Blockchain is everywhere, literally. But not many people have a clear understanding of this simple, transformational technology. I say “simple” because if you understand its architecture and functionality, you will be marveled by how brilliant it is and in how many ways it can be exploited. Of course, there are complexities involved but they are at a micro-level. So, if you are looking for a jargon-free, not-so-technical explanation of the blockchain concept, this post is for you.
Another thing before you dive deep, blockchain finds many other applications apart from Bitcoin. In fact, Bitcoin is just one of the 700 applications that work on the blockchain principle. But since cryptocurrencies seem to be the flavor of the season, I will mainly talk about blockchain technology in the context of digital payments.
Why Blockchain Technology?
Historically, monetary transactions have relied heavily on intermediaries or middlemen for authenticating the transactions and maintaining records. They acted as a regulatory body to prevent frauds.
Digital assets are more vulnerable since they are easy to compromise and duplicate. They are generally files that can be duplicated if their source code is accessed. Therefore, permission had to be sought from banks in case of money) or intermediaries (for stocks, etc.) for completing a digital transaction. This process could take time but was important to prevent the problem of double-spending (spending the same asset more than once).
So, in 2008, someone called Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper in which he detailed a revolutionary technology by which digital transactions could be verified, authenticated, recorded and completed, without any intermediary! In fact, all the checking and record-keeping was to be done by people themselves. But not everybody is equipped with special verification powers. This can be achieved by specialized people who can solve complex puzzles (miners) by a process called mining. The good news is that miners are normal people like you and me (peer to peer), not banks or middlemen. They use the processing power of super-powerful computers and software to solve big puzzles (like Sudoku, only tougher). Each puzzle has a definite answer and follows a complex algorithm. The puzzle gets harder as the network gets bigger. All miners in a network have to follow the network’s protocol strictly and they are rewarded for their services by Bitcoins. Once a transaction is verified and attached to the network, it is irreversible. Reversing, modifying or deleting a transaction would require manipulation of all previous transactions (remember, it’s a chain). This is practically impossible and thus blockchains are thought secure.
Blockchains have eliminated the need for a bank by fulfilling three of its roles- storing value, verifying identities and keeping transactions records. Hence, blockchains intrigue people more than other digital payment methods like PayTM that require tie up and verification from banks.
A network of value
Blockchain can be interpreted linguistically as a chain of blocks. A block being a bundle of transactions and the chain made up of many interconnected blocks. Miners compete with each other to verify all new transactions by solving complex puzzles. The miner who gets to the result first, attaches his solution (proof of work) and is awarded with a fraction of Bitcoins that are generated now. The other miners double-check his solution and if a majority is in agreement, the transaction completes (Consensus).
Verified transactions are bundled up with their proof of work and made into a block. The new block is time stamped and attached to the existing blockchain, in a chronological order. Now, everybody in the network knows that payment has taken place and it becomes impossible to spend the same currency twice.
Since every block contains an encrypted link to a previous block, all transactions can be back-verified till we reach the origin of the first transaction. So, data that once enters a blockchain becomes immortal, a property it shares with internet!
Some people describe blockchain as the internet of value, and it seems fitting. In the internet, anyone can upload information and others can view it. A blockchain allows anyone to send Bitcoins (encrypted currency) anywhere but only the person who knows its unique address (private key) can access them. So, to transfer your Bitcoins you have to share your coins’ unique address with the recipient.
A distributed ledger
Blockchains not only have an auto-verification system, record-keeping is also automated. A copy of the entire blockchain is available to everybody on the system. Since blocks contain encrypted records representing receipt or payments of money (Bitcoins, in this case), blockchain is a type of virtual ledger. There is no central server that holds the record database or that gives permission to access the database. It is distributed and decentralized. As explained before, there is no need for an intermediary.
