The Fattest Tech To Hit Wall Street Since The Internet is Not Yet Ready For Prime Time
It’s not an overstatement to say that blockchain is one of the most evangelized technologies out there today. Everywhere you look fresh companies are promising that blockchain will be a game changer for everything from banking to energy to walking.
But is the technology ready for enterprise deployment?
There’s no question that blockchain is an titillating fresh development. Invented ten years ago by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain is the technology that makes the cryptocurrency Bitcoin work. Think of it as a decentralized ledger that continually verifies and keeps track of every transaction. Nakamoto’s genius with Bitcoin was to create a financial system “based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, permitting any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”
Anyone in business will see the elegance and appeal of that statement. The idea of taking third-parties out of the equation opens up a entire fresh world of automation and efficiency that should (rightly) have most C-suite executives doing their homework on how they can use blockchain.
But we advise you proceed with care.
Blockchain might not be the optimal solution for your company’s problems. Executives need to ask themselves: What problem am I attempting to solve? And could it be solved using a more established technology? For example, it you’re considering using an internal blockchain to share data across far-flung divisions, ask yourself why blockchain would be better than a traditional data warehouse?
Designed to be an ecosystem solution, Blockchain works best when you get a critical mass of players to agree to use it and that’s not always effortless. For a bank, that might mean wooing trading playmates, stakeholders and regulators to climb on to the same platform. Before investing in blockchain technology, think about who will have to buy into using the platform and make sure everyone is on board.
That might be challenging because blockchain technology is still very immature. The two most viable blockchain deployments are Bitcoin, and Ethereum, another cryptocurrency with wise contract features, These two blockchain protocols are magnitudes slower than today’s databases and both have very petite capacities compared to what will be needed for say, trade finance. The underlying computer codes are open-sourced, still evolving, and come with warnings to use at your own risk.
Albeit almost $Two billion has been invested in blockchain ventures, most are still proofs-of-concept, experiments, or puny scale deployments. Granted, these are bellwether events, but it will take time to develop and scale enterprise-grade blockchains.
That doesn’t mean businesses should reject the idea of blockchain applications. Through our research at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research and the University of Missouri-Saint Louis we’ve come up with three practices that forward thinking companies should engage in to understand what, if any, business problems blockchain technology can solve for them.
Collaborative blockchains are going to need standards that everyone agrees to. If you think blockchain might benefit your company, get out in front and join a consortium or non-profit that is working to help set the standards. Word to the wise: Large consortia can be slow to agree upon standards or to develop actual applications. Many puny consortia, on the other arm, produce proofs-of-concept quickly, but may not attract enough extra participants to reach critical mass. If possible, mitigate the risk of backing the wrong pony by participating in both large and petite consortia.
As with any fresh technology, the most critical resource is talent. But one interviewee estimated that there are only around Five,000 people in the world with the abilities to architect blockchain applications. You might need to playmate with the consulting firms who snagged much of the global talent and let them transfer their skill to internal staff.
Startup ventures are proliferating in this space, some of which might be working on solutions to the problems you are facing which means you won’t have to embark from scrape internally. Monitoring the start-up space in your industry will help you know when it make sense to invest in the fresh technology and when it makes sense to hire an outside hard.
The bottom line: Enterprise blockchains are coming, but not as quickly as the evangelists will have you believe.
(Top photo: Courtesy Getty Pictures.)
Dr. Mary C. Lacity is Curators’ Distinguished Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Visiting Scholar at MIT Center for Information Systems Research. She has published twenty six books on the topics of business services, sourcing, and automation, most recently Robotic Process Automation and Risk Mitigation: The Definitive Guide (2017) with Professor Leslie Willcocks at the London School of Economics.
Kate Moloney is a Research Specialist at the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Center for Information Systems Research.
Blockchain technology for improving clinical research quality
Reproducibility, data sharing, private data privacy concerns and patient enrolment in clinical trials are hefty medical challenges for contemporary clinical research. A fresh technology, Blockchain, may be a key to addressing these challenges and should draw the attention of the entire clinical research community.
Blockchain brings the Internet to its definitive decentralisation purpose. The core principle of Blockchain is that any service relying on trusted third parties can be built in a translucent, decentralised, secure “trustless” manner at the top of the Blockchain (in fact, there is trust, but it is hardcoded in the Blockchain protocol via a elaborate cryptographic algorithm). Therefore, users have a high degree of control over and autonomy and trust of the data and its integrity. Blockchain permits for reaching a substantial level of historicity and inviolability of data for the entire document flow in a clinical trial. Hence, it ensures traceability, prevents a posteriori reconstruction and permits for securely automating the clinical trial through what are called Brainy Contracts. At the same time, the technology ensures fine-grained control of the data, its security and its shareable parameters, for a single patient or group of patients or clinical trial stakeholders.
In this commentary article, we explore the core functionalities of Blockchain applied to clinical trials and we illustrate concretely its general principle in the context of consent to a trial protocol. Attempting to figure out the potential influence of Blockchain implementations in the setting of clinical trials will shed fresh light on how modern clinical trial methods could evolve and benefit from Blockchain technologies in order to tackle the aforementioned challenges.
