Permissioned blockchain solutions
Blockchain has been one of the most talked about technologies in the last year, which brought on the interest of many companies. Many businesses are currently trying to figure out what type of problems they can solve with blockchain. Moreover, often they want an alternative to popular platforms like Ethereum or EOS. Here are some details on interesting blockchain projects coming from the corporate sector.
JP Morgan Chase’s Quorum
JP Morgan Chase is developing an open source, privacy oriented blockchain called Quorum, which they describe as “an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum”. It was created in large part to simplify the process of issuing financial instruments and it has been tested with many companies, including the National Bank of Canada and Pfizer. The Quorum network is a permissioned blockchain — meaning that there are just a few ‘permissioned’ or block validators approved by Chase. This is different from Ethereum or Bitcoin, where anyone can become block validator or miner. For this reason, Quorum is fast and inexpensive. However, it may not be as trustless as blockchains like Ethereum or Bitcoin.
Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger
HyperLedger is an open source system developed by the Linux Foundation. It’s used to deploy and maintain various types of permissioned blockchains for the enterprise community. Blockchains built from Hyperledger do not have a cryptocurrency associated with them and can confirm over 3,500 transactions per second. According to IBM, Hyperledger has become a very popular solution: Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC, and many more companies have all become participants. In summary, Hyperledger aims to be the default blockchain solution for businesses that require their own blockchain and desire easy setup, low costs, and quick transaction speeds.
Wells Fargo and ANZ’s Blockchain Solution
Wells Fargo and ANZ are collaborating on a permissioned blockchain solution to, in ANZ’s words, “improve the efficiency and speed of cross-border correspondent banking payment reconciliation and settlement”. Wells Fargo noted that having a single trusted ledger between multiple institutions would allow for financial transactions to finalise at much greater speeds than they currently do. Using the blockchain could help speed up international transactions and resolutions when disputes arise.
IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens
IBM Maersk – TradeLens is a permissioned blockchain created by IBM and Maersk to promote secure and efficient global shipments by streamlining various supply chain processes. According to IBM, “TradeLens can track critical data about every shipment in a supply chain, and offers an immutable record among all parties involved.” Over 94 major companies and 20 port/terminal operators have agreed to participate in the project. For example, PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, and Modern Terminals in Hong Kong have all joined in collaboration.
What do these blockchains have in common?
Many of these enterprise blockchains are permissioned, which means they can usually operate inexpensively and at great speeds when compared to public blockchains. These permissioned blockchains also do not necessarily require having a cryptocurrency associated with their platform. This is a good time to remember that blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but it can be applied in many other scenarios and solve other problems.
As noted earlier, permissioned blockchains might not be as decentralised and trustless when compared to their counterparts with full consensus mechanisms like Proof of Work. Although perfect trustlessness is desirable for the end-user of a public decentralised blockchain, it may not always be necessary for other uses of the blockchain technology, including many business needs.
Blockchain is not only about cryptocurrencies. It can help solve other business needs, and some companies are already working on those solutions.