At Pulsen Integration we get a lot of questions from customers about Blockchain and how they can use blockchain in their businesses. In this blog post we will take a closer look at what blockchain is and what business problems it is suitable for.
Simple put a blockchain is a list of records, so called blocks, which are linked together in a chain. Each block contain data, but also a cryptographic key hash of the previous block. The data and the links between the blocks are verified at every stage, which make blockchain data more secure and difficult to alter along the way.
Blockchain technology has been made popular though cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin, but blockchain can deliver value in all industry networks and is often considered to be an enabler for more innovations and the creation of a new and transformed ecosystems.
The first “Genesis Block” Block #0 is created with a Hash generated
Let’s add two more blocks to the chain.
Now, let’s go back to Block #1 and change the data.
We change the title from “New Block” to “New Block change” and press the Hash button. This stores the information, recalculates the hashed key and communicates the change to the Blockchain members.
Block #2 noticed that the referred previous hash key from Block #1 has changed. It shows an error in red and no longer validates the blockchain.
By sharing the hash keys used in linking the chain all members can securely trust the blockchain transaction information for both audit and compliance.
Below are the building blocks of a blockchain. (Click on images for larger version)
Blockchain Data Structures
Simply put, blockchains are just cryptographic key hashes that are linked together, shared, visible and secured in a way that make it difficult to change or alter the ledger of linkages of blocks.
We see more eco-system collaborating and integrating of services between different blockchains.
Blockchain fits in to scope that either small or large from public to more local and secure infrastructure.
It is called the new Financial infrastructure – just the network and actors and Blockchain itself it is enough and companies do not need to go to a Cryptocurrency on top of Blockchain if they do not want or need.
Blockchain technology could be used in the democratic processes in different ways, from secure, digital voting to smarter participation between government and citizens.
Person identity needs to be strengthened and protected as well as being the key for trust and for performing transactions using Blockchain. Several countries are already using Blockchain based Identity services for different processes. Elon Musk is even talking about Digital Direct Democracy for a new better society on the planet Mars.
There is also a new level of individual sovereignty and delegation of the rights between people to transfer the mandate to securely perform voting on behalf of another person.
A variety of similar solutions exist and some of them use also a Crypto based currency based usage and fee model. It is possible to have the currency set to a zero value with no cost as well as limiting the number of voting to a maximum defined number.
Ex. The largest shipping vendor Maersk have been using Blockchain has moved in to a large-scale production deployment.
Simplifying and securing the automation of information transferred when approaching a harbor, docking and unloading and loading of goods and containers.
The use of blockchain for integration is a new kid on the block that you need to understand. It is a combination of a new infrastructure, process integration and security which is well understood and managed by skills in existing Integration and Security Competence Centers.
We would recommend that you start exploring the opportunities of Blockchain today. You will need to learn a new Infrastructure, Components, Actors and how to design the network and processes using it. You will need to learn how to integrate and connect to and from those networks to participate and behave to read and send transactions.
Several cloud vendors, such as IBM, now offers “Blockchain as a Service” for any industry to get started in matter of minutes creating their own actors, network and processes. The vendors have several onboarding enablement material to educate and help developers getting started.
There are also a number of tutorials provided for developers to use for a variety of SDK’s to get the right access to the new services and start exchanging information.
Apart from your own studies, we at Pulsen Integration would be very glad to make this journey together with you. Feel free to take advantage of our experience and knowledge on Blockchain technology to make your journey easier. So, get in touch with us and let us put Blockchain to good use for your organization.
I want to know more about blockchain
By: Tommy Hägvall
Tommy Hägvall has over 30 years’ experience of working in different roles in Development, Integration and Architecture. With a deep technical integration knowledge and broad industry experience he has a high level of technical advisory competence. Tommy Hägvall is also an industry experienced ICC member, an innovator, entrepreneur and intrapreneur focused on helping customers gettings things done by coaching teams to collaborate, communicate in order to deliver successful outcomes.