Fixing methodology issues is one of the fine challenges in contemporary biomedical research. Indeed, lack of reproducibility, related to a broad range of scientific misconduct aspects, from errors to frauds, compromises the outcomes of a clinical explore and undermines research quality. Lack of reproducibility has been extensively studied, and medical scientific publications have been found on the entire to be not reproducible: they are total of “bugs”. Ioannidis et al. estimated a rate of about 80% non-reproducible studies [1–Three]. This rate may be related to several types of errors, misconduct or fraud. Improving quality of research by better reproducibility and empowering both researcher communities with secure data sharing and patient communities with devices assuring their privacy are desirable goals that can be achieved in part with Blockchain technology [Four, Five].
Blockchain can have a global influence on clinical research because it permits for tracking, sharing and caring for data. Indeed, it involves a decentralised secure tracking system for any data interactions that could occur in the context of clinical trials, with a peer-to-peer inclusive network that enables data sharing on the research side and ensures all the needed transparency and care for privacy concerns on the patient community side.
In turn, this system can lead to more trust in clinical research, whose credibility has been considerably undermined with repeated scandals in latest years [6, 7]. Blockchain technology can be considered a basis for improved clinical research methodology and a step toward better transparency to improve trust within research communities and inbetween research and patient communities.
What is Blockchain?
Historically, Blockchain is known to be the technology powering Bitcoin, as an open, distributed public ledger recording all the Bitcoin transactions in a secure and verifiable way, without the need for a third party to process payments. In this context, Blockchain can be considered a total history of banking transactions.
More generically, Blockchain is a yam-sized, public, secure and decentralised datastore [8, 9] of ordered records, or events, called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and is linked to a previous block [Ten]. Events can be updated by only a majority of users. Information cannot be erased. The datastore is possessed by no one, is managed by users and is not ruled by any trusted third party or central regulatory example. In fact, trust is encoded in the protocol and maintained by the community of users.
In practice, the Blockchain architecture permits for storing proofs of existence of data. As the only proof of data is the data of proof, we believe that this is a paradigm shift for medical research methodology.
Building reliable clinical studies: at each step, keep track and timestamp
Inviolability and historicity of data are two major features of data at the functional level, “the data level”. Regarding inviolability and historicity of data, it goes after that Blockchain ensures that events are tracked in their correct chronological order, which largely prevents a posteriori reconstruction analysis.
Very first, data integrity is ensured by the cryptographic validation of each transaction . This is key to ensuring the sincerity of data — limiting data falsification, data “beautification” and in some sense data invention. 2nd, traceability and historicity of the data are among the core functionalities of the technology: each transaction with Blockchain is timestamped . This information is publicly semitransparent; any user possesses a copy of the proof of the time-stamped data. Figure one shows the sophisticated flows of heterogeneous data and metadata that circulate in a clinical trial, implying numerous healthcare stakeholders, and all documents whose proof of existence can be stored in Blockchain. Thus, the existence of data becomes provable while the data remain confidential.
Below, we list non-exhaustive examples of key information that can advantageously “sit on the top” of the Blockchain:
Privacy by design and data sharing in community-driven medicine
At the practice level, “the community level”, Blockchain is sometimes described as “trustless”, which can suggest the right conditions for data sharing. In fact, trust is built inwards the protocol. Blockchain can be considered as a “privacy-by-design” peer-to-peer infrastructure. With the level of trust it can enforce, it should be considered a path through the age of community-driven methodologies. Polls consistently display that about 80% of consumers are impatient to share their medical information , provided privacy and security can be ensured. With the transparency of the Blockchain database — possessed by no one, publicly writable by anyone and with strong crypto-oriented consistency of the database transaction — users do not need any third party to trust the system. Thus, the database opens a broad path to the data user’s control or differential privacy, data sharing and community-driven clinical probe : in a trusted environment, clinical research teams can “crowd-recruit” people to be enrolled in protocols with the help of community management mechanisms, and people can also volunteer to participate in such studies. Indeed, the Estonian e-Health authority has just implemented a Blockchain solution enabling storage of a million health records, letting patients control data access through a “Keyless Signature Infrastructure” [28, 29].
On the researcher side, data sharing is a subject of good interest and can provide many benefits. Indeed, sharing anonymised raw data, analysable datasets or a statistical analysis plan is a strengthening factor for reproducibility in science, opening clinical trials to secondary analysis or meta-analysis [24, 30–32]. Blockchain implementations can enable distributed, secure cloud data sharing. The advanced Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) project Enigma, still under testing and not officially released, is most promising. Enigma’s Blockchain treatment enables secure data sharing on a large scale and on a perimeter, finely controllable by the user who is sharing the data. With this kind of implementation, the data can be collective among any users or group of users, whether investigators, publishers or patients. The idea behind the technology is differential privacy: the user can fine-tune the equilibrium dose inbetween publicly semitransparent data and control of the collective part inbetween approved entities. Blockchain enables differential privacy in a secure way.
Clinical trial phase control: Wise Contracts
Besides archiving clinical trial-phase-compilable metadata on the Blockchain, we can also chain together different clinical trial steps so that each step depends on its predecessor. Blockchain technologies bring instruments to achieve these “slicing” and “chaining” processes, called Wise Contracts, and can enforce the level transparency, traceability and control over clinical trial sequences.
