The world is developing ever so fast and so are the problems in it, businesses too are facing with the new era problems and are looking for new technologies that can offer the solutions to these problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies that companies are looking to provide with solutions. But don't get excited about "I know what blockchain is", people confuse the term bitcoin and blockchain, i was too one of those people. While these are kind of same but at the same time are way too different.
In this article we will discuss about why bitcoin is not all blockchains and how blockchains is coming up as a business solution technology.
Let me start of by clearing that the cryptocurrency that got talk of the town award for the last couple of years is based on bitcoin, and surprise-Surprise bitcoin is based on blockchain. When it comes to blockchain being used in one's enterprise, it is not something that is limited to the exchanging of digital funds in the form of coins and tokens; it offers more to the enterprise, providing solution to the company's information exchange be it externally or internally. Why not remove the terms 'coins' and 'ICO' from blockchain conversations and set the dialogue with a crystal foundation. All these years' companies have been looking for a secure and private way of communicating information to various external business parties and other users at all levels of businesses. Blockchain is one such technology that brings the feature of built in security to the table, because of it underlying cryptography, one of the best things about blockchains is the privacy it brings when it comes to disclosing the information about a users name or other information that an disclose one's identity. You cannot drink water from a glass that does not have water in it.
Consider the health care industry, for example. Hospitals, insurance companies and health care providers all have access to patient data. What if there was a common platform with end-to-end security that enabled various organizations to exchange information without disclosing the true identity of patients?
What is consortium? Why is it important when it comes to talking about blockchain?
The word "consortium" plays a very significant role in the world of blockchain. A consortium is an association of various companies that work together on building a solution to enhance customer experience. There are various kinds of blockchain implementations, including private, public and a mix of both, which is a consortium chain. There is concern around the decentralization because, in the case of the private blockchain, there is a single entity or point of contact that can control the information, which works against the idea of removing a middleman or decentralized computing. I believe the consortium chain does address the above security concern. In the case of consortium blockchain deployments, there is a group of parties that makes decisions, rather than a single entity.
That brings us back to why I think we can have a more constructive conversation around enterprise blockchain if we eliminate the term ICO from the discussion. Have you noticed in this article use of the word "coin" or talking about raising funds or giving some kind of incentive or tokens? The answer is no, and I believe the term ICO leads to a path of raising funds in which users pay money to collect coins, and the entity raising the funds uses that money to develop a product or provide some kind of service. Enterprises right now are wary of the confusion around blockchain, but by not bringing in the term ICO, enterprises can avoid the association with various failed ICOs, in which products or companies failed to deliver, or lost funds because of a hack.
Some commonly raised questions are, "What business problem can we solve? How can blockchain integrate with existing infrastructure and solutions, like databases or big data components? How do internet of things and blockchain integration work?" All these questions drive the conversation around the enterprise capabilities of blockchain. Right now, IBM and Microsoft are the leaders in this space. Consider this solution by Microsoft, and take a look at the flow to understand how blockchain technologies integrate with technologies like big data, cloud storage and NoSQL databases. IBM walks you through almost the same use case and provides step-by-step details on how companies can deploy blockchain as part of their enterprise solution architecture. I believe that blockchain as a service, with the capability of writing and deploying smart contracts with a couple of clicks will be in high demand as the technology matures and there is more awareness about the various solutions available.