Enterprise Blockchains - A take on permissioned systems
At first glance, you would think that the blockchain ecosystem is everything that an enterprise is not – decentralized, transparent, open. However, permissioned blockchains can bring about unprecedented positive disruption for both the enterprise and the decentralized space. There are three essential features of enterprise blockchains:
The blockchains that everyone is familiar with are all public blockchains. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum are open to everyone. You can download a copy of the underlying blockchain and become a part of the network. However, this can be highly impractical for enterprise blockchains because of the following reasons:
This is why enterprises require a special class of blockchain called “permissioned blockchains.” In a permissioned blockchain, the individual nodes of the network are chosen via a careful vetting process. Access to the network is given by one of the following:
Best Enterprise Blockchain Platforms
Let’s run through three of the most popular enterprise blockchain platforms:
#1 R3 Corda
R3 is a consortium of some of the biggest fintech firms in the world. Together, the consortium created a distributed ledger platform called “Corda.” When it first started, R3 had nine financial companies: Barclays, BBVA, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, State Street, and UBS. Currently, it has more than 300 participants. Some of the more notable names are – Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Société Générale, and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
R3 Corda has found utility in the finance space, along with supply chains, healthcare, and government. The core concepts behind Corda’s models:
Corda Node Structure
The image above is the nodal architecture in Corda. Every single node has five main components:
What are CorDapps?
CorDapps are the decentralized applications that run on top of the Corda platform. It has the following key components:
#2 Hyperledger Fabric
Hyperledger Fabric is one of most enterprise blockchain options out there. Fabric develops blockchain-based products, solutions, and applications aimed for use within private enterprises. Since these are simple plug-and-play solutions, integration with enterprise workflow is a breeze. Hyperledger Fabric’s permissioned architecture enables businesses to segregate confidential information and speed up transactions. Fabric 2.0 was released in January 2020 with faster transactions, updated smart contract technology, and streamlined data sharing.
How does Fabric work?
The framework is coded using Go. The smart contracts within Fabric are coded using “Chaincode.” Every peer of the network runs in Docker containers. To write Chaincode contracts, one must be well-versed in four main functions:
Fabric’s modular structure separates the transaction processing workflow into three different stages:
This segregation is useful because:
Enterprises like Walmart, Sony Global Education, Honeywell, etc. have worked with Hyperledger Fabric before. You can read these case studies here.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is an organization that aims to drive the use of Ethereum blockchain technology in enterprises.
Why should Enterprises look into Ethereum?
Alright, so Ethereum is supposed to be a public blockchain, right? It has all the deficiencies that we have already discussed before. But, if that’s the case, then why should enterprises bother looking into it.
The fact is that Ethereum has the largest and most well-respected developer community in the space. Plus, it already has a significant number of usecases. Because of these reasons, Ethereum can be a good platform for enterprises to build on.
Who is in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance?
The EEA members are an eclectic mix of large and established organizations in their respective industries as well as startups. There are currently over 200 members and some of the more well-known names include Microsoft, JP Morgan, Toyota, ING, British Petroleum, Wipro, etc.
What is the purpose of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance?
Enterprise blockchains are a critical component of the decentralized ecosystem. By bringing in institutions and large-scale organization, not only are we experiencing real-world value, but also taking blockchain adoption to a whole new level. Projects like R3 Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, and EEA will make the entry of these institutions considerably simpler and pain-free.