According to Wikipedia, “Wise Contracts are computer protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation of a contract” , and their execution can be implemented by using cryptographic hash chains. Practically, Wise Contracts enable the validation of a step with the only condition that every preceding step has been fully validated. For example, the chain of successive blocks could verify that the designed methodology has been followed, and the material introduced to publishers would consist of the publication itself and the set of blocks that constitute the Wise Contract, whose correct execution indicates proof that the probe was well conducted.
Figure one shows that the Brainy Contract represents a chunk of code that holds a programmatically written contract inbetween as many parties as needed, without any trusted third party, and that executes algorithmically according to the terms provided by the contracting parties. Examples of Wise Contracts are permitting for patient inclusion with the only condition that they have consented or for enabling data analysis with the only condition that the database is frozen. Each of the clinical trial steps detailed in the figure can be chained together in a preceding order, consolidating a semi-transparent trial and preventing a posteriori reconstruction or beautification of data.
A proof of concept for collection of consent
In a proof-of-concept experimental examine, we implemented a Blockchain system to collect participant consent for a clinical trial ( (under review), ). Indeed, the US Food and Drug Administration reports that almost 10% of the trials that they monitor feature issues related to consent collection: failure to obtain written informed consent, unapproved forms, invalid consent document, failure to re-consent to a revised protocol and missing institutional review board approval to protocol switches [36, 37]. Precisely, in a fake experimental investigate, we timestamped each patient consent on the Blockchain and asked again for consent renewal with each revision of the protocol. We obtained a unique master document that holds, in a single data structure or lump of code called Chainscript , all the consent collection data, each trussed to a version of revised protocol versions. In fact, these data are “hashed”, that is, formatted into a sort of cryptographic form of the real consent and protocol document data. Of importance, this master document represents a secure, sturdy proof of existence of the entire consent-collection process because of a rigorous one-to-one correspondence inbetween hashed data and effective consent data. Also, this proof of existence can be checked on any dedicated public website.
Blockchain technology is a major chance for clinical research: it can help in structuring more see-through checkable methodology and, provided a set of core metadata is defined, can help check clinical trial integrity, transparently and partly algorithmically. Ultimately, Blockchain can lead to the structuration of some kind of community-driven Internet of health data, gathering researchers and patient communities, social networks and Internet of Things data flows, at a global dimension, with features of individual granularity, decentralisation and security and with translucent interactions to ensure lighter and more see-through analysis.
The authors announce no funding for this commentary article.
Blockchain sharpens Dianrong’s edge in P2P lending to puny businesses
Dianrong to expand Shenzhen team as its teams up with Foxconn on the Chained Finance blockchain platform that aims to revolutionise supply chain finance.
Zen Soo UPDATED : Sunday, sixteen Jul 2017, Ten:30PM
Dianrong, one of China’s top peer-to-peer lending platforms, is combining blockchains to its loans assessment system, aimed at helping puny and medium suppliers with unsteady cash flows breach the last mile of creditworthiness to obtain financing.
The proof of concept was in March, when Dianrong ( 點融 ) set up Chained Finance with FnConn, the financing arm of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of consumer electronics. Chained Finance originated US$6.Five million in loans for puny and medium suppliers in a successful pilot.
“Finance is about managing information, the most significant element is credibility and trust,” said Dianrong’s founder and chief executive Soul Htite, in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “Blockchain offers us a fresh model to maintain the transparency” of financial transaction information at very little cost, he said.
Blockchains, the distributed databases conceptualised in two thousand eight as core components of the digital currency bitcoin, are increasingly finding their way into financial technology and helping to redefine the boundaries of traditional banking. They can be used as open, distributed digital ledger systems that can record transactions efficiently.
With contracts embedded with certain business rules in the blockchain, manufacturers can ensure that suppliers only get paid if they abide by the agreement, preventing suppliers from outsourcing work while permitting manufacturers to know exactly which suppliers they are working with on a project.
Dianrong, founded in two thousand twelve in Shanghai by the Lending Club’s alumnus Htite and Chinese entrepreneur Kevin Guo, originated 16.23 billion yuan (US$Two.Four billion) of loans in 2016, more than dual the year earlier. While lenders earn interests paid by borrowers, the platform takes a ten per cent fee.
Dianrong and Foxconn are presently working together to apply the Chained Platform for Foxconn’s suppliers. Chained Finance is also in “advanced talks with some very large suppliers,” Htite said, declining to name them.
Dianrong is expanding its team in prep for the increase in supply chain finance loans through Chained Finance. The company has plans to hire five hundred more staff in Shenzhen in addition to the sixty they already employ, Htite said.
One of the challenges that Dianrong still faces is the misperception that users who cannot get a loan from the bank can lightly get a loan from a P2P lender like Dianrong.
“You’re either a good quality borrower or a bad quality borrower,” said Htite, who said that Dianrong manages risk the same way banks do, by verifying a borrower’s capability to pay, the purpose of the loan and whether the borrower has at least some assets.
“We collect information about you and, based on how comfy we are with your data, we give you the most competitive [loan],” said Htite.
“Dianrong is able to give a loan to a person based on data, in a country that only believes you can get a loan if you have an asset,” he said. “We’re [the alternative] inbetween secure lending and shadow banking, which could charge you sixty per cent [interest].”
