The name blockchain emerged with the discovery of cryptocurrency and is often related to it. A lot of people believe that blockchain technology is exclusive to bitcoins and other similar online currencies.
However, it’s not the complete truth. The technology is applicable in almost every field that deals with data and networking. Hospitals, banks, agriculture, malls, and even universities. Not to mention its application in companies like IBM, VISA, Unilever, Walmart, Ford, and more.
But unlike bitcoins, most of these companies prefer enterprise blockchains instead of public or private options. It provides them better control over their network.
Here’s a little more about these blockchain options and their application, along with the best available enterprise blockchain solutions.
What is Enterprise Blockchain?
The enterprise blockchain is not that different from the general blockchains used by Stablecoins or Bitcoins. They have almost the same working mechanism, security features, and data storage. The difference here is that the enterprise blockchain is not open. It has a permissioned access system that lets you create a hierarchy type structure.
It means you get to decide the access level of every person connected to your network. Let’s understand it with an example. Imagine you are using blockchain for creating an online banking application.
There will be multiple kinds of people involved in the system. The first type is the owner or the handler of the application. Next comes the developers and coders, and finally comes the users of the application.
Now, the owners will need full clearance to the app and hold its administrative rights. The developers need secondary rights. It includes access to all databases and the authority to edit them at any point.
The users, on the other hand, will need minimal rights. They must have access to the primary database to create accounts and use services without being able to alter app codes. Thus, you create a hierarchy with app owners at the top level and users at the bottom.
Apart from the structure, the enterprise blockchains also provide better control over the transactions. It means the company can block or hold any transaction if it interferes with the company policies.
Basically, these blockchains offer all the benefits of blockchain without the decentralization of the public blockchain. It does have some flexibility and power distribution, but that depends on the company handling the blockchain.
What are Typical Applications Of Enterprise Blockchain?
The enterprise blockchains have no set functionality limits. It is applicable for any company or field that needs permissioned networking technology. Here are a few instances where you can use enterprise blockchains.
Banking is a vast sector with numerous individuals, organizations, and sometimes countries involved in it. Each of them plays a part and needs a certain amount of access to its database. For instance, the user needs access to deposit and withdraw funds, while the higher authority needs the power to lock accounts if and when required.
Moreover, there are multiple points of access for every banking firm. There are multiple ATMs, different branches, and sometimes exchanges. Not to mention, people nowadays use online sites to access banking services.
And each change you make at one of these access points must get incorporated into the central database. Thus, a fast and secure networking mechanism, which the blockchain provides.
Voting is a hasty job and needs a lot of effort. You need to find a way to reach the voters, collect data and then tally it all. The work further increases in case of multiple firms or nationwide voting. It’s because you will need to follow up on updates in real-time.
Moreover, there’s a risk of tampering with the votes. Enterprise blockchain-based networks can provide a great solution here. It allows you to vote in real-time and does not allow voters to access the main database. Thus, they can vote and see results but cannot temper with them.
Universities and Schools
Educational institutes are the least accepting firms for blockchain technology. The technology is new, and there are a few controversies around it.
However, things are changing, and many institutes are considering it as a management option. Blockchain allows them to create apps with multiple access levels to suit student teachers and management.
And since you cannot edit a burned data block in a blockchain, the risk of data manipulation. Many believe that blockchains can reduce the risk of fake degrees and educational fraud to a great extent.
Office and Malls
Blockchains form the base of multiple payment currencies, including bitcoins, Ethereum tokens, DAO currencies, Litecoins, and more. Thus, it has a scope in the malls, offices, and other sectors dealing with the exchange of funds.
Offices can use it to pay salaries to their employees. The permissibility of the chains makes it easy to control funds transfer according to their work. The easy transfer and liquidity of cryptocurrencies further add to the benefits.
Similarly, in malls, the blockchain-based system can help with tickets and online bookings. You can also rent and other such fund exchanges.
Police and Courts
Background checks are like a standard activity nowadays. People use it to verify the authenticity of employees, tenants, roommates, and even colleagues. Using permissioned blockchain can offer easy access to the required data without any security risks.
