Platforms Software Market report profiles the following companies, which includes: – IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Ethereum, Ripple, Quorum, Hyperledger, R3 Corda, EOS

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    This report studies the global Blockchain Platforms Software Market status and forecast, categorizes the global Blockchain Platforms Software Market size (value & volume), revenue (Million USD), product price by manufacturers, type, application, and region. Blockchain Platforms Software Market Report by Material, Application, and Geography-Global Forecast to 2024 is an expert and far-reaching research provide details regarding the world’s major provincial economic situations, concentrating on the principle districts (North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific) and the fundamental nations (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and China).

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    Amazon Tackles Centralized And Decentralized Blockchain Solutions

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides both centralized and decentralized blockchain options for the market.

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    A great debate exists over the pros and cons of centralization and decentralization in cryptocurrency and blockchain. With customers in mind, Amazon Web Services (AWS) decided to cater to both sides in its blockchain endeavors.

    Customers And A Centralized Approach

    For some individuals, the aspect of decentralization may not be as vital as it is to other parties. AWS discovered that some “customers wanted an immutable verifiable record of every change that had taken place, but they were okay with centralized trust,” AWS blockchain GM Rahul Pathak told me in an interview.

    Catering to this type of customer, AWS created Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB). “The idea is that you have a cryptographically verifiable, immutable, tamper-proof ledger that you can query and interact with, but that is owned by a single entity,” Pathak said. This type of solution is effective for “cases where you’d want to audit trails, but don’t care about distributed trust,” Pathak explained.

    Customers And Decentralization

    Addressing a crowd seeking a more decentralized approach, however, AWS also built the Amazon Managed Blockchain. This group of customers desired the “ledger”, without one single player owning the operation, Pathak explained. “They did want a decentralized trust model,” Pathak said. “There we saw the need to offer Managed Blockchain, and we really focus on the enterprise blockchain use cases for private and permissioned blockchains.”

    AWS announced the preview for both of these models, centralized and decentralized, in late November of 2018, according to a press release. At the time of the July 3, 2019 interview with me, Pathak noted, “Quantum Ledger Database, QLDB, is still in preview,” while “Amazon Managed Blockchain went into General Availability at the end of April.” While in preview, customers can gain free access to these projects by filling out a form and signing up, an AWS representative clarified via email. When released for General Availability, anyone can use them.

    “Our Managed Blockchain service supports Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum,” Pathak added. Amazon Managed Blockchain launched usage with the Hyperledger Fabric framework in late April 2019 with Ethereum availability coming up, he noted.

    Customer Usage Trends

    Based on customers’ applications of the blockchain services from AWS, the cloud service provider has picked up on a few use case trends, Pathak noted. Telecom giant AT&T and food industry powerhouse Nestle are examining the tech for their respective supply chains to enhance elements such as “traceability and transparency,” Pathak mentioned.

    Investment holding company Singapore Exchange (SGX) is utilizing Amazon Managed Blockchain and Hyperledger Fabric to improve settlement and financial asset clearing times, Pathak said.

    Additionally, “Sony Music in Japan just announced that they’ll be using the service for their digital and music rights management platform,” Pathak detailed.

    AWS blockchain customers also include the likes of Guardian Life Insurance evaluating using the tech in the payments category, as well as Legal & General’s use of Amazon’s Managed Blockchain with Hyperledger Fabric in the area of “pension deals and annuities,” Pathak said.

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    Blockchain founders raised $822m by Q2 – with enterprises focused on open source

    According to the latest State of Blockchains report fromOutlier Ventures, blockchain startups raised $822 million by Q2 – but theecosystem continues to lag behind the 2017 and early 2018 peak.

    $822m was raised across 279 deals over the second quarter of2019, with more than half of them being seed stage deals indicating continuedfresh talent into the space.

    Yet while the numbers may be lower, the scope is much moreadvanced – particularly with how enterprises are associating with thetechnology.

    The report explores case studies which will be familiar toreaders of this publication. Last month The Blockreportedthat retailer Target had posted a job advert for a blockchain engineer, withthe right candidate being able to contribute to ConsenSource, a certificateregistry blockchain application based on Hyperledger Sawtooth. The company’sinterest in blockchain has been noted, working with agribusiness providerCargill on a Hyperledger-built project around the supply chain.