Blockchain In Retail – Retail use case Two: The Tokenised ledger
Over the last few months I have been researching, the very titillating world of Blockchain and learning about this technology. I believe that Blockchain can lead to an entirely fresh eco-system of commerce and transacting across the world, and across all industries.
I am looking at blockchain through the eyes of a retailer, and looking at how this fresh world can form the future business model for retailing.
The basic premise of Blockchain:
A decentralised, open ledger of information (open to participants who are permitted access)
Data is held on many distributed ledgers around the world – Blockchain is also referred to as DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology ) for this reason
All ledgers hold the same information for the data in question
Any switches to this data can be tracked
All ledgers carry the same copy of this data
Blockchain leads to transparency and trust across the network
This leads to many different applications of blockchain within our lives and within our businesses, and we will look at three possible use cases for a fresh retail business:
Three possible retail use cases for blockchain
1. Supply chain ledger
Three. Executable/Brainy contracts
We will base our explanation around an example retail business:
Let us assume we are kicking off with a fresh way to operate a retail business which we have no previous business or systems in place. We will call the business “Antony Stores” or AS for ease of understanding
AS is going to sell luxury, branded clothing via its physical stores, website, mobile site and through social media across the entire of Europe.
Retail use case Two: The Tokenised ledger (“AS Blockchain”)
Lets take the continued example of our fresh retail business “Antony Stores” (AS) which sells luxury branded clothing.
In this use case I will look at using a tokenised ledger to provide a finish token based system, similar to “real” money where tokens are sent and exchanged at different times and for different reasons, based on calculated rules and events.
Within our network we us AS Tokens and they are built on the “AS Blockchain”– these are tokens of value which we will use to transact with the different events that happen.
At the commence we set up the token system so that we will pay the supplier on a set of defined circumstances automatically – e.g The jumpers have arrived in the specified warehouse, on time, in the right quantity and with the right quality.
The supplier can then use these tokens to pay staff and order fresh raw materials for the next order of jumpers. This would need all the suppliers and fucking partners to join the network which would be hard to imagine at very first – but this is fresh tech and in a few years this is likely to be the norm
The order of jumpers is then loaded into a delivery van which goes to the NYC store. The doors are locked with a QR code.
The van arrives at the NYC store and the QR code is scanned by the manager and this unlocks the door of the van. The products are off loaded and scanned onto the “AS blockchain” in store.
This process automatically transfers the stock into the store file and the items are ready for customer collection and to go onto the store shelves for sale.
If connected to the token system, other suppliers and playmates could be paid with these tokens, thus using one ledger to see all process, transactions and stages of the process.
What are the benefits of Tokenised Blockchain ledger?
On time payment to smaller suppliers and all fucking partners. Our current financial system doesn’t work – with blockchain suppliers will be paid in real time
All transactions are collective and open to blockchain members – no need to reconcile the ledgers at the end of the month
Currency variations are liquidated within the token system
Next week, I will look at Retail use case three: Executable/Clever contracts
Understanding how blockchain works and identifying myths about its powers are the very first steps to developing blockchain technologies
Movie: Blockchain in sixty seconds
After spending two years researching blockchain and the evolution of advanced ledger technologies, I still find a fine spectrum of understanding across my clients and business at large about blockchain. While ledger superpowers like Hyperledger, IBM, Microsoft and R3 are emerging, there remains a long tail of startups attempting to innovate on the very first generation public blockchains. Most of the best-selling blockchain books restrict themselves to Bitcoin, and extrapolate its apparent magic into a dizzying array of imagined use cases. And I’m continuously astonished to find people who are only just hearing about blockchain now.
It can seem that everyone is talking about blockchain and ledger technologies, but the truth is most people are not yet up to speed. No one should be bashful to ask what blockchain is indeed all about.
You can this executive guide as a PDF (free registration required).
Many blockchain primers and infographics dive into the cryptography, attempting to explain to lay people how “consensus algorithms”, “hash functions” and digital signatures all work. In their enthusiasm, they can speed past the fundamental question of what blockchain was indeed designed to do. I’ve long been worried about a lack of critical thinking around blockchain and the activity it’s inspired. If you want to develop blockchain applications you only need to know what blockchain does, and not how it does it.
So I’ve written a report that explains how the blockchain works. It examines the founding principles of blockchain, describes its properties, and dispels common myths about its powers. The explanation below is an abridged excerpt from the report.
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?
Blockchain is an algorithm and distributed data structure for managing electronic cash without a central administrator among people who know nothing about one another. Originally designed for the crypto-currency Bitcoin, the blockchain architecture was driven by a radical rejection of at (government-guaranteed) money and bank-controlled payments.
Blockchain is a special example of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), almost all of which have emerged in Bitcoin’s wake.
HOW DOES BLOCKCHAIN WORK?
Blockchain is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that was invented to support the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was motivated by an extreme rejection of government-guaranteed money and bank-controlled payments. The developer of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned people spending money without friction, intermediaries, regulation or the need to know or trust other parties.
Technically, the original blockchain is separable from Bitcoin, but this report will display that the blockchain design is so specific to Bitcoin that it’s not a good fit for much else.
