A secure distributed ledger with smart contract capabilities not requiring a bank as an intermediary! Also a single source of truth with complete traceability. Definitely something we want! Blockchain technology promises to make this possible. Blockchain became famous through cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The technology could also be considered to replace B2B functionality. With new technologies it is not a bad idea to look at pro’s and con’s before starting an implementation. Blockchain is the new kid on the block and there is not much experience yet on how well he will play with others and will mature. In this blog I summarize some of my concerns concerning blockchain of which I hope will be solved in due time.
Regarding new/emerging technologies in the integration space, I’m quite open to investigate the potential value which they can offer. I’m a great proponent of for example Kafka, the highly scalable streaming platform and Docker to host microservices. However, I’ve been to several conferences and did some research online regarding blockchain and I’m sceptical. I definitely don’t claim to be an expert on this subject so please correct me if I’m wrong! Also, this is my personal opinion. It might deviate from my employers and customers views.
Most of the issues discussed here are valid for public blockchains. Private blockchains are of course more flexible since they can be managed by companies themselves. You can for example more easily migrate private blockchains to a new blockchain technology or fix issues with broken smart contracts. These do require management tooling, scripts and enough developers / operations people around your private blockchain though. I don’t think it is a deploy and go solution just yet.
A pure public blockchain (not taking into account sidechains and off chain code) is an immutable chain. Every block uses a hashed value of the previous block in its encryption. You cannot alter a block which is already on the chain. This makes sure things you put on the chain cannot suddenly appear or disappear. There is traceability. Thus you cannot accidentally create money for example on a distributed ledger (unless you create immutable smart contracts to provide you with that functionality). Security and immutability are great things but they require you to work in a certain way we are not that used to yet. For example, you cannot cancel a confirmed transaction. You have to do a new transaction counteracting the effects of the previous one you want to cancel. Read the complete article here.
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