Blockchains can be private
Another revelation- blockchains can be private. I know, this essentially kills our favorite feature of blockchains- decentralization. But hold on; there’s more to this. Bitcoin blockchains are public, meaning anybody who has a computer and an internet connection and follows the rules of the blockchain, can join. Then he is given a copy of the entire database. A new transaction cannot be added to the ledger till all its associated previous transactions are verified. Once everything is found in order, the new entry is written and the entire database is synced and replicated to reflect new addition. As you can note, their process has built-in redundancy. This also makes the blockchain concept a bit sluggish.
Enter… private blockchains. They have rules governing who can access the network. They are mostly initiated by enterprises for their private use; something like an intranet. Private blockchains can be accessed by anyone who has been granted permission (invitation) by the starter of the network or who matches the protocol set by the starter. Since the number of participants in private blockchains is less, processing speeds are much faster and processing costs are lower than of public blockchains.
Aside from the access rights, public and private blockchains share similar features:
Both are decentralized. A copy of the entire blockchain is available with each and every participant.
Both have an access protocol (consensus).
Both are immutable and irreversible.
Public or private, the blockchain concept is intriguing. They have made digitization of assets possible and transfer of assets faster. Their encrypted, peer to peer mechanism has phased out the need for regulatory bodies and administrators. And while the blockchain concept purists might protest that private blockchains aren’t exactly permission-free, we say- better a devil known than a devil unknown!
Blockchains are made to go beyond Bitcoins
Although blockchain’s application in digital currencies and asset transfers is most widely documented and exploited, blockchains go way beyond finance. Blocks can store any kind of encrypted information. Bitcoins are also lines of code that hold a unique address.
Apart from handling currency, the blockchain concept can be made to execute some actions (in the real and physical world) if they work in tandem with other technologies. Actions can be to fetch external data such as medical records, census information, intellectual property, weather reports, inventory details, etc. But here comes a problem. Not all participants in a blockchain trust each other. So, how can they filter who can access their data? This can be done using smart contracts. A smart contract contains sets of conditions that must be met by a user, for him or her to gain trust and enter a blockchain. Once a user meets all criteria, blockchain programs trigger and perform some action.
Consider an example. You must have heard of smart devices. They are regular appliances fitted with sensors and connected to the Cloud. These devices are programmed to operate in a predefined manner if certain conditions are met. For example, a smart glucometer keeps monitoring the user’s glucose level and triggers an alarm when levels rise beyond a certain defined limit. They might also send a message to the user’s physician if a low or high sugar situation arises. Now, add blockchain to this equation.
Suppose the physician stores all patient records in a blockchain and shares its private key with his patients. He will be controlling access to confidential records. Apart from securing his patients’ data in encrypted form, the blockchain will be governed by smart contracts that will control who can access the data. Suppose an invalid transaction is tried, the entire blockchain is alerted and doctor, as well as patient, gets a notification. A smart contract can set a protocol that if an input is valid, access should be granted. Programmed devices will be triggered to perform any action- increase insulin dose, contact emergency room, etc. incredible, isn’t it? No need for manual intervention, no hassle, no delay! The Blockchain concept is more than a bubble. It’s an ocean of possibilities and opportunities. Take a dip and find out for yourself!
Hyperledger Fabric is an opensource collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in banking, finance, Internet of Things, manufacturing, supply chains, and technology.
The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation.
Hyperledger does not promote a single blockchain codebase or a single blockchain project. Rather, it enables a worldwide developer community to work together and share ideas, infrastructure and code.
Hyperledger Fabric is one of the project framework under Hyperledger, it can be deployed as fully disjoint networks with separate endorser sets and ordering nodes to provide privacy and confidentiality.
It is a platform for building distributed ledger solutions with a modular architecture that delivers a high degree of confidentiality, flexibility, resiliency and scalability. This enables solutions developed with Fabric to be adapted for any industry.
The Hyperledger Fabric can be classified into 3 steps:
Step 1: Execution Phase
In the execution phase, clients sign and send the transaction proposal (or simply, proposal) to one or more endorsers for execution.