    Target was cited, alongside EY and Western Union, asorganisations embracing open philosophies. Blockchains for provenance continueto be the largest enterprise use case, the report says, with ‘a direct impact onretail customers.’ Plenty of other retailers have been involved in recentprojects, fromCarrefour, who announced positive results, to more regular work fromWalmart.

    IEOs (initial exchange offerings) were also cited as havinghad a particular impact – ‘indicating an interest from the retail market instill backing new token-based projects’.

    “Unlike the hubris of 2017, the nature of tokens that areseeing traction today have better-defined ecosystems associated with them, tradinginfrastructure has evolved substantially and regulatory compliance has becomeeasier for institutional giants,” the report noted. “With this in context – it issafe to suggest winter is finally over and we may witness a full-blown summeraround Bitcoin’s halvening next year.”

    Outlier Ventures has also launched a new project with 18organisations which aims to enable a new open data economy built on decentralisation.The initial members are varied and interesting, including T-Mobile, SAP and JaguarLand Rover, and represent a key stakeholder across its particular industry tocreate an open, decentralised web.

    “The last 25-year computing cycle has been dominated by theplatform and the cloud, with obscene value creation for a handful ofcorporations. However, there is a growing awareness about the trade-offs of thecloud platform and a developed understanding of the benefits of decentralisedtechnology, unlocking a new truly peer-to-peer value exchange,” said JamieBurke, founder of Outlier Ventures in a statement.

    “The Alliance is the first manifestation of acounter-narrative and a signal of the paradigm shift that’s about to come.”

    The Block spoke with Burke at the Blockchain Expo Global event in London around the data and platform monopolies which exist today. Take a look at what he said below:

    Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.

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    Bitfury Draws Billion Dollar Businesses To The Bitcoin Blockchain – Here’s Why

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    Getty

    Enterprises that leverage blockchain technology have become a defining characteristic of 2019. As Facebook continues to make headlines for its Libra blockchain project,fifty companies worth over a billion dollars are pioneering the current enterprise blockchain landscape.

    Interestingly, over half the companies listed on theForbes 50 Enterprise Blockchain list are powered by Hyperledger, the open source collaborative effort hosted by the Linux Foundation. Yet while Hyperledger and Ethereum have become a standard for corporate blockchain projects, some enterprises are tapping into the Bitcoin blockchain to ensure unprecedented levels of trust, security and transparency.

    Bitcoin: More Than A Cryptocurrency

    While Bitcoin is best known for being a decentralized digital currency, the Bitfury Group recognized the potential in leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain when developing Exonum, their asset-management blockchain framework.

    Leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain was one of the core things we were thinking about when developing Exonum three years ago,” Gleb Palienko, head of Exonum, told me. “We saw that there were different market demands at that time, yet there were not many platforms in place, aside from Ethereum and Hyperledger. We first developed an enterprise government platform that was permissioned. However, we understood that governments and enterprises wouldn’t want to use a public blockchain, but they would still want the benefits of one, such as data immutability.”

    Understanding the potential that a public blockchain could bring to the enterprise in terms of security was a driving factor in the creation of Exonum.

    “When designing Exonum, we wanted to ensure the immutability level of a public blockchain, and bitcoin is the most secure public blockchain out there,” explained Palienko.

    Exonum was ultimately developed to guarantee the highest level of auditability of a permissioned blockchain, so that any user can verify information is actually stored on the blockchain, without relying on validators.

    Unlike other private blockchains with validators, Exonum uses specific data structures like Merkle trees to store everything and enforce auditability. We also offer an anchoring service, which periodically stores a snapshot of the Exonum network to the Bitcoin blockchain. This prevents node maintainers’ collusion with incentive to rewrite historical data. Finally, we have developed a light client available in four programming languages that allows any business or government to build trusted client applications. The light client can verify the cryptographic proof by Exonum that transactions are really stored inside the blockchain,” said Palienko.

    While the Exonum blockchain does have similarities to Ethereum (especially private installations) and Hyperledger (mainly IBM Fabric), the anchoring feature is what sets it apart from other enterprise blockchain frameworks.

    We provide out of the box support of anchoring. Anchoring allows achieving immutability guarantees comparable to those of public blockchains, without disclosing any blockchain data. That’s how we leverage the Bitcoin blockchain. Exonum uses it as a globally accessible and ultimately secure and immutable storage, while providing more flexibility and understandable governance,” said Palienko.

