The gifts of blockchain technology are extraordinary

The gifts of blockchain technology are extraordinary. It is our best defense against the threats of theft, fraud and hackers, and can bring needed efficiency to every aspect of the digital landscape. Enterprises need to ensure some level of security, privacy, compliance and performance that only a private blockchain can provide.

Barcelona, April 13, 2021.- DevOPS.com magazine published an interesting analysis on the different characteristics of Blockchain technology, both in the midst of the global pandemic in 2020, and today.

Down with centralization, eliminate the middleman. Satoshi minimalists evangelize for a pure peer-to-peer system, uncorrupted by larger networks, corporations or governments. The beauty of Bitcoin was the emergence of databases both immutable and unburdened by firewalls, accessible to anonymous players who bought into a shared economic belief system. Complete transparency on a global scale was its defining feature. In this thrilling first wave of ICO-driven public blockchains, it was considered unsportsmanlike, if not unethical, to build and sell permissionless entities without an associated cryptocurrency. Any enterprise-driven motive would surely pollute the blockchain’s democratic roots.

Amid all the enthusiasm for open read-and-write blockchains around cryptocurrencies, there started a rumble around the question of private blockchains. Permission-based platforms, in which access to read and write was assigned, were designed to address two vital issues:

  • Data relevancy — Bitcoin lovers champion a world in which institutions don’t have control over information and transactions. But, the reality in the enterprise world is commerce businesses need a hold on both. If the data you’re tasked with managing is relevant to only a handful of parties, why would you want to broadcast it to more?
  • Data privacy — If at the end of the day, not all data is meant to be shared at large—supplier-vendor relationships, financial transactions or health data, for instance—it has no place on a public blockchain to begin with. 

The conversation regarding public versus private blockchain doesn’t have to be a polarizing one. It’s not an either/or debate but rather a question of application. Private blockchains don’t have to be viewed as the enemy, or a replacement for public ones. They are simply a case-specific option.

When taken out of the theoretical arena, there is room for both open read-and-write blockchains and those with access restrictions. What we find in practice, having developed numerous blockchain applications for both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, is that the apparently different requirements of each tend to converge over time.

That is, many applications built by entrepreneurs will integrate with one or more large corporate enterprises at some point, and will therefore need to address their needs (affordability, speed, boundaries, etc.). Similarly, many enterprise applications are tackling obstacles that currently prevent them from making their solutions more open and capable of incorporating tokens of some form.

Both sides are invested in the value of bringing integrity around data. So, arguing over whether to support private or public blockchains misses the point. The real world has needs for both.

The gifts of blockchain technology are extraordinary. It is our best defense against the threats of theft, fraud and hackers, and can bring needed efficiency to every aspect of the digital landscape. Enterprises need to ensure some level of security, privacy, compliance and performance that only a private blockchain can provide.

We also need public blockchains. They serve an enormous purpose whose value should never be denied. But private blockchains are not the enemy. To waste time demonizing them gets in the way of our tackling larger, more urgent questions. Where is this technology going next? How can we make best use of it in our daily lives? And, most importantly, how powerful will we be if we understand we’re all in this together.

This article was co-authored by Andrew “Flip” Filipowski, co-founder and co-CEO at Fluree. 


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