Recently, all parties have been active in the enterprise blockchain: Samsung SDS has launched an updated version of the enterprise-level blockchain platform Nexledger Universal; the only chain Vechain launched the ToolChain enterprise blockchain solution; the quantum chain Qtum launched Enterprise-level blockchain service Unita.
The giant Microsoft is even more vocal, its Azure platform is frequently active, releasing the Ethereum App development tools, and integrating with JPMorgan's Quorum platform.
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In the tube, there is a glimpse of the leopard. On the track of the enterprise blockchain, there are both traditional electronic IT giants and “newborn calves” in the encrypted world. The seemingly calm water surface has already surged.
Market potential of tens of billions of dollars
The enterprise blockchain refers to a blockchain platform or solution that can handle large amounts of data and multiple scenarios for enterprise needs.
According to PANews incomplete statistics, there are about 60 companies in the current blockchain chain, focusing on: Blockchain-as-Service, cloud computing, transfer, logistics, supply chain management, Traceability, retail, etc.
At present, most of the enterprise blockchain platforms use private chains or alliance chains. Compared with the infrastructure of the public chain, the advantages of the alliance chain are reflected in performance, compliance and cost.
More performance and faster transaction processing. Enterprise blockchains generally have fewer nodes, and the time to reach consensus is naturally shorter.
Members are more credible. Because the participating parties are all internal employees or alliance members and subject to legal regulations, this greatly enhances their credibility.
Easy to complete regulatory intervention, high compliance possibilities. Due to the strong controllability of the alliance chain and the private chain, whether it is financial or medical, which requires strong supervision, relying on the enterprise blockchain, it can quickly introduce supervision and achieve compliance.
Transaction costs are relatively low. Under the public chain, it generally takes a lot of energy or money to keep it running; the alliance chain and the private chain need less in this regard.
Of course, the enterprise blockchain based on the alliance chain is not perfect. Its degree of decentralization is often criticized; the lack of transparency in the operation of the project, and the lack of confidence in users (such as the Tencent blockchain reported by PANews earlier).
In contrast, the public chain as the enterprise blockchain platform has the advantages of a large-scale open source collaborative developer system (ConsenSys under the Ethereum ecosystem is an example) and a Token-oriented incentive mechanism.
“The boundaries between the public and the alliance chains are actually becoming more and more blurred.” The head of the technical chain of a headline told PANews, and now many public chain projects in China also have teams that provide private and alliance chain technologies for traditional enterprises. service. There are also public chain mains, which can customize the alliance chain and private chain side chain for traditional enterprises.
Within the broad scope of the enterprise blockchain, BaaS is probably the most common class of newspapers.
On the one hand, large-scale Internet companies such as IBM (Hyperledger), Microsoft Azure (Azure BaaS), Amazon (AWS Blockchain), Tencent (TBaaS), Alibaba, Huawei (BCS) are often committed to this direction. More compelling.
On the other hand, because BaaS is also an infrastructure for enterprise blockchain implementation, developers can configure many development tools from it; enterprises can create and invoke various services from them to implement more complex business logic.
The players on the track of the enterprise blockchain service are full of people, and everyone is watching the huge potential hidden in this to B market.
US telecommunications giant Cisco (Cisco) in the "Building a Trust-Based Business Network for Digital Transformation" report estimated that the value of the enterprise blockchain will reach about 10 billion US dollars in 2021; while the research institution IDC pointed out that it covers insurance and securities. Blockchain solutions in 19 areas, including investment services, construction, retail, telecommunications, and education, will reach $11.7 billion, and will grow at an annual rate of 60%-70%.
Multiple choice questions, how to choose the right platform
Behind the fast-moving market, the company's choice of enterprise blockchain is becoming more diverse. So what factors should companies consider when making choices?
Technically, performance, stability, and safety are important factors.
Zheng Yi, head of Qutm Enterprise Unita, told PANews that performance is definitely the first for enterprise-class blockchain platforms. Nowadays, the public chain system can face a single business model of transfer, and it can still maintain a good performance. However, in the face of high efficiency, low latency, and large data volume required for enterprise applications, the indicators of speed and data volume appear. Especially key.
Although TPS seems to be a cliché, the industry still does not come up with a decent solution to adapt to the needs of the enterprise level. Even for the big gold and new star projects like Conflux and Algorand, the TPS is only a few thousand TPS. It is difficult to adapt to the diverse needs of the company.
