Anyone who has been involved with the development of new technology for business applications has most certainly come across blockchain at one point or another. This rapidly evolving technology has become a main fixture in modern technological development. Ten of the world’s largest companies are exploring blockchain-based solutions to a variety of problems. In 2018 the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market came in at $6.3 billion, a 5% increase over 2018.
The fact that blockchain is being so widely used is a testament to its technological value. It has been implemented in FinTech, AI, Cryptocurrency, the Internet of Things (IoT), Insurance Claim software, Healthcare, and many other fields and for good reason.
For the purposes of this article, it will be sufficient to describe Blockchain as a decentralized virtual ledger that is incorruptible and distributed across many machines. Anything that is recorded on the ledger will be verified by numerous computers all connected to the particular network. No one individual machine has the ability to change, rewrite, or delete items from the ledger. For this reason, it is highly secure and offers a novel solution to many data systems issues that have plagued business and technology applications for many years. Blockchain has become a catch-all phrase for these types of technologies, although it originally referred to the architecture originally developed for the Bitcoin digital currency.
For most businesses, developing a blockchain framework and network in-house is simply too costly and time-consuming. While some large corporations may choose this route, many decide upon using existing, well established, blockchain technologies as the basis of their system. Many options exist and picking the right one depends largely on what type of application one desires and several other factors. The following will consist of a basic outline of major considerations in regards to choosing a blockchain platform.
Blockchain scalability refers to a blockchain platform that can achieve a high TPS (transactions per second) rate. For example, bitcoin can handle around 7 transactions per second, Ethereum (which businesses are most interested in given its smart contract support), can handle 20, Stellar, a payment technology, can handle up to 1,000 TPS.
Those looking to build blockchain platforms off of existing technology must look at the transaction capabilities and determine if their requirements will be met. “For example, a business that is developing a payment software based off of Blockchain Technology will most certainly require a higher TPS than 7. Those developing an application that is not transaction-intensive, perhaps an in-house data management system, may not need a high TPS rate.” writes Henry Svenson, a tech blogger at PhD Kingdom and Britstudent. Scalability is one of the largest issues in Blockchain technology and should not be taken lightly.
Generally speaking, when looking at blockchain scalability three major factors are considered: speed, security, and decentralization. This is called the Scalability Trilema and refers to the fact that any developer can expect to get, at best, two out of three qualities.
Adoption Rate And Functionality
While all blockchain platforms are based on the same overarching philosophy they can vary drastically in functionality. For example, Ethereum and Ripple are both blockchain technologies but offer vastly different functions. Ethereum is a smart contract-based platform meaning it is intended to enforce agreements between two parties. Ripple is a currency transfer technology that aims at making cross border monetary transactions easier and more affordable. It is also important to look at the Adoption rate and Community Support level for an existing blockchain. “Adoption rate refers to the level of implementation a particular blockchain technology has received. Choosing a technology that has been highly adopted is a much smarter decision than choosing one with a poor adoption level. The reason behind this is simple, technology and requirements change over time. The more highly adopted a particular blockchain technology is the more likely it will be updated and re-developed over the coming years.” writes Jason Miller, a writer at OriginWritings and NextCoursework. Community support is also very important. Many Blockchain platforms are either entirely or partially open source and require a strong community behind it in order to identify and fix bugs or security issues.
New Vs Existing Blockchain Platform
Many organizations conclude that blockchain is the most efficient, cost-effective, and quickest solution to a problem. After arriving at this conclusion the next question is whether or not to develop an entirely new blockchain technology or use an existing one; both have their pros and cons. Using an existing blockchain platform means using one with a high level of support, especially if a popular, well established, blockchain platform is decided upon. Developing an entirely new platform can be costly and time-consuming and requires a great deal of expertise. Still, many companies end up going this route if they feel that existing options do not meet their requirements.
This can be an item of great importance for many people, especially if the company or organization is dealing with sensitive information. In order to ensure that there are no security breaches, it is important to choose a platform with a history of peer-review and a solid track record of maintaining security. Some of the most popular platforms, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, NEO, BUMO, and Ripple, are all quality choices with an excellent security record.
Public Or Private
A public network refers to the fact that anyone can access and participate in the network. Bitcoin is the most popular open Blockchain network. Anyone can perform transactions or verify transactions on the network. A private blockchain is one that requires permission by the network creator to access. Businesses should determine what they need and pick accordingly.
Blockchain technology has taken the business world by storm. Its ability to solve complex problems in an efficient, cost-effective, and time-sensitive way is a big reason behind its large scale adoption and implementation. For those businesses looking at Blockchain platforms to solve specific problems, it is very important to consider the above-listed items when choosing which platform they want to use.
About the Author
Mildred Delgado is a young and responsible marketing strategist at Academic Brits. She enjoys working closely with her clients to develop a well functioning, fast-loading website with excellent UI and UX design. Mildreds clients have enjoyed her acute focus on developing a company’s brand and image.