Blockchain is more than just a new buzzword. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that is most commonly known for enabling the cryptocurrencies and payment networks.
Gurdeep Kalra, principal consultant, Infosys, Srikanth Challa, senior director, Blockchain, Infosys Ltd., and Minollo(Carlo Innocenti), software architect, Oracle, presented their session, “Blockchain 101 with Oracle Cloud” during Data Summit 2018 in Boston. They discussed how Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service supports real-time secure transactions and regulatory compliance, reduces operations costs and fraud, and offers a pre-assembled platform.
A Blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger forged by consensus, combined with a system for "smart contracts" and other assistive technologies, Kalra and Challa explained.
There are three types of Blockchain:
- Anyone can join the network and have a copy of the ledger, e.g.,: Bitcoin, Ethereum
- This involves the computer resource intensive mining process to add blocks cryptographically
- Consensus models based on “proof of work”, “proof of elapsed time”, requiring a lot of processing power on many nodes
- Closed ecosystem: members are invited to join and keep a copy of the ledger
- Who members are in the real (legal) world is known (to at least the operators of the Blockchain, but not necessarily all
- Consensus protocols depend on knowing who the members are, e.g., PBFT, for greater scalability
- Internal to one organization only who controls all nodes
- Useful for prototyping work, proof of concept and pilots
People choose Blockchain because network is more powerful than its individual members, according to Kalra.
Oracle Blockchain cloud services offers the following benefits:
- Permissioned Blockchain using Membership Services for strong identity management and PKI operations
- Peers perform validation, maintain current values representing “state of the world” and reach consensus over the blocks of transactions that are then stored in the cryptographically linked ledger (Blockchain)
- Clients deploy new business logic (smart contracts) on behalf of users and applications
- Clients execute transactions to trigger smart contracts that operate on the records in the “state of the world”, and can query the current values or block data
- Admins connect to BCS Console to update configuration, monitor dashboards and troubleshoot issues
Many presentations from Data Summit 2018 have been made available for review at https://www.dbta.com/DataSummit/2018/Presentations.aspx.