    The Bitcoin Blockchain For The Enterprise

    Having proof that data is stored inside a blockchain framework without having full access to that data is showing to be valuable for a number of enterprises, specifically for governments and healthcare companies.

    The entire reason we have a permissioned blockchain that anchors to Bitcoin is to give enterprises the best of both worlds. They aren’t putting everything out in the public, but still have the extra security of the public anchor, while having the ability to secure and look after their own data. This hybrid environment is much more attractive when you talk to enterprises,” Christopher Dickson, head of blockchain solutions at the Bitfury Group, told me.

    For example, The Republic of Georgia is currently in talks with the Bitfury Group to help with time stamping for blockchain-based land registry titles. Since April 2016, The National Agency of The Public Registry (NAPR) has been collaborating with Bitfury to use blockchain technology to restore public trust in institutions and government agencies.

    According to adetailed report, Bitfury created a blockchain-based timestamping layer on top of NAPR’s existing digital land registry system. This project has allowed land registry certificates to be timestamped and hashed on the bitcoin blockchain. In turn, this adds immutability and allows the owner of the document to prove to anyone that the receipt existed no later than the time of timestamping, and that it was authorized by NAPR.

    At NAPR we have an electronic placement of shareholders rights and we want to ensure that all this data on the business registry will be timestamped and placed on the blockchain. There are disputes between shareholders when changes occur and we want to cover all timestamping instruments to avoid future disputes,” Elene Grigolia, land administration specialist at NAPR and blockchain legal consultant told me.

    To guarantee this vision would be met, Bitfury has suggested that the Republic of Georgia use Exonum for timestamping due to the fact that it anchors data to the Bitcoin blockchain.

    In the report, Bitfury explains that, “anchoring removes the need to trust the administrator(s) of an Exonum Blockchain unconditionally; at the same time, it keeps sensitive data private.” Exonum is still being tested in the Republic of Georgia as of September 2018.

    In addition to government use cases, leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain has also proven to be useful for the trillion dollar global healthcare industry. For example, Nebula Genomics, a startup that operates a technology platform containing genome-sequencing data,uses the Exonum blockchain as a tamper proof device for medical record keeping.

    We use Exonom to record consent of our study participants. For example, if a pharmaceutical company wants to access our anonymized genomic data, they can send a request through the blockchain, which ensures transparency and creates trust. We don’t store the patient data itself on the blockchain network, but the permissions are stored and recorded here. We then timestamp all of these permissions. If a company or researcher has permission to use the data, they collect it and store it on the cloud and can then access it, but the beauty is that everything has been documented on the Exonum blockchain,” Dennis Grishin, Chief Scientific Officer of Nebula Genomics, told me.

    And Longenesis, a Riga, Latvia-based but Hong Kong-incorporated company, is also recording medical records on the blockchain. The company has a custom made Exonum blockchain data management solution for data transaction transparency and traceability, with a primary focus on medical-consent technologies.

    Using Longenesis’s platform, a patient agrees to specified care or participation in a study. The patient can withdraw that agreement, while the medical provider can offer to extend, modify or amend the agreement.

    According to the company, it will be providing its medical-consent platform-as-a-service to South Korea’s Hanshin Medipia Medical Center and Infinity Care.

    We built on Exonum because as a private blockchain framework, it prioritizes security and trust. This is critical for the life data economics systems Longenesis is building for medical institutions around the world. Our Exonum blockchains enable us to trace virtually every transaction that happens with clinical data, as well as record patient consent, and enable compliant, transparent data sharing between pharmaceutical companies, research organizations and hospitals. We expect that this model will open up medical data to support new drug development, disease research and more.” Garri Zmudze, CEO of Longenesis, told me.

    More Projects To Come

    While Exonum’s users are primarily governments and large enterprises, Bitfury notes that many more projects are underway.

    We have more than thirty in house projects being developed and a number of countries are looking to use Exonum, including the UK, Ukraine, China and The U.S. Rather than viewing blockchain platforms as ‘science projects,’ we are taking the approach that blockchain is necessary and can be integrated into other platforms. Additionally, we leverage the Bitcoin blockchain, which other players in the market could do, but that would go against their models. For us, this is our vision and this is what differentiates us,” said Dickson, head of blockchain solutions at the Bitfury Group.

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    Safety Without Silos: Why Businesses Will Learn to Love Public Ethereum

    John Wolpert leads Web3Studio, a unit of ConsenSys. Before joining ConsenSys in 2017, he served as the global product executive for IBM Blockchain and co-founder of Hyperledger.

