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Cloud Trends and Technology Innovations

The opportunities of blockchain

Gina Buchwald
| Editor

Blockchain challenges our perceptions in a radical way with regards to how data deliverance should be executed.


 

Through a principle of an open, decentralised database you can register crucial component such as money, property, services and goods.

The verification of authenticity comes from a community connected to the blockchain.

 

Listen to the interview
with Bastiaan van Os here

 

The idea is to be free of trusted third party organizations, which profit from the deliverances. Thus, we are able to create trusted transfers directly from one party to another without the intermediaries.

“Blockchain holds the promise to fundamentally transform how business is done, making business-to-business interactions more secure, transparent, and efficient..." Amit Zavery, Senior Vice President, Oracle Cloud Platform says.

Harvard Business Review states: “The technology most likely to change the next decade of business is not the social web, big data, the cloud, robotics, or even artificial intelligence. It’s the blockchain..."

We have spoken to Bastiaan van Os, Principal Cloud Sales Consultant at Oracle about blockchain: When and how can blockchain be used? What impact will the technology have on individuals, and which role does Oracle play?

  • It would take me hours to reveal the whole mystery of blockchain, but I can start by going back to the beginning, to when it all started: The first implementation of blockchain was in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bastiaan says. 

Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by an unknown person or group of people who designed Bitcoin and created the original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, they also devised the first blockchain database.

  • "He" produced a white paper and published it on the web. That was the Bitcoin white paper. It was a very smart technology and a reaction to the financial crisis. There were some people that were very angry with the financial system, so the idea was to create a system where we don't need any trusted third party: We should just be able to send transactions and digital money directly to each other, Bastiaan continues.

The main challenge is to get governments and financial institutions to embrace what the challenges are to them

A video released by the World Economic Forum in 2016 predicts that in less than ten years the blockchain principle will be used to collect taxes. It will be easier for immigrants to send back money to their countries where access to financial institutions is limited. And there is also a prediction that financial fraud could be significantly reduced as every transaction will be public and recorded on a distributed ledger.

Bastiaan explains why he thinks we should not worry too much about the security issues:

  • People seem to think that Bitcoin is not secure, because it lacks a third party. In fact it's much more secure than any other system. There's cryptography behind all the transactions, which makes the system safe. In addition, it is a decentralized, distributed network, which means that there are many different parties in this blockchain. If I want to change a public transaction in the blockchain, I will need to get it confirmed. That will not happen, because you need consensus from more than 51 per cent. If I would like to hack the system, I would have to make the same change on the majority of the blocks, he says and as far as he concerns the Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked. He also reminds us that there are the banks that take over ownership and control of our money, if we put our financial assets in the bank.

Do you understand the skepticism behind the Bitcoin and blockchain?

  • Yes, but I think it's because we are at a very early stage. This is new, and people are used to always have a trusted party. We have in our DNA that we trust third parties. If you write smart contracts on top of the blockchain, you can put all the rules in there with open code. So, what would you trust more? A third party that takes your data and does your transactions in secrecy, or would you trust a system that is completely automated and transparent? Bastiaan asks and refers to the ownership of your personal medical data, which is scattered around on different platforms in the medical system.
  • I would prefer to own my personal medical data on a trusted system, he states.

What do Oracle do with blockchain?

  • We started a year ago with the Hyperledger project, which is a Linux Foundation Open Source project. Oracle contributes to this project. We don’t take our own copy of it, we keep it as it is, and we’re very soon launching a service called “Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service”, which is part of our Platform as a Service. We have several solutions, like Database as a Service, Integration as a Service - a large portfolio of platform services. We will not only give you access to the Hyperledger blockchain in the cloud, but we will also pre-connect this with other system like financial systems and identity cloud service if you need secure sign on. Nodes can run in the Cloud but also on-premise, he explains.

The solution is 'enterprise ready', so customers can directly start using it. If you build it yourself it will take a very long time. In the cloud you just need a browser to start it up. With all enterprise security built in.

  • Analysts have charted that nine out of ten enterprises will have the need for blockchain solution projects. That makes the potential of this market huge. In addition it enables innovation.  It will open up the access to innovation technology, without having to engage in huge investments in technology up front, Bastiaan van Os, Principal Cloud Sales Consultant, concludes.  

 

For more information, please visit: https://cloud.oracle.com/blockchain

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