Recall that every chaincode implicitly specifies a set of endorsers via the endorsement policy. A proposal contains the identity of the submitting client, the transaction payload in the form of an operation to execute, parameters, and the identifier of the chaincode, a nonce to be used only once by each client (such as a counter or a random value) and a transaction identifier derived from the client identifier and the nonce.
The endorsers simulate the proposal, by executing the operation on the specified chaincode, which has been installed on the blockchain. The chaincode runs in a Docker container, isolated from the main endorser process.
Executing a transaction before the ordering phase is critical to tolerating non-deterministic chaincodes. A chaincode in Fabric with non-deterministic transactions can only endanger the liveness of its own operations, because a client might not gather a sufficient number of endorsements, for instance. This is a fundamental advantage over order-execute architecture, where non-deterministic operations lead to inconsistencies in the state of the peers.
Finally, tolerating non-deterministic execution also addresses DoS attacks from untrusted chaincode as an endorser can simply abort an execution according to a local policy if it suspects a DoS attack. This will not endanger the consistency of the system, and again, such unilateral abortion of execution is not possible in order execute architectures.
Step 2: Ordering Phase
When a client has collected enough endorsements on a proposal, it assembles a transaction and submits this to the ordering service. The transaction contains the transaction payload (i.e., the chaincode operation including parameters), transaction metadata, and a set of endorsements. The ordering phase establishes a total order on all submitted transactions per channel.
In other words, ordering atomically broadcasts endorsements and thereby establishes consensus on transactions, despite faulty orderers. Moreover, the ordering service batches multiple transactions into blocks and outputs a hash-chained sequence of blocks containing transactions. Grouping or batching transactions into blocks improves the throughput of the broadcast protocol, which is a well-known technique used in fault-tolerant broadcasts.
The ordering service ensures that the delivered blocks on one channel are totally ordered.
However, every individual ordering implementation is allowed to come with its own liveness and fairness guarantees with respect to client requests.
Step 3: Validation Phase
Blocks are delivered to peers either directly by the ordering service or through gossip. A new block then enters the validation phase which consists of three sequential steps:
The endorsement policy evaluation occurs in parallel for all transactions within the block. The evaluation is the task of the so-called validation system chaincode (VSCC), a static library that is part of the blockchain’s configuration and is responsible for validating the endorsement with respect to the endorsement policy configured for the chaincode.
A read-write conflict check is done for all transactions in the block sequentially. For each transaction it compares the versions of the keys in the read set field to those in the current state of the ledger, as stored locally by the peer, and ensures they are still the same. If the versions do not match, the transaction is marked as invalid and its effects are disregarded.
The ledger update phase runs last, in which the block is appended to the locally stored ledger and the blockchain state is updated. In particular, when adding the block to the ledger, the results of the validity checks in the first two steps are persisted as well, in the form of a bit mask denoting the transactions that are valid within the block. This facilitates the reconstruction of the state at a later time.
Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. It leverages container technology to host smart contracts called “chaincode” that contain the business rules of the system. And it’s designed to support various pluggable components and to accommodate the complexity that exists across the entire economy.
Starting from the premise that there are no “one-size-fits-all’’ solutions, Fabric is an extensible blockchain platform for running distributed applications. It supports various consensus protocols so it can be tailored to different Blockchain use cases and trust models.
Request for a free quote to reach out to us on [email protected] and our experts will get back to you with the best solution for your business.
The small island nation of Singapore consistently ranked as the world’s best place to do business, witnessed a massive growth in the number of businesses using Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. A free-market economy, investor-friendly laws combined with high levels of education and internet penetration, are some reasons for Singapore’s conducive reputation.
Singapore have become the up-and-coming destination for companies that want to raise funds using blockchain technology.
The number of companies launching initial coin offerings (ICO) in Singapore has rocketed in recent months, according to fintech businesses, lawyers and industry groups.