    In 2015, the Ethereum public mainnet launched, followed by a raft of private blockchain offerings targeting the enterprise. This opened the floodgates on companies prioritizing collaboration, funding long-overdue digitization efforts, and extending business processes across corporate borders.

    Today, a new epoch of system integration is underway. However, efforts to make blockchain technology enterprise-friendly split the community into two camps: public networks versus private networks. The dichotomy was wrong-headed from the start, making it easy to believe that public blockchain networks shouldn’t be used in confidential business operations and that private networks were safe and secure.

    The first belief is wrong, and the second is dangerous.

    It’s true that the consensus mechanism of a private blockchain can make it difficult to tamper with information, assuming that the companies maintaining the ledger don’t share a common motive to alter records. But such private blockchain networks are not particularly secure against data breaches, because they must protect many identical copies, each controlled by a different company. That’s a hacker’s dream. This can be managed, and the risk can be worth it, but to say that private blockchains are secure is specious.

    Hacking notwithstanding, not everyone in a consortium should know about every transaction or agreement between others operating in that network, even among a tight group of permissioned partners. Private platforms like Hyperledger Fabric try to compartmentalize information inside a permissioned network, but it’s not what blockchain technology was designed to do.

    Consequently, they add an immense amount of complexity, and complexity is the enemy of security. The good news is that there is a way to use blockchain technology that reduces system integration complexity, increases security, and improves both resilience and interoperability. And this approach doesn’t require companies to replace internal systems or build “consortium blockchains” that recreate the same old information silos that already plague the business.

    Enterprise blockchain must face the following conundrum: on the one hand, we want information transparency across business networks to improve outcomes like food safety and reduce fraud, but on the other hand, we need compartmentalization of information to ensure privacy and encourage companies to participate.

    A Common Challenge

    This puzzle appears in every kind of business. Advertising. Finance. Manufacturing.

    Consider a case from the automotive industry. Say a car part fails and causes a crash. It turns out that the part was made by a machine that happened to malfunction during only one production run. The run made just 50 parts, twenty of which were sent to the maker of the crashed car and the remainder to another car company. It would be great if the investigator of the crash could instantly access the data from the machine that made the parts, know the information had not been altered, and trace the 50 bad parts to each installed car.

    That’s a 50-car recall, not a million-car recall. But there’s a problem. The parts manufacturer will not put its internal machine telemetry in a database controlled or viewable by anyone else, certainly not one accessible to competitors. And even if one car maker set up a database and convinced suppliers to use it, the other car maker wouldn’t use it.

    A third party that everyone trusts to store their data, manage workflows, and compartmentalize information could handle this scenario. The problem is that it gives someone a lot of power to soak the firms for fees. And inevitably more than one such provider pops up, usually generating incompatible factions that foil standardization.

    We could put the whole thing on a blockchain, but then everyone would see all the data, or at least everyone would be executing the code that embodies business agreements between the different companies. And that can give away sensitive strategies, tactics and relationships to other network participants to exploit, even if the information itself is encrypted.

    In the end, what makes sense is letting each party manage their own private systems with their own private data, running their own protected functions – but integrating them in such a way that allows them to coordinate where appropriate, quickly track down problems, and ensure everyone is playing by the rules.

    To integrate different systems this way requires a common frame of reference. We need a way to pass messages between functions running on separate systems, so that they can work together without having to expose the underlying data or business logic indiscriminately. Using a common frame of reference isn’t a new idea. Publishing messages to a common bulletin board, a magic message bus, is a classic pattern for making system integration more manageable and resilient.

    You can buy expensive middleware to do the job right now. And you can pay a system integrator a king’s ransom every time you need to connect one company or department to another with it.

    What’s new is the notion of using the Ethereum mainnet as a global integration hub serving systems that work together without revealing private data or confidential business logic, even to partners. One might be tempted to use a private blockchain network for this. But as Paul Brody, global leader of blockchain for Ernst & Young, explains, this is a bad idea for real business:

    “One day you get a call from a very large buyer saying, ‘Would you like to join my private blockchain?’ You say, ‘Okay.’ And then you get the same call from your wholesaler, your suppliers, your shipper, your insurance company and maybe even your bank…or several of each of these! Suddenly you are spending all your time – and a lot of money – juggling dozens of blockchains. When the next partner calls, you say, ‘Just fax me the order.’”

