Applying blockchain – How to integrate blockchain into the PoC stage

Okay, blockchain – it’s time to get real.

As you may have seen in my previous blog, blockchain has definitely been overly hyped for a while. Although many companies are now moving to the proof of concept (PoC) stage, that hype continues to live on for some. But it’s important to exit that hype stage and move on to what blockchain can accomplish in real life, which requires reviewing the hard facts and dispelling false beliefs to adopt blockchain efficiently.

To that end, this blog highlights Luxoft’s best practices on how to start your blockchain journey – fast. Blockchain promises to drive changes and reduce costs, but there are inherent risks when choosing to integrate this technology that are important to consider.


Stage one: Identify your Blockchain security – public or private system

A popular topic for blockchain is how secure it is. Commonly, it’s thought to solve security problems because the data put into the blockchain can’t be changed. The double encryption secures it completely, right?

Wrong. Let’s look at this from a different perspective.

For public blockchain, anyone can join. That includes users who want to use it for nefarious reasons. For instance, Bitcoin transactions have fueled black market trading, and the same could happen to any public blockchain due to the lack of transaction control. You don’t own the system – everyone does.

In addition, there is a delay in verifying transactions for public blockchain; while it only takes 10 minutes to “verify” transactions, the transactions aren’t considered “fully verified” for another 1-2 hours (when they are deep enough within the ledger to be considered “secure”). Within that timeframe, the transaction could seem to be verified but actually lose that status, making this timeframe a vulnerability. During this period of time, there could also be a fork (or a copy of the code that deviates from the original). But after 1-2 hours, creating a fork would be computationally expensive, making the transaction safe from tampering.

This is why companies should weigh their options by considering a private blockchain, which mitigates these security issues.

For private blockchain, owners have a lot more control, as they determine if interested parties can join or not. Owners can also dispatch positions to maintain parts of the blockchain and make sure it’s working correctly. As a blockchain network uses nodes, these nodes could have issues – such as restricting the transmission of information, transmitting the wrong data or going offline completely. As node issues in a blockchain create a domino effect – due to being connected to other nodes – other users with permission from the owner can help maintain and fix these problems before they compromise the whole system. This does mean that the owner must trust those who are delegated these positions, but the wide distribution of power makes this only a small concern.

Also in private blockchain, since the assigning of watchers for active nodes is made by the owner, there could technically be a security risk. Transactions could also be leaked, as certain metadata will always be available to network participants. But the owner can choose to only let certain nodes verify transactions, making it more secure than public blockchain. This degree of control extends to the ability to reverse transactions, so even if something is lost, the owner can choose a resulting course of action. Private blockchain allows for much more control, and may be more attractive to potential adopters for that reason.

Even so, both types of blockchain are appropriate for different situations. While a system requiring fast transactions, transaction reversal capabilities, and more control over transaction verification may desire a private blockchain, one that benefits from widespread participation, maximum transparency and third-party verification (and management you don’t have to devote your time to) should consider a public blockchain.

This stage is just a part of what comprises efficient blockchain adoption. In our next blog, we’ll reveal more tips and facts you should know to get your blockchain PoC revved up for the real world.

This all may sound a bit overwhelming, but don’t fret – that’s where Luxoft comes in.


Reaching the next stage – We can help

The truth is, blockchain is here – ready for the PoC stage – and we at Luxoft can help make it happen.

With experts in blockchain technology and seamless technology experiences across the board, we can determine if blockchain is right for you. In order to help you get ahead in your industry, we apply high-end technology that improves your business exponentially.

It’s time to move forward. Contact us for more information by clicking here, and be sure to download our brochure! And stay tuned for our next blog, where we continue to walk you through what you should consider when applying blockchain efficiently.

Richard Pilling
Director, Luxoft Digital
Luxoft
www.Luxoft.com

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