A block chain is a new type of database model that can create trust when maintained in a decentralized consortium. The performance of this system is lower than that of conventional systems, since operations on this database are always associated with cryptographic procedures. A change of ownership on this distributed database is only possible if the owner digitally signs the public key of the next owner and attaches the data to the current dataset. This structure guarantees a complete audit trail and is required for a consensus mechanism. All these entries, also called transactions, are grouped together in blocks that also depend on each other. This database model is primarily required for decentralized decision-making.
A consensus mechanism is a process in which a network of nodes ensures a guaranteed sequence of transactions and validates the block of transactions. The consensus mechanism must provide the following core functionality:
Smart Contracts guarantee trust and are intended to reduce transaction costs between the parties. All participants in the consortium execute this contract as a software procedure to achieve the same result. Thus this process remains more trustworthy than conventional processes, guarantees a higher reliability and offers the possibility to represent complex relationships.
The consortium running this software must be organized in a flat hierarchy. This is the key point in this concept, because if a single point controls the network, you don't need a blockchain. This goal is difficult to achieve, because all participants must commit themselves to a uniform process that can lead to a conflict of interest. This point also involves a great deal of politics. If a party is in conflict with the transparency of the business logic, for example, it cannot participate in the given process. It is important that each stakeholder retains a blockchain as their own view of the network and participates in the consensus.
The following SWOT analysis examines a process optimization between several companies through the use of blockchain technology, which is operated in a consortium. This is about and services competencies from which an added value can be generated.
An individual proof of concept will show for each application whether a blockchain-based solution can be the advantageous technology. For a well-founded assessment, a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis would have to be carried out, covering the entire handling process, including follow-up processes. The assessment of these aspects will vary depending on the application. The Hyperledger stack or the Corda framework will be used for an implementation.
A suitable framework and a programming language are selected on the basis of a previously created concept. Here several criteria are taken into account, such as the size of the network, the transactions per second, the consensus mechanism, if necessary the delimitation of private data or the target system which executes the software. Since scalability is a problem with blockchain technology, the business logic must be ported into small data structures to ensure smooth program execution. From a technical point of view, this disruptive technology is extremely inefficient, but offers confidence if all framework parameters are correctly defined. Unless otherwise requested, our development is always agile and involves a lot of customer interaction in order to avoid inconsistent information levels.
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