The central problem in electronic cash is Dual Spend. Because unspoiled electronic money is just data, nothing stops a currency holder from attempting to spend it twice. Blockchain solves the Dual Spend problem without a digital reserve fund or similar form of umpire.
Blockchain monitors and verifies Bitcoin transactions by calling upon a decentralized network of volunteer-run knots to, in effect, vote on the order in which transactions occur. The network’s algorithm ensures that each transaction is unique.
Several thousand knots make up the Bitcoin network. Once a majority of knots reaches consensus that all transactions in the latest past are unique (that is, not dual spent), they are cryptographically sealed into a block. Each fresh block is linked to previously sealed blocks to create a chain of accepted history, thereby preserving a verified record of every spend.
The Bitcoin blockchain’s functionality and security results from the network of thousands of knots agreeing on the order of transactions. The diffuse nature of the network ensures transactions and balances are recorded without bias and are resistant to attack by even a relatively large number of bad actors. In fact, the record of transactions and balances remains secure as long as a ordinary majority (51 percent) of knots remains independent. Thus, the integrity of the blockchain requires a excellent many participants.
One of the Bitcoin blockchain’s most innovative aspects is how it incentivizes knots to participate in the intensive consensus-building process by randomly rewarding one knot with a stationary bounty (presently 12.Five BTC) every time a fresh block is lodged and committed to the chain. This accumulation of Bitcoin in exchange for participation is called “mining” and is how fresh currency is added to the total system afloat.
Before attempting to extend blockchain technology to fresh applications it is significant to understand the intent of blockchain’s developers. To learn more about this, common myths about blockchain’s powers, and why blockchain may not useful for much else beside digital currency you can download the report Blockchain Explained in Plain English.
The blockchain has tremendous potential for fraud prevention and cyber security. With this series of articles, we will explore how the blockchain will switch the cyber risk game.
In my very first article, I have introduced the blockchain concept, presents what it is in the light of its initial deployment in the Bitcoin project, key problems solved by blockchain, and the blockchain operation principle.
With this 2nd part, we dig into the technical aspects to accomplish our thorough introduction to blockchain. Concrete business applications and evolutions will be discussed in an article to go after in the coming weeks.
1. Technical aspects of a blockchain
In the Bitcoin system, a blockchain is a transaction database collective by all knots participating in a system based on the Bitcoin protocol.
A total copy of a currency’s block chain contains every transaction ever executed in the currency. With this information, one can find out how much value belonged to each address at any point in history.
1.1 The blockchain data structure
The blockchain data structure is an ordered, back-linked list of blocks of transactions. Every block contains a hash of the previous block. This has the effect of creating a chain of blocks from the genesis block to the current block. Each block is assured to come after the previous block chronologically because the previous block’s hash would otherwise not be known. Each block is also computationally impractical to modify once it has been in the chain for a while because every block after it would also have to be regenerated.
Transaction data is permanently recorded in these blocks as if they were files. These blocks can be thought of as the individual pages of a city recorder’s recordbook (where switches to title to real estate are recorded) or a stock transaction ledger. Over time, blocks are organized into a linear sequence, also known as a blockchain.
Fresh transactions are permanently being processed by miners into fresh blocks, which are then added to the end of the chain and can never be switched or eliminated once accepted by the network.
1.Two A very first view on a block structure
Each block contains, among other things, a record of some or all latest transactions, as well as a reference to the block that came instantly before it. It also contains an response to a difficult-to-solve mathematical puzzle known as the hash or proof of work—more on that later!
1.Trio A miner’s life
In the Bitcoin world, transactions are broadcast to the network by the sender, and all peers attempting to solve blocks collect the transaction records and add them to the block they are working to solve. This is called mining.
Mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the blockchain because, simply, it is a chain of blocks. The blockchain serves to confirm to the rest of the network that the transactions have taken place. Bitcoin knots use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend bitcoins that have already been spent elsewhere.
Mining is intentionally designed to be resource-intensive and difficult so that the number of blocks found each day by miners remains sustained. Individual blocks must contain a proof-of-work to be considered valid. This proof of work is verified by other Bitcoin knots each time they receive a block. Bitcoin uses the hashcash proof-of-work function.
The primary purpose of mining is to permit Bitcoin knots to reach a secure, tamper-resistant consensus.
Mining a block is difficult because the SHA-256 hash of a block’s header must be lower than or equal to the target in order for the block to be accepted by the network.
Let’s simplify this problem for explanation purposes: The hash of a block must commence with a certain number of zeros. The probability of calculating a hash that starts with many zeros is very low, therefore many attempts must be made. In order to generate a fresh hash each round, a nonce is incremented.
Miners implement the following (simplified) algorithm:
1.Four Difficulty adjustment
The difficulty is the measure of how difficult it is to find a fresh block compared to the easiest it can ever be. It is recalculated every two thousand sixteen blocks to a value such that the previous two thousand sixteen blocks would have been generated in exactly two weeks had everyone been mining at this difficulty. This will yield, on average, one block every ten minutes.
As more miners join, the rate of block creation will go up. As the rate of block generation goes up, the difficulty rises to compensate so that the rate of block creation is shoved back down.
Any blocks released by malicious miners that do not meet the required difficulty target will simply be rejected by everyone on the network and thus will be worthless.