Key initiatives around blockchain development in Singapore:
Global eTrade Services (GeTS), a subsidiary of CrimsonLogic (a leading provider of eGovernment products and services based in Singapore), has launched Open Trade Blockchain (OTB), an inclusive and extensible blockchain service built for the trade communities to boost overall efficiency, security, and transparency for global trade. The geolocation of existing and upcoming nodes provides an extensive blockchain network across Asia. With OTB linking China to the rest of the region provides a strategic edge to businesses wanting to participate in China’s BRI initiatives as it offers greater connectivity with the country’s “Digital Silk Road”.
Singapore Airlines has officially launched its blockchain-based loyalty program for frequent customers. KrisPay, a digital wallet developed in partnership with KPMG and Microsoft, allows Singapore Airlines customers to turn travel miles into units of payment, which can be used with partner merchants in Singapore. The innovative platform allows members to choose from using as little as 15 KrisPay miles (equivalent to about $0.10) to pay for their purchases at partner merchants, either partially or in full.
Singapore’s leading higher education institution Ngee Ann Polytechnic announced in May, 2017 that it has teamed up with United Overseas Bank’s FinLab blockchain startup Attores. Ngee Ann students will be awarded digital certificates called Diploma Plus Certificates, which will be deployed directly on the students’ LinkedIn profiles. Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s blockchain initiative is in line with Singapore’s massive efforts to become a Smart Nation.
Project Ubin, a Monetary Authority of Singapore-led initiative where DLT (Digital Ledger Technology) can be used for the clearing and settlement of payments and securities, specifically the use of a tokenized form of the Singapore dollar on a distributed ledger.
Averspace, a Singapore P2P real estate startup launched a new feature of blockchain-enabled house rentals. Homeowners and prospective tenants can enter into a digital tenancy agreement right on their smartphones, without needing both parties to meet face to face – all communication can be facilitated through the in-app online chat feature.
The Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI), an organisation established under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, has been working on a ‘Blockchain Technology for Food’ project. This technology tracks and traces materials and products using the blockchain database to store information gathered from all the actors that take part in the food production chain. The solution ensures leading-edge data structure management and data storage standards, ensuring food quality, guaranteeing food safety and reducing food waste.
SGInnovate, Singapore’s government-owned deep technology development firm, has invested in MediLOT Technologies, a Singapore-based blockchain andhealthcare analytics startup, for an undisclosed amount as part of its strategy to develop research-based deep tech startups. Blockchain could help to reduce those admin tasks considerably and help doctors spend more time with those who really need them – their patients.
Electrify, an energy-based startup changed the way in which people buy electricity in Singapore. Through a web and mobile platform, consumers can buy energy from electricity retailers through “smart contracts” which directly write the terms between the buyer and the seller into lines of code, enforcing the agreement through a blockchain network.
The Asia Pacific region is currently the fastest growing market for blockchain in the world, according to a report by Genesis Market Insights. Another report by the consulting firm PwC highlights that 82 percent of executives in Singapore have reported that blockchain initiatives are underway in their organizations. Out of which, 13 percent have brought the initiatives live to the market.
The world’s best blockchain researcher along with the government that supports innovation is giving Singapore an edge over other countries in leading the blockchain revolution.
Brings clarity, focus and direction to the project
Brings together a multi-functional team together to achieve a common goal
Develops systems and techniques for resources to deliver the vision
Security token marketing requires smart planning. Investors should be able to discover the company at an initial stage.
Therefore, aim to better the results with accurate planning and schematic execution to gain the investors’ trust and reach the target.
Security Token Marketing Services
A team of designers, content advisors and technical expert add creatives for a better explanation of the project and make the owner’s manual more attractive for investors.
The company’s brand plays an integral part in gaining investors to fund the project. It is important to prove the value to the investors and maintain brand integrity of the project.
Maintaining the reputation in the crypto-communities, telegram and other social media channels, thereby, protecting the brand from negative reviews.
The relationship with influencers allows the project to have a voice which will, in turn, drive the target audience to the project. The team includes bloggers, social media stars in crypto-community and Youtube Vloggers.
The content team is a driving force for the project through an engaging and a value-creating content which matches the goals and strategy of the project.
The E-mail service is initiated through newsletters, tracking of the performance through monthly reports and analytics.