    Brody asserts that this is why the enterprise blockchain consortium approach doesn’t scale organizationally, and his argument makes a lot of sense. It looks like the same siloed mess we’ve lived with for decades.

    But by using a mainnet like Ethereum 2.0, we will be able to treat business integrations more like workgroups and channels on Slack: easy to create, combine and recombine. Your SAP inventory management system, your supplier’s JD Edwards ERP system, and your fancy fintech partner’s blockchain thingamajig can work together in a consistent, repeatable manner without having to set up new infrastructure to accommodate each set of partners.

    Who’s Working on It

    Venerable firms like Microsoft and Ernst & Young, and projects like Chainlink and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s Trusted Compute working group, are already ahead of this.

    The recently released Trusted Compute specification will, for example, allow an automobile safety inspector to query a parts manufacturer, spot a problem with a production run, and be confident the answer is based on authentic information generated by systems free from tampering – without forcing the company to expose their internal data.

    The Nightfall project, developed by Ernst & Young, uses the mainnet to post cryptographic proofs for system integration and compliance. The fact that a 150-year-old accounting firm like EY is using the public mainnet this way speaks volumes. And it puts the lie to the notion that you can’t use the mainnet in business. What company could be more cautious about managing private, confidential information than one of the Big Four accounting firms?

    In 2015, the enterprise had no real interest in blockchain. Then suddenly, it decided to use private versions of it for jobs that often were a better fit for traditional systems. Now, with the benefit of almost five years of experience, smart businesses are discovering that the real job is putting an end to a half-century of brittle, balkanized and bespoke system integration.

    And the right tool for that job is the mainnet.

    Barrier breaking via Shutterstock

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    RWaltz Software- Company Overview | Blockchain Application Development Company in USA India

    RWaltz Software is one of the Top Blockchain Application Development Company in the USA, India which offers complete blockchain technology solutions including Ethereum, ICO Development, Smart Contracts, Decentralized Applications (DApps), Hyperledger, Private Blockchain Development Services, Cryptocurrency Wallet, Bitcoin Apps, etc. We also offer AI/ML, Big Data & Hadoop, Data Science, ERP and more so that our two main goals would be satisfied, which are, Bring Leading Edge and Trusted Technologies to Benefit the Clients and Fulfill the Exact Need of a Client On-Budget and On-Time.

    Paras Kale

    Paras Kale

    Paras Kale is the Director of Rwaltz Software Company, which is into AI/ML, Blockchain-related products and development work. Blockchain enthusiast. Expertise in the area of Blockchain and web technologies. Experience in Smart Contract.

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    Major Improvements Are Coming To Blockchain In 2020

    Credit: Getty

    Getty

    Everyone in the enterprise world already has a blockchain strategy. If they don’t have one now, they risk the chance of staying behind or simply missing an opportunity. For the last few years, the benefits and correlated risks of fully adopting blockchain technology have been estimated, analyzed, and discussed at large. One thing is clear – despite the potential for a big upside, embracing a newly developed technology presents numerous risks that shouldn’t be underestimated. Blindly introducing new technology stack into an already working production environment means exposing that environment to potentially dangerous security breaches, hacks and data loss.

    So, where we are now? Most blockchain protocols claim some level or maturity … but are they, in fact, sufficiently mature? Are they ready for full on-premise deployment in large-scale enterprises? Will CIOs and other business executives enjoy the same comfort as that of the tooling they already have? Let’s review what it takes to move a blockchain protocol from open source to enterprise.

    It’s no surprise that the largest cloud providers are also the largest drivers of the Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) model. Let’s call them Tier 1 BaaS providers. They have already established themselves as market leaders with large customer bases. Offering various cloud services and expanding to blockchain seemed to be a logical and evolutional step.

    Microsoft Azure

    Microsoft is one of the largest players in the BaaS space. So far, it has focused primarily on Ethereum but also offers services for running R3’s Corda and Hyperledger Fabric networks. It has dedicated many resources to building the Azure Blockchain Workbench and Azure Blockchain Service. Microsoft’s team is also a key founder and an active participant in the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) and Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI). In addition, it has recently joined the Hyperledger family, for which it will contribute to the code and promise be an active member.

