Blockchain is easy

Pile of blue LEGO blocks

It is often quite difficult for even knowledgeable experts in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to wrap their heads around Enterprise Oriented Blockchain. Many of the assumptions (1000’s of nodes, Proof of Work cost, Public access etc) are not just hurdles to overcome but contraindicated and so should be eliminated in the core functionality of a Blockchain technology (as in Hyperledger Fabric).

Having been heads down in cryptocurrency, they have not really been thinking outside that specific use case to see the larger concerns in non-crypto and business use cases. Fortunately, Hyperledger, Omnitude, and others have long recognized these issues and have been creating solutions.

Development is stricter and slower

This is quite true. However this both desirable in business networks and mitigated by the nature of business networks, the abstract capabilities of Fabric, and the Omnitude Platform. More specifically, most business networks will be made up of a relatively small number of participants or members, say 10–100. Fabric provides great flexibility in dynamic network and smart contract management. The Omnitude Platform provides tools and mechanisms to implement and maintain these dynamic organization networks and smart contracts.

Incentive structures are difficult to design

This is quite true in crypto, but completely untrue in almost all other business use cases. Extraordinary costs are currently incurred by all large organizations to attempt to ensure data synchronization across multiple enterprises. Even more exorbitant costs are required for reconciliation when synchronicity is violated. The massive cost reductions and ancillary benefits delivered by enterprise blockchain applications is a no-brainer inherent incentive.

Maintenance is very costly

This is quite true in raw numbers, but untrue in relation to the current costs. It’s not cheap, but is substantially less than current expenditures. Omnitude estimates 50% — 90% reductions in data synchronization, provenance, and immutability expenditures over traditional mechanisms. By solving these issues up front, and natively provided by Fabric and the Omnitude Platform, the back end costs are almost completely eliminated.

Users are sovereign

This is true, but depends on the definition of a user. Outside of the crypto world, there is more than one type of user. Consumers may be users, organizations and network members may be users, and business application users may be users within an organization. Fabric provides the mechanisms to differentiate and manage these users and user types, and the Omnitude ID and Platform will implement both organization and consumer options to match the use case needs. For business networks, participating organizations are sovereign. For the Omnitude ID, consumers are sovereign. Within an organization some users may be more sovereign than others.

All upgrades are voluntary

This is only half true and accounted for by Fabric and Omnitude’s platform. Flexible governance capabilities for both network membership and smart contract modifications and upgrades are designed to meet the network use case needs. Some minimum consensus is predefined but is not required to be 100%. Once consensus is reached, failure to upgrade will result first in denial of new data, and potentially removal from the network.

Scaling is really hard

Well, we have to admit there’s no way to deny this one, generally. But in the business context, but mitigation works well. There will not be thousands of nodes in a specific business network and there is some level of trust between the participants at least greater than zero. Business networks may be unpublished, be behind VPNs and firewalls, etc. Hyperledger Fabric contains tuning mechanisms similar to standard database techniques and Omnitude knows how to use them to achieve the best performance for the use case.

Centralization is a lot easier

This is always true. But there is seldom a dictator in the enterprise world. If you have ever sat through the numerous interminable committee meetings in most large organizations that take eons to agree on the next meeting agenda, then you understand! Business networks are decentralized just to themselves, and they have an incentive to agree and implement, or disagree and move on. Omnitude’s platform isn’t driven by just market hype, but decades of intimate experience with the issues faced by small and large enterprises across most industry verticals, and the technical chops to deliver.

So what is blockchain good for?

‘The only reason you should be using a blockchain is to decentralize’. Not true… The guarantee of near real time data synchronicity across multiple enterprises is the largest and most common benefit, but provenance, immutability, and security have varying benefit by use case and may in some cases be primary.

Conclusion

Bitcoin and the crypto world have proven Blockchain technology and delivered the first killer app. Crypto experts have detailed knowledge and experience of Blockchain as applied to currency useful to all other use cases. We encourage and solicit input and discussion from all Blockchain walks of life and welcome them in the Omnitude community. But the requirements and benefits of Blockchain for Business are not the same as for currency. Omnitude understands those needs and, using Hyperledger technologies, is making Blockchain easy.

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