The signals received through social media and communities play an essential role in understanding investor behavior. Therefore, creating positive brand awareness and a digital footprint thereby increasing the conversation rates.
These include the leadership team attending as delegates, speaking as visionaries, sponsoring as leaders and exhibiting their future in blockchain & investment related events.
Press Release adds a layer of credibility to the security token. It also includes working with PR distribution agencies to create a compelling story that provides the right overview of the project.
Evaluating the product value created for the investors as well as the company. The value of the offerings to the fund managers must be more than just discounts, rather an investment with long-term benefits.
A right communication strategy is a key to creating and capturing value. It is important that all sources of official communications carry the same message; online & offline.
Analyse the offering among competitors and find the unique selling points (USPs) about customer’s product or service. The USPs tend to attract investors who will take a chance in investing in the company.
The project will be delivered with the team of blockchain and digital assets enthusiasts who will create security tokens on customer’s blockchain. The fully customized blockchain allows the customer’s to be in forefront of security token industry in a safe and secure way.
Effective STO Marketing Strategies is based on Consultation, Research, and Strategizing. These act as a foundation for any solid marketing plan. It organizes and assures positive results with a skilled team of content writers, SEO experts, and brilliant marketers to help realize the vision.
Sharing, analyzing and verifying data is key to more efficient healthcare and blockchain technology may be the vehicle to get us there. A blockchain powered health information exchange could unlock the true value of interoperability. Blockchain-based systems have the potential to reduce or eliminate the friction and costs of current intermediaries.
So to comprehend the topic well, let us start with “What is Blockchain?”– Blockchain became one of the hot topics of the year 2018 and it came into the picture because of the overall buzz about cryptocurrency and Bitcoin but it should be noted that it was invented in 2008 which is more than ten years ago at this point of time. Blockchain is not that complexed as it seems to be, so to breakdown it in simple terms it can be referred as a digital ledger which keeps records of all transactions taking place on a peer to peer network. All information transferred via blockchain is encrypted and recorded, meaning once the block is created and added to the chain, it cannot be altered.
Breaking down Barriers- What Blockchain can do for Healthcare
Blockchain in Healthcare reduces cost by eliminating manual processes like reconciliation between multiple isolated ledgers and administrative processes, provides increased speed of transactions and settlements through immediate distribution and increased security through use of cryptography. It also reduces fraud by time-stamping entries and sharing a common, immutable ledger across the network and reduces risk of single points of failure and attack through distributed network nodes.
The current state of health care records is disjointed and stovepiped (transmitting information higher in a hierarchy while bypassing intervening levels that remain uninformed about this information) due to a lack of common architectures and standards. Health care providers track and update a patient’s common clinical dataset each time a medical service is provided. This information includes standard data, such as the patient’s gender and date of birth, as well as unique information pursuant to the specific service provided, such as the procedure performed, care plan, and other notes. Traditionally, this information is tracked in a database within a singular organization or within a defined network of health care stakeholders. This flow of information originating from the patient through the health care organization each time a service is performed does not need to stop at the individual organizational level. Instead, health care organizations could take one more step and direct a standardized set of information present in each patient interaction to a nationwide blockchain transaction layer.
Even with the use of digital files, data loss continues to be one of the biggest problems in healthcare which resulted in $1.7 billion in damages and equivalent to 2,000 lives lost in the US. Adopting new technology can be intimidating, especially for an industry as heavily regulated as healthcare. Blockchain technology has already been adopted by several organizations, but before embracing this trend, one needs full-time IT experts to assess the systems and manage security. The stakes of security breaches are high – not just in monetary costs and losses to industry providers but to patients whose personal information is at risk. Blockchain technology holds a great deal of promise for the healthcare industry, and it is time for all providers and researchers to explore the potential.
For many years, IPOs were the primary way for investors to participate in entrepreneurship value creation. But there was a problem: they were (and still are) exhausting their value to wealthy investors through private funding rounds before average investors have a chance to participate.