In addition to high performance, it needs to be robust. In Zheng Yi's view, one of the common consensus mechanisms of enterprise blockchain is blockchain fork. By bifurcation, the consensus mechanism can achieve faster block interval, that is, transactions can be confirmed more quickly, but correspondingly, the consistency may be weakened. As a result, companies need to make trade-offs between performance and consistency. In this case, the enterprise blockchain can be forked but not “differentiated” to maintain good stability.
In addition, the security alarm bell rang, because the enterprise blockchain faces a lot of user data intertwined, on the one hand, its economic and information value is generally high, and it is a key factor to be able to handle related matters safely. .
Different technical requirements for different block scenarios of enterprise blockchain platforms | Source: Medium@GOODADIENCE
From the perspective of the needs of traditional enterprises, ease of use, cost, and compliance will also be factors that need to be considered when choosing an enterprise blockchain platform.
Ease of use. For an enterprise, the choice of a blockchain platform is designed to use the platform to create value for itself, rather than delve into which account model (UTXO or common account balance) should be used or which consensus algorithm to choose. As Zheng Yi said, it is important to package blockchain technology into an easy-to-use "black box."
Compliance. Enterprises are the subject of legal persons, and their behavior is subject to legal regulation – the enterprise blockchain platform is no exception. Whether it is a public chain such as Ripple or Stellar, or a coalition chain such as Hyperledger Fabric or R3 Corda, it is very focused on cooperation with large organizations when conducting business, and obtains business licenses from local regulatory authorities, such as cross-border transfers between Stellar and IBM. The network WorldWire is currently not approved by US regulators, and it currently operates only in countries and regions outside the United States.
Cost friendly. As a temporary technology, it is certainly difficult to integrate the blockchain into the existing system. The person in charge of ToolChain said that for many companies, one of the reasons for the delay in integrating blockchain technology into their existing commercial systems is that the development and deployment of blockchain solutions is costly. It is unbearable for companies.
In addition, Zheng Yi believes that a good enterprise blockchain platform should consider the application scenario and the actual needs as one of the considerations; the ToolChain person in charge said that it can clarify the complicated process management of development work and help many SMEs lack The professional technical ability and team are also the meaning of the good enterprise blockchain platform.
In fact, companies often have a lot of “羁绊” when they embrace blockchain solutions. First, you need to calculate a income account.
"The benefits of such generalization include technological benefits, business benefits, and publicity gains. Whether promoting technological innovation, blockchain value, or project promotion, any kind of revenue is a sufficient motivation for cooperation. Otherwise, it will not be considered. Investing in funds and energy. Li Feng, head of the blockchain business, said in an interview with PANews.
Weizhong Bank has jointly launched the blockchain open source platform BCOS for the enterprise in conjunction with the Wanxiang blockchain. Fan Ruibin, deputy general manager of the Science and Technology Innovation Products Department, pointed out to PANews that it does not discuss technical and regulatory issues. At present, the enterprise application blockchain is mainly in The obstacles to the landing of the scene still exist. Financial institutions have the upper hand in stabilizing their minds, and they still have doubts about the "black box" of the blockchain. They dare not act rashly. The idea of landing a blockchain scene should try to change, not sticking to the rules, opposing fundamentalism, or advocating for innovation.
From a technical point of view, to solve the company's concerns, Zheng Yi believes that there are two main reasons. First, it is necessary to ensure the performance of resources while configuring resources. The distributed ledger of the blockchain itself has a certain waste of resources, but it is also a necessary sacrifice to achieve decentralized fairness. The balance between the two should be well grasped.
“The second is how to implement a functional and stable enterprise blockchain system. The main point of the proposal is to achieve two key points of perfection and stability.” He cited the idea of Unita design, which will block the block + file Storage serves as a bottom-level, data-up and development platform as a service that is compatible with a variety of business applications, including healthcare, finance, and supply chain management.
In terms of technical threshold, Fan Ruibin also shared the same feeling. He said that many institutions are daunting. At present, the market still needs education. BCOS currently has an offline training once a week, and occasional online training, constantly reducing the block of the blockchain + financial technology. At the same time, this way to subtly enhance the organization's trust in blockchain technology. (PANews)