Blockchain is a buzzy technology. Many companies and business are curious about how it works and actively investigate how this technology could be used and what are the benefits. Blockchain is actively promoted to be well-fit for secure transactions and is based on the specific data structure. Before you make up your mind about using it, we’d better get to know how it is defined.
Blockchain provides the data in the form of blocks, which are collected and stored in the distributed database. Each block contains a cryptographic link to other blocks and a timestamp. Another reason why businesses could favor blockchain technology is its transparency. Blockchain databases are readable by many people but cannot be updated and changed by any single user. Instead of client/server architecture, the technology also has a peer-to-peer architecture. Such way of interaction allows the user to carry out transactions with no help from the third party.
Challenges you face while working with distributed blockchain databases
- Being a distributed database, blockchain has a much higher level of availability but at the same time, the failures could come from the isolated parts of the system. It could be hard to keep the data in a distributed database consistent. When you perform an update of some part of the system you cannot guarantee whether the same update will take place in the other part of the database or not.
- If we continue the idea about the consistency of data, then there could be another problem to face: if the consistency is endangered it means that the same transaction could happen more than once with the system having a hard time trying to find where the fault originated.
- Testing and debugging of blockchain while it is still in the process of development is much more difficult than testing classy software on one computer. The more efforts spent on keeping the system bug free, the more expensive the project is.
SCAND development team has experience in reviewing and leveraging the code written in C++ for a blockchain project (‘Bitcoin mining pool’) and knows how to work with the distributed databases firsthand.
Blockchain applications: perspectives and trends
1. Smart Contracts
These are applications, which are programmed to run automatically without any possibility of censorship, downtime, third party interference, or fraud. Such contracts are unbreakable and their security is based on future events.
2. Supply-chain Communications
Blockchain technology could be used to provide the records of digitally permanent and audit-able payments. The records are supervised by companies, which assemble and market the final product in the cooperation with multiple suppliers of spare parts for the product.
3. Paying Employees
Using blockchain is a great idea if you have employees working for you from abroad and you have to pay wages on regular basis. Payments made via blockchain transaction save money and time because the usage of public ledger keeps transactions visible in chronological order, you actually see throughout the whole process where the money is.
4. Electronic Voting
The blockchain technology, in this case, protects all the participants of the voting process against the unwanted regulatory interference. Developers set up the parameters of the network beforehand and everything: transactions sizes, fee schedules, voting data, etc. is transparent and secured from breaching.
SCAND mobile development department has been recently working on a project connected with blockchain technology. The task was to work out a sociometric system, integrated into the app to provide a secured voting process and connect the app to the server part located on one of the platforms using the blockchain technology.
These are only a few examples of how blockchain works and could be changing the face of the digital business in the future. Many other implementations, patents, and projects are on the way and more and more developers are becoming skilled in this sphere. Moreover, for sure there is much more to come quite soon.