Security Token Offering (STO) solves the problems that plagued the old IPO ecosystem: high barriers to entry, limited geographical access and inflated valuations that make wealthy investors richer and leave average investors holding the bag.
Here are some of the top STO service providers:
Founder & CEO:Jonas Sevel Karlberg
AmaZix is a Hong Kong-based, group of professional ICO consultants with technical expertise in blockchain technology and business development. Founded by a team of six, the AmaZix family now is closing in on 150 consultants, social media managers and community moderators.
AmaZix has collectively managed various aspects and communities of over 100 blockchain startups, including 24/7 management of some 140 social media and real-time communication channels hosting 470,000 users.
2. IBC Group
Founder & CEO: Mario Nawfal
IBC offers turn-key solutions for startups looking to use ICOs and STOs for fundraising and/or incentive models. It also facilitates the tokenization of a variety of asset types.
IBC also offers the most up-to-date legal services for startups looking to use either the ICO or STO fundraising model.
IBC is best known for the ability to ensure legal compliance at every step of the ICO/STO fundraising process.
ICOBox is the world’s leading ICO solutions provider, offering a wide range of technical, legal and marketing services to projects selling their products and services via Initial Coin Offerings.
As a global blockchain startup accelerator, ICOBox has helped organize dozens of ICOs, including such prominent projects as INS, Universa, Play2Live, Crypterium, Celsius, Patron, Storiqa, Paragon, CrowdGenie, SM.M, NVB, etc.
To date, with the help of ICOBox’s 150-person international team, its clients collected over $400 million.
4. Token Asia
Chief Operations Officer: Utsav Jaiswal
TokenAsia Platform is distinguishable for their client-first ethics. It enable the clients to conduct successful token offerings by devising unique Blockchain offerings that separates them from the other ICOs.
TokenAsia develops turnkey solutions for Technology Development, Fullstack Marketing, Investor Outreach, Content Development, and most importantly, narrative building to provide end-to-end services for all things Blockchain.
5. Priority Token
CEO: Victor Larionov
Priority Token is an ICO advisory agency that has the goal of helping customer’s ICO be as successful as possible. It offers a number of different services to give your ICO a great chance to be successful, including investment consulting, marketing and technical support.
It also offers access to a large pool of crypto and blockchain experts who are fully capable and willing to review your project, join advisory teams and potentially even promote your project towards their own individual networks.
6. X10 agency
Co-Founder: Sergey Baloyan
X10 Agency is a full-service marketing and PR agency delivering turnkey solutions for successful STO, ICO and IEO promotion.
Provides STO essentials for a successful STO launch like STO investment audit and smart contract creation, 24/7 community management for every project and offer its continuous placement on trending crypto and fintech media outlets.
7. Argon Group
Chief Technology Officer: Bill Weir
Argon Group is a leading boutique investment bank focused exclusively on the digital finance and token-based capital markets. Argon Group has developed an end-to-end offering, supporting the full process of raising capital in digital capital markets as well as aftermarket trading and support. Key clients include Blockchain Capital, Civic, Storj, Science Blockchain, Protos, TheKey and others.
GuerrillaBuzz takes STO marketing to the next level and createsdistributable values, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
Specializes in the next generation of content marketing we’ve helped our clients raise more than $100 million.
9. TSM Global
CEO:Alek V. Ribak
TSM Global is a company known for its fundraising prowess using blockchain-backed solutions to raise money from the public.
In 2018, Securix partnered with TSM is providing community empowerment services, data mining and AI-powered research.
TSM has helped several companies across the globe to raise over $290 million for different innovative projects.
10. DLT Capital
Founder:Sergej Stein and Nico Konrad
DLT Capital supports startups throughout the whole process of raising capital and consults them on how to use Security Token Offerings as a means to raise funds.
It also includes traditional seed rounds for equity to ICOs, ETOs, crowd investing, or other alternative financial methods.
They provide an individual estimation sheet with time and cost estimations (including savings from our exclusive partner deals), so the companies get a quick overview of the effort of their STO / Fundraising.