No longer just a trend: an overview of the technologies and products based on the blockchain

Only in February 2016, the two companies that are developing technological solutions based on the technology of the blockchain, got for its $105 million investment. Rare Bank c wall street has not had time to organize his own Department on work with new technology. The operators of the financial markets and traders full experiment. In new York release and repay solely the worlds first electronic crypto-bond, Australian stock exchange test system execution of orders via the blockchain, Estonia and Ukraine, the blockchain is being introduced to ensure the transparency of government processes such as voting or tenders.

From a friend only to users and developers of cryptocurrency bitcoin blockchain the word became a technology, the value and benefit of which saw big business — not just it companies, but also many other industries led by the financial sector. In this post Ill focus on the most talked about platforms for practical applications of the blockchain, to define a reference point for some of the technologies worth keeping an eye on, if you want to benefit from the use of the blockchain in their organization or to create a startup in this area. The company, which invested in blockchain technology.

In February 2016 in San Francisco hosted a conference The Blockchain Conference, which gathered representatives of the largest financial organizations in the world, consultants, developers, investors, startups and journalists thematic publications. There I was able to talk with opinion leaders from different spheres, and in this post I want to talk about the most discussed trends in the blockchain industry, the expectations and fears of market participants. On one of the panels I was able to talk with ray Valdes, the worlds leading blockchain Explorer an it consulting giant Gartner, which urged to agree on terminology in order to avoid misunderstandings, especially from clients and the press. Namely, he formulated the four most popular approach to determining the.

These definitions vary from the most specific and narrow application to a comprehensive absolute absurdity. However, as is often the case, somewhere in the middle. The breadth of definition No. 2 indicates that even among experts there is no clear agreement about exactly what options the implementation of the initial ideas will rock this year and will be massively implemented by industry.

And really — the main effort in 2014-2015 focused on the development of platforms on which companies and developers will build their own blockchain applications. Lets look at the current state of Affairs. The Blockstream company was founded by a group of developers of the bitcoin Protocol, which called itself a Bitcoin Core Developers. In 2015 Blockstream launched to test the idea of sidechains, with “side” or “tangent” chain.

The idea is the ability to temporarily freeze a certain amount of bitcoins in the core network and translate them in this side-chain in which they can make an interesting, not provided for in the original bitcoin Protocol, steps. This solves a problem with using the blockchain technology, the same type of transaction — any transaction in bitcoin is a money transfer, other transaction types are not provided. Also solves the problem of privacy and scalability in bitcoin all transactions are publicly visible (though there are ways to confuse the marks), and the throughput is limited to 5-10 transactions per second, which is practically useless for a modern financial system.

The technology saidchina great prospects — this was indirectly indicated by the $77 million venture capital raised Blockstream just a few months. And the main reason for this is the ability to create a completely different blockchain application, without changing the Protocol of a core network (bitcoin), but using its power, worldwide application and has already more than six years is the result of the work of developers. According to the chief developer and founder of this network, Vitalik Buterin if the blockchain can be compared with a decentralized database, the best comparison for Psych (“ether”) — distributed computer. In contrast to purely monetary transactions in bitcoin, in the air, each transaction is a smart contract, that is, self-running executable program.

Distributed the idea of the blockchain makes sure that this program will be run in parallel on many machines, and the result of execution will be formed on the basis of consensus between the participants in the system. Any contract in Psych is Turing-complete program, giving developers almost unlimited possibilities. The Company has developed a service that opens the possibilities for a decentralized economy. Now you can launch your Uber or AirBnB, without needing a Central authority or intermediary in the person of the service smart contract would automatically connect drivers and passengers, ensuring safety, pay and stability.

Psych attracts thousands of developers a wealth of opportunities and simplicity of language — anyone with an average experience of web development to quickly get into the creation of smart contracts and decentralized applications (the creators of Psych called DApps, distributed apps). One example — launched in Ukraine the voting system, built on the technology of the blockchain and implemented in Psych — E-vox. Today Psych is in beta mode, but soon plans to launch a conditional version 1.0, which will be called Homestead.

Perhaps the hottest topic of The Blockchain Conference was Hyperledger is a project to create a distributed registry (in fact the blockchain) from The Linux Foundation. We havent seen a code or specific technical characteristics of this blockchain platform, but there is ample reason to believe that Hyperledger will change the world. First, the Linux Foundation is the oldest, respected and prestigious open-source community in the world.

Secondly, the list of project partners is staggering. IBM promised to share the project with 44 thousand lines of code, ten large banks with wall street have become partners or sponsors of the project, the largest Bank is the blockchain-the consortium R3CEV is one of the founders, are involved in the project such it giants like VMware, Intel, Accenture, Cisco and RedHat. The project code should appear in open access in couple of weeks, and then we can talk about the technical characteristics and philosophy of this implementation of the blockchain. Tendermint — open product of a small group of developers, which solves some key problems of the blockchain, namely, scalability and ease of use.

In fact, they provide an opportunity to develop their own blockchain server. Of course, any improvements have own price. Tendermint is not a fully decentralized system, but instead relies on consensus among two thirds of pre-selected members of the system — federated consensus. For corporate use such a system provides significant advantages in terms of performance and scalability, not much inferior in security.

In addition, Tendermint is a Protocol that allows you to use any programming language. Director blockchain IBM John Wolpert, speaking at the conference, summed up the current state of the industry and told about the plans of the Corporation and its partners. First, he urged to refrain from excessive, especially of the press, the excitation on the topic of what the blockchain is supposed to solve all the problems of humanity.

This, of course, elegant and innovative technology, but its scope is limited. The blockchain brings efficiency in any process where multiple individuals or companies, you must have an intermediary in order to guarantee mutual trust. The blockchain by virtue of the properties trustlessness — “absence of necessity trust” — can significantly optimize such systems, accelerating and optimizing the cost of business processes. On the question of which platform is, in his opinion, will win this race bloccano, John Wolpert voiced the logical assumption that the future will look like not only distributed all over the world the blockchain, which every individual and every company in the world holds some information, but rather the contrary — the future is a network of interconnected private, public, and consortia of networks, like the Internet.

I want to emphasize that the above described platforms and technologies are only a small part of the iceberg, albeit the most visible. We are waiting for a busy year. In the coming months, all these and many other platforms reach maturity, and further the solution of their fate will be ours — by the application developers and business end user. There is every reason to believe that in 2016 we will see the first truly global implementation of the blockchain in government, corporate business processes and, of course, startups.


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