Again, the difficulty of the mathematical problem is automatically adjusted by the network, such that it targets a aim of solving an average of six blocks per hour. The network comes to a consensus and automatically increases (or decreases) the difficulty of generating blocks.
1.Five Miner retribution (and Bitcoin creation)
Mining is also the mechanism used to introduce bitcoins into the system. Miners are paid transaction fees as well as a subsidy of freshly created coins. This both serves the purpose of disseminating fresh coins in a decentralized manner as well as motivating people to provide security for the system. In other words, the subsidy provides incentive for miners to put their computation power at the disposition of the blockchain network.
Because there is a prize of brand fresh bitcoins for solving each block, every block also contains a record of which Bitcoin addresses or scripts are entitled to receive the prize. This record is known as a generation transaction (or a coinbase transaction) and is always the very first transaction appearing in every block.
The number of bitcoins generated per block starts at fifty and is halved every 210,000 blocks (about four years).
In addition to the generation transaction, miners are motivated to include transactions in their blocks because of fastened transaction fees. A modest fee is received for every transaction in the freshly mined block.
1.6 Bitcoin supply thresholds
In the specific case of the Bitcoin, Satoshi had the idea of limiting the bitcoin supply early on. Of course, there is an significant reason behind this.
In a centralized economy, currency is issued by a central bank at a rate that is supposed to match the rate of goodsexchanged, so that these goods can be traded with stable prices. The monetary base is managed by a central bank. In the United States, the Fed increases the monetary base by issuing currency, enhancing the amount banks have on reserve, and, more recently, printing money electronically in a process called Quantitative Easing.
In a fully decentralized monetary system, there is no central authority that regulates the monetary base. Instead, currency is created by the knots of a peer-to-peer network. The Bitcoin generation algorithm defines, in advance, how currency will be created and at what rate. Any currency that is generated by a malicious user that does not go after the rules will be rejected by the network and thus is worthless.
Bitcoins are created each time a user detects a fresh block. As a reminder, the rate of block creation is adjusted every two thousand sixteen blocks to aim for a constant two week adjustment period (equivalent to six per hour.) The number of bitcoins generated per block is set to decrease geometrically, with a 50% reduction every 210,000 blocks, or approximately four years. As a result, the number of bitcoins in existence is not expected to exceed twenty one million.
But why twenty one million? Some speculate that twenty one million matches a 4-year prize halving schedule; or that the ultimate total number of Satoshis that will be mined is close to the maximum capacity of a 64-bit floating point number. Satoshi has never truly justified or explained many of these constants.
With the rise of bitcoin, we see that Blockchain is among the most used and recommended bitcoin platforms.
Therefore, the company ought to take measures to ensure that the security of their systems is top-notch and also, the reputation grows with time to attract more clientele.
The platform’s user base is cracked up into two types: there are those who use the website to transact, and there are those who choose to use mobile apps to transact.
Whichever the case, it depends on whether or not the platform is convenient to the user.
If you’ve created an account on the platform, your very first step should be to secure your account by all available means.Blockchain has taken fairly some measures to ensure that users’ funds are protected.
Apart from providing the user with a diversity of ways to protect their coins, it is up to them to ensure they make good use of the available methods.
Regardless, some users will avoid taking the necessary steps to beef up the security of their account.
In a world where cybercrime is rampant and attackers are ready to use any possible means to take control of significant documents and funds, it is crucial that the security of your system is solid.
In this case, the security measure taken by Blockchain must be enhanced by the account holder. So, there are three levels of security.
Level one is the most basic, and it is meant to prevent you from losing access to your funds.
At this level, the very first thing is to verify your email which will be used in the login process.
2nd, get a backup phrase in case you need to recover your bitcoins and lastly, create a password hint that you can reminisce in case you leave behind your password and need to access your account.
The backup phrase comprises of twelve letters, which is displayed on the screen. You can either write the words down, take a picture or print it.
Because it is essential in accessing your funds in the event of suspicious activities that might make your coins inaccessible.
To confirm this phrase, you will then come in a few words in the next page where you are to prove the phrase according to the numbers displayed
The 2nd level of security involves the prevention of non-authorized logins to your wallet.
With the rise of bitcoin, we see that Blockchain is among the most used and recommended bitcoin platforms.
In this case, one has to inject their mobile number, which will be used to send a verification code in the event any suspicious activities are ongoing.
So if someone is attempting to access your funds and they come to this step, the mission will fail. Also, the 2nd part of this is the two-factor authentication (2FA) is solely meant to verify the authenticity of the user by providing details that only they have in their possession.
The third level of security involves hardening your wallet. According to the site, they claim this process is to prevent all the IP addresses that are from Tor network from accessing your wallet.
If one is a Blockchain user, all these can be found on the top-left part of the web page. It is the third icon titled “Security Center.” It is very recommended that these not to be overlooked irrespective of the user’s balance or their work on the internet.
When one registers on the platform, they are assigned a unique wallet ID that comprises of both numbers and letters, which are separated by a hyphen after a specific number of characters.
So, this is more of like the username that you will use when you are logging into the platform.
Because one cannot use their email address, name or phone number to access their coins apart from the wallet ID.
After they inject the wallet ID, it is when they inject the password.