    Amazon Web Services (AWS)

    AWS and Microsoft Azure have almost equally split control of the managed blockchain space, though your niche will determine which of these services you use. If you are into financial services, you would probably use Azure, but if you are into healthcare, insurance, or other verticals, your choice is probably AWS. Recently, AWS has made publicly available its Managed Blockchain offering. It supports only Hyperledger Fabric for now but there are plans to integrate Ethereum too. AWS has also invested in the development of Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), which is an append-only database with a cryptographically verifiable transaction log.

    IBM Cloud

    IBM is one of the primary maintainers of Hyperledger Fabric’s source code and, thus, is heavily involved in providing cloud services and product updates for it. Lately, IBM has opened its IBM Blockchain 2.0 to be multi-cloud, which means you can run your Fabric network across various cloud providers.

    Oracle Blockchain

    The Oracle blockchain platform has based its solution only on Hyperledger Fabric, which is not ideal but offers some neat services like enhance node provisioning, blockchain explorer and improved security.

    VMWare

    VMWare clearly saw the issues that affect the current blockchain infrastructure. It is working to resolve these issues with Concord, a highly scalable and energy-efficient distributed trust infrastructure for consensus and smart contract execution.

    VMWare Blockchain

    VMWare

    Apart from the major cloud providers, in 2018 we saw the birth of Blockchain as a Service companies that base their products on top of existing cloud computing platforms; let’s call them Tier 2 BaaS. They are usually smaller, more agile startups that can push new offerings almost every month. This makes them very good choices for a faster go-to-market strategy. Their solutions are wide and colorful, and they usually cover different blockchain protocols. They remain unable to address most enterprise needs yet, but they will stay on the right track and be an attractive option as long as the establishment doesn’t disrupt them. The names that stand out in this category are Kaleido and Blockdaemon.

    What are the enterprise needs from a blockchain perspective? Where do we want to see improvements so that we can fully use the benefits of decentralized ledger technology? Let’s separate the main requirements into four categories: platform; interfaces; infrastructure and network; and security and analytics.

    Platform

    • Operational resilience – ability to maintain uptime and connectivity even when some components fail, including several layers of protection and failover strategy against data loss and corruption.
    • Pluggable consensus – ability to switch the consensus mechanism depending on the requirements without rebuilding the whole network.
    • Broader off-chain data storage capabilities – support for encrypted data storage.
    • Adaptors to allow for SQL-based ledger queries, which will make the broader developer community more comfortable working with blockchain.

    Interfaces

    • Enterprise integrations – pre-built modules and onramps for existing enterprise systems.
    • Robust Oracles – ability to get real-time external data into smart contracts.Watch out for Chainlink.
    • Integration with GraphQL, a Facebook-developed language that provides a powerful API to get only the dataset you need in a single request, seamlessly combining data sources.
    • Identity federation – ability to authenticate with existing identity providers, which will facilitate faster adoption on the consortium level.
    • Built-in privacy and permissioning features – for transactions, accounts, wallets, smart contracts and network participants.

    Infrastructure and Network

    • Ability to maintain peak performance at the network level – managing and operating hundreds of thousands of nodes while maintaining low latency and facilitating hundreds of thousands of transactions with guaranteed finality.
    • Ability to scale and reduce network size on demand – auto-scale a network by adding/removing more validators or orderers.
    • DevOps tools to make integration with existing IT systems easier and to make CI/CD build processes faster and seamless.
    • Support for cross-network interoperability and cross-blockchain atomic swaps.
    • Governance framework with an established and pre-determined transparent structure, rules of participation, a funding model, and financial incentives.

    Enhanced Security and Analytics

    • Detailed privacy controls over data, smart contract execution, and transaction visibility.
    • Improved network monitoring with enhanced contextual meaning of the transactions, ability to troubleshoot on-chain events.
    • SLA monitoring with backward compatibility of upgrades.
    • Warehousing transaction history data, combining them with other off-chain data sources and making them available for BI reporting tools and other interactive dashboards.

    As discussed, the blockchain technology stack has a long way to go before it will be mature enough for mainstream enterprise adoption. This is a completely normal process, as software developers and business leaders transition their mindsets from the currently siloed and centralized infrastructure to the distributed ledger networks. Luckily, we are at the forefront of this technological revolution and have the chance to contribute to what, one day, will be the norm.

    Introducing Forbes Blockchain 50:Learn about the companies investing in the tech that will speed up business processes, increase transparency and potentially save billions of dollars.

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