The police and other judicial authorities can create nodes with every criminal in their record and set permission levels. Everybody will have access to the data if and when required, while no one can edit it. Appending data is possible but needs high-level clearance, which means only an authorized person can do it.
Best Enterprise Blockchain Platforms/Solutions?
Many large-scale companies like IBM have their own personal blockchain solution. It provides them the freedom and flexibility to create the system in the image of their company’s model and its requirements.
However, not every organization has the resources or is willing to develop its own blockchain platform. Such companies can take advantage of available platforms like the following for the job.
Hyperledger Fabric is an enterprise-grade ledger blockchain developed by Digital Assets and IBM. Its latest version is 2.0, which was released in 2020.
The framework comes with excellent support for all sorts of membership services and consensus. You can easily plug-and-play them according to your work. It also offers great compatibility with all types of designs and industries.
The newer 2.0 version also comes with far better speed, reliability, and data sharing. It comes with a modular architecture that separates the transaction into multiple small fragments. It processes them in three stages called chaincode, transaction order, and transaction validation. This helps to reduce trust level and verifications for clutter-free processing, increasing the system performance.
The version has further updated the smart contract technology. It has also introduced a forced agreement for every new member who wants to add ledgers.
Corda is the next-gen blockchain solution developed by R3. The platform came to light around 2014 and got its latest update in 2018. This update included several changes in its security and transactional features. It has also started using XRP as its primary cryptocurrency.
Corda is popular for its privacy policies, scalability, and security standard, making it ideal for financial services. It also makes it a great choice for highly regulated institutes.
The best part, Corda enterprise still has the same core attributes as the open-source. Combined with its business features, which makes it simple to license enterprise software in the blockchains.
Corda enterprise delivers multi-party transparency, inter-firm automation, and asset digitization, further adding to its benefits.
Quorum started as an open-source project that dealt with Ethereum based enterprise blockchains. Its developers designed it specifically for single authority networks. It means that the blockchain developed using this platform will have one owner for all nodes. It will allow multiple users to interact and share data but cannot hold full control.
The blockchain solution also encrypts every data passing through it. Thus, you can share data privately or with selective users without second thoughts. Its parent company has added a transaction manager called Tessera for this task.
Apart from private sharing, Quorum also has options for peer permissions and flexible consensus. You can use them to configure the system on permissioned mode or use valid consensus to finalize transactions.
The added speed of the blockchain solution is another bonus. There are claims that the system can process hundreds of transactions per second. It’s way better than the speed of any standard solution.
Ethereum being a popular cryptocurrency platform, is not unknown to most people. The platform is popular amongst new users due to its stability, reliability, and transactional flexibility. It also offers a native currency called the ETH or Ether for easy transfers.
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is a set of business solutions built on top of this blockchain platform. It shares the same base code and offers almost every benefit of the standard Ethereum blockchain.
The alliance comes with better adoption, scalability, privacy features, and speed. And since the ETH tokens are the second most used cryptocurrency, you can rely on the blockchain solution. You can expect minimal downtime and excellent support, making it great for any business application.
Ripple is yet another interesting blockchain solution that enterprises can choose. The platform started in 2012 as freeOpencoins and got its name ‘Ripple’ in 2015. Its main aim is to connect banks and other financial institutions with their consumers.
Its parent company believes it to be an efficient solution to connect payment providers, digital asset exchanges, and corporates. Ripple even has its own currency called the XRP or Ripple coins to help with this part.
These tokens are super fast and rank as the third most used cryptocurrency due to their speed. The ripple net can process a payment in nearly four seconds, making it functional for even the large-scale organization.
And the best part is the transactional and liquidity charges. It also offers you the flexibility of cross-border transfers.
In spite of the business model you adopt or use, blockchain technology always has something to offer. It can enhance security, speed, reliability, and, most of all, the adaptability of your system.
And the enterprise version further enhances these benefits. They offer you complete control over your network, including the access level of your funds.
It won’t be wrong to say that they are the future of data and fund management. You should consider it.