When logging into your account, you can also just search for the login link and inject the password, then wait for a confirmation link.
With this in mind, it makes it virtually unlikely for someone to guess the email you are using for your bitcoin wallet because there is no evidence whatsoever.
Now when one is using the mobile app, the process of synchronizing information with the wallet involves creating a pin and scanning a code at the setting section.
Without doing this, you cannot access your account using your phone. Therefore all due steps must go after.
Upon following the above processes, it will be lighter to access your wallet from your phone which is much more convenient than logging into the site using a desktop or laptop since it is just a matter of putting in your pin.
When one logs into their account using a desktop, they will have a confirmation link sent to their email.
And if you have no access to the email, then it is not possible to access the wallet. Therefore, this can be considered an extra layer of security in the event someone has access to your password for one reason or another.
It is never advisable for one to use the same password for email and other accounts, as it makes it effortless for one to access your accounts and possibly even switch emails in the event they are after you.
Blockchain ‘Atomic Ledger’ experiment records twenty million timestamped stock trades
A group of researchers from the National Physical Laboratory, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TMX), and UK-based consultancy Z/Yen have brought atomic clock timestamp precision to stock market trading over a blockchain-style database.
The “Atomic Ledger” project recorded over twenty million transactions, with Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC) generated from atomic clocks, from three hours of trading to the ChainZy distributed ledger system. The results will be analysed by Strathclyde’s Centre of Financial Regulation and Innovation.
Distributed ledgers enable financial market counterparties to store financial assets in a collective ledger. The team created a timestamping engine using Z/Yen’s woven-broadcasting distributed ledger architecture to test the recording of high-frequency trading transactions.
Existing financial market “clock synchronisation and timestamp requirements” mandate that both trading venues and market participants synchronise their clocks to Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC). That said, different processing speeds, server capabilities and execution code can result in digitally programmed orders arriving at a market place at different times.
The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) EU legislation, which comes into force on three January 2018, mandates more accurate timestamping traceable to UTC to promote improved transparency and better deals for customers. Current regulatory guidance suggests that trades need to be recorded in microseconds (a millionth of a 2nd).
The test used nanosecond resolution high-frequency data from the TMX located in Interxions’s London Data Centre with support from cloud provider Hyperneph. The researchers timestamped digital orders of varying programing length written to execute a series of buy and sell instructions. These were either logged with NPLTime, using the atomic clocks at NPL, or logged with UTC plus a randomly generated time lag. The orders were then sent to a central clearinghouse also operating on UTC and written onto a ChainZy distributed ledger.
The experiment will analyse the importance of timing in how orders are “cleared”, and provide insights into the need for precision timestamping in financial transactions, preferably at the microsecond level. The results are expected to provide a benchmark to incorporate the concept of timing into financial asset price discovery, said a statement
The application of precise, traceable and certified timestamps, as applied to the knots of a distributed ledger system, will enable a trusted treatment to the transactions as having existed at that point in time, across all platforms, according to Leon Lobo, Strategic Business Development for Time and Quantum, National Physical Laboratory.
Professor Michael Mainelli, executive chairman, Z/Yen Group, said: “We have been working with distributed ledger technology since one thousand nine hundred ninety five and are delighted that our ChainZy architecture has been able to support these high-speed applications, with a capacity for some twenty five billion transactions per day on this test equipment, a trillion transactions per day is in view commercially. Using NPL’s atomic clocks is a major step forward in adding authority to distributed ledgers for time-stamping.”
Daniel Broby, director of the Centre for Financial Regulation and Innovation, Strathclyde Business School, said: “The role of distributed ledgers and precision timing is becoming ever more relevant as Fintech companies adopt blockchain as a financial transmission contraption. This is an titillating trial that will have real world policy influence.”
Every week we highlight the best tech events happening in Los Angeles. This week is SUPER busy so plan accordingly! LA’s growing tech scene has something to suggest everyone this week including Health Tech, Blockchain, Growth Marketing and just some good old fashioned networking. Here are the events we’ll be checking out this week. Hope to see you there!
Moderated by Indu Subaiya, CEO of Health Two.0, we will hear from Oscar Health, the Milken Institute, LA Physicians for Health, and the CA Physicians Alliance and our host at the Health Technology, and Engineering program at USC.
Join us this month for a night of growth stories and strategies from mobile experts at Tinder, CleverTap, ZipRecruiter, and Edmunds. We’ll kick off the evening with some beer, soft drinks, and pizza, and then hear lessons and best practices for app growth. We’ll cover everything from organic and paid user acquisition, retention and engagement strategies, and more.
Come out for an awesome discussion about how to grow your mobile business and meet some cool people involved in apps. Register on our official registration page.
Marketing & PR in the Blockchain Industry
Kelley Weaver, Founder & CEO of Melrose PR will be presenting at the next Ethereum Meetup about how to market your company and yourself in the blockchain industry. Agenda
– Melrose PR Background
– Why Marketing & Public Relations for blockchain companies?
– Melrose PR’s top four recommended marketing strategies
– How to craft a pitch
– Q&A Join us to network and learn how to boost your brand exposure!
Marketing & PR in the Blockchain Industry
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017, 7:00 PM
Location details are available to members only.
