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Building enterprise blockchains: 5 principles


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Technology is a product of more than just pure ingenuity; It is a reflection of the will to do the right thing.

we are working on these five blockchain principles:

  • open is better
  • Allowed does not mean private
  • Management is a team sport
  • common sense standards
  • Privacy is essential

open is better

To promote open innovation and ensure overall code quality, blockchain networks should foster diverse communities of contributors and open source organizations. These are even more powerful when they are part of an open government model that works together under free license models, such as Apache2 and MIT. Whenever possible, blockchain development service should avoid proprietary technologies in favor of open source frameworks with defined approaches to sharing contributions. When done right, open development increases innovation while speeding time to maturity and lowering cost.

Example: The Hyperledger Project, operated by The Linux Foundation , is a “greenhouse” for growing enterprise-grade blockchain software with major free code contributors and licenses. Hyperledger recently added 45 new members and three of its 12 projects are already active.

Allowed does not mean private

To support an enterprise-grade platform aligned with the regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities of its participants, enterprise blockchains must be designed around the principle of trusted and authorized access. While anonymous public blockchains offer a number of capabilities, they are not suitable for most businesses, particularly those in regulated industries. Most organizations need to know who they are doing business with and that no illegal transactions are taking place over the network. However, this is not to say that enterprise blockchains must be private; instead, they must be authorized. They can be open to anyone who wishes to register and cryptographically validate their identity.

Example: Sovrin, a digital identity management network, and Stellar, a decentralized global payment platform , are examples of public but permissioned blockchain networks. TradeLens, a supply chain platform built on Hyperledger Fabric , is another example of a permissioned blockchain that gives participants visibility into who their peers are on the network.

Management is a team sport

To ensure networks meet the needs of all participants and are managed in a way that reflects each unique use case, and to avoid undue concentrations of influence, enterprise blockchains must adopt transparent, distributed governance. Businesses should choose a platform that automatically provides a democratic network-connected structure, with built-in permission and privacy features. The rules defining who can join and how should be clearly stipulated, as well as the guidelines on which the participants can play key roles, such as accounting managers. Trust anchors, which actually run nodes on the network and participate in validating transactions, must be distributed among multiple participants. As a general rule, a trusted governance model requires at least three designated trust anchors, but networks benefit from the scale of the number of actors. Governance frameworks must also take into account the financing models of a network.

Example: The Verified:Me identity network in Canada, hosted by SecureKey Inc., has invited major Canadian banks to participate as trust anchors in the nodes and validate network transactions. SecureKey has created a governance model that involves ongoing checks and balances among its constituent work groups.

common sense standards

To help future networks avoid vendor lock-in and foster a robust ecosystem for innovators, enterprise blockchains must be designed around common standards with interoperability in mind. Critically, this also implies the interoperability of cloud platforms; providers must meet participants where their data already is. While most blockchain networks currently exist in silos, it is generally accepted that the technology is evolving to support a network of networks. The first step in promoting this interoperability is to make the blockchain development company visible to each other through a registry, such as Hacera Unbounded. Additionally, blockchain networks should define and publish their data models and policies for change.

Example: The Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) has defined a set of specifications on how to identify organizations, people, and digital assets (called DIDs) that enable the identification of entities in blockchain (and non-blockchain) networks. Collaboration between Hyperledger and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance in areas such as Burrow, a modular blockchain client, and the Token Taxonomy Initiative, an effort to standardize blockchain tokens, further these links.

Privacy is essential

To safeguard individual and corporate data on a platform that, by definition, distributes it widely across multiple nodes, participants in an enterprise blockchain must have the ability to control who can access their data and under what circumstances. Furthermore, while no participant “owns” a blockchain network, the rights to the data residing on it must always belong to the creator. Any API must extend the same access allowed programmatically. Blockchain networks must also comply with privacy regulations like GDPR. In most cases, that means any personal information must be kept off-chain.

Example : A blockchain network aimed at ensuring food traceability, trust, and transparency, enables brands like Walmart, Carrefour, and Driscoll to leverage shared data to enact various supply chain efficiencies and protect the proprietary information of each member.

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