40 Ethereals Attending
Kelley Weaver, Founder & CEO of Melrose PR will be presenting at the next Ethereum Meetup about how to market your company and yourself in the blockchain industry. Agenda – Melrose PR Background – Why Marketing & Public Relations for blockchain companies? – Melrose PR’s top four recommended marketing strategies – How to craft a pitch – Q&A Join us to …
XMAS In August
XMAS in August is the ONLY LA curated event dedicated to truly showcasing the latest consumer tech and lifestyle products. Exhibitors are only qualified to participate if you have (or will have) launched a fresh product inbetween February two thousand seventeen and January 2018.
This special event will include Beverages, Dinner, Dessert and all the coolest lifestyle and tech products from LA’s growing startup ecosystem. Join innovative and interesting startups and lifestyle companies from various backgrounds presenting their latest products.
Every exhibitor will also be allotted a 2-5 minute stage presentation at the XMAS Showcase Stage to present their product or company. Media attendees, sit back and ease off with your dinner and drinks and witness the exhibitors present their fresh goodies to YOU. Also, sign up to get review/demo units shipped to you after the event.
SiliconBeach DTLA Tech Mixer AUGUST 24th powered by Google
We’re 51,000 + members strong and growing every month! Don’t miss this chance to meet your next big business connection!
Our events are comprised of the most influential professionals in the area. Our purpose is to help our members forge strong, lasting relationships within the DTLA community – combining Fortune 500/1000s with Entrepreneurs and Startups. We creating unique opportunities & connections to help you grow your business and network!
Investing in the LA Tech Scene with special guest Upfront Ventures
Join Women’s Voices in Tech at Microsoft in Playa Vista for an evening of tech talk, networking with investors and insight on how to excel as a leader!
Meet Upfront Ventures, the most active investor in VC-backed tech startups! Upfront closed June with the announcement of a $400-million investment fund that it plans to spend on dozens of start-ups
Blockchain: Any practices with NoSQL? Any suggestions for alternatives?
We are working on a concept of blockchain an discuss about the set up technical architecture and choose stack. Since blockchain is a total decentralized solution we look for NoSQL(i.e Cassandra) or other implements, methods etc. We are fresh in the topic. Appreciate suggestions and insights. Thanks a lot!
All Answers (7)
I am using HBase on HIve so that I can take advantage of Hive Query language (HQL).
Note: On hadoop I have configured Hive on top of which HBase sits thus I can also perform MapReduce on my data.
Cassandra & Hbase are at the top of Blockchain others include accumulo http://accumulo.apache.org/ and Hypertable.
I agree with Devang Swami.
But why not also look to MongoDB?
I suggest to embark with investigation of suitability of different kinds of NoSQL solutions, such as:
All of them have their pros and cons.
Block – chain refers to those database systems which store each and every record and doesn’t delete them until a process called compaction is called. This way databases would store the history of all records.
For such applications, Key-value, DOcument-store, Graph and multi-model databases are not a candidate solution.
However, most databases under Column-oriented (aka wide-column store) are block-chains.
Dear friends, thanks for all your answers!
truly enlighten all of them 🙂
In general I believe the reason and value using blockchain is to have the posibility access the data + info in real time and in the latest version (independed of the format they have).
Lets say we have a heterogenous database system in a permissioned / private environment and we wannt apply blockchain.
It is possible thats fact.
The trick is to find the right infrastructure and define the context of sharing and accessibility of data + information.
The highest level and very first question comes in mind is:
– Do i need a platform or specific environement?
And the reaction is yes you need. (Please correct me if i am wrong 🙂 )
2nd question raises is:
– Are there any available platforms for blockchain?
Yes there are. But at this point iit s significant to understand that blockchain can be in the form of :
Depence on what one wants to do there are a bunch of the above categories to chooce.
For our case, – described above, permissioned + private environment- lets say we determine go for platform, following options could beapplicable
Non-blockchain consensus: Ripple, Stellar, NXT, Hyperledger, Tendermint, Pebble, Open Transactions. These platforms implement decentralized consensus and decentralized trust without a blockchain construct as its nucleus.
Blockchain-neutral wise services: Eris Industries, PeerNova, Codius, SmartContract, SAE, Tezos, Tillit. This category will most likely need to be divided further, as it is still developing, but it includes a mix of decentralized platforms and interesting brainy contract services.
After choosing the right platform that fits on the business needs, other questions like programming language, implements, methods, abilities, people etc. raise.
Ms/Mrs Dimitra, very first block chain are builted on policy of availability & partition tolerance. Hence Transactions are not available as a build-in feature. This makes it necessary for designers & developers to design and implement a 2PC or 3PC for transactions. Other option include designing a database design that eliminates need for transaction which is usually difficult to achieve for banking systems.
Another aspect for block-chains is that they have been designed for Write-intensive tasks, and may be configured for read-write balanced workloads, if at all development team has that expertise.
So, I guess, very first task is to look for application workload type: read-intensive, write-intensive, or balanced workload. Once that is done, and u find block chain as a candidate solution you may leap to throughput requirements which would form background for h/w selection. Most block-chains have differences only in features, the concept remains same. Features may include geographic indexing, full-text search support, secondary indexes and others.
Albeit this write-up is fairly unconnected but is will bring more ideas, I guess.