You must have heard about “blockchains” in the context of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. You probably must have also seen how many people have been raving about this technology. But why, what exactly is so special about this technology? Its link with cryptocurrencies has also led to many people believing that blockchain is Bitcoin. So they think that they’re getting excited about cryptocurrency. But nope, blockchain is a technology that is used in the implementation of these cryptocurrencies.
So, if you’re a newbie to this amazing new technology, read ahead and know about blockchain and its development process better.
Blockchain technology, also called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), is a decentralized digital ledger. It is a system of recording information so that it is difficult, if not impossible, to change, hack or cheat the system.
Primarily, it is a digital ledger of transactions distributed across the entire network on computer systems on the blockchain. Each block in the chain holds information on the transactions. Every time there’s a new transaction, it is recorded on the ledger of every participant. So, it is a decentralized database that is managed by the participants and hence the name, distributed ledger system.
This technology has three main ideas: unalterable history of transactions, transparency in use, and cryptographic signature. An analogy to understand this technology better is Google Docs. Suppose you create a document and share it with your friends. Here, the document is distributed and not copied and transferred. So, this way, you’ve created a decentralized distribution chain where everyone is accessing the document simultaneously.
There’s no waiting for a person to finish making changes so that others could start. All the modifications in the document are recorded in real-time, so all the changes are transparent. Blockchain is, of course, more complex, but the analogy explains the three main ideas of the technology.
How does blockchain technology work?
A transaction implies a movement of a tangible (product) or intangible (intellectual) asset. So the block holds all the transaction data and answers everything- who, what, when, where, amount, and even the condition (temperature).
The blocks form a chain of data as the ownership of the asset changes. The blocks are securely linked together & record the exact time and sequence of transactions. There’s no scope for any alteration or any new block inserted between two linked blocks.
Each new block strengthens and verifies the previous block and hence, the entire blockchain. So, the blockchain shows its key strength, immutability, and brings forth a trustworthy ledger.
Consensus protocols are used to validate transactions in a blockchain. A few are mentioned as follows:
What are the applications of blockchain technology?
Applications of a blockchain are as follows:
Many types of blockchain platforms are available, each satisfying a particular development need. Some of the major blockchain platforms are:
What value does blockchain add to your platform?
You can refer to a custom software development company that can help you through the development process. The blockchain development process involves 9 stages:
Make a problem statement listing all the issues you wish to resolve with your proposed solution. The solution should be beneficial and improve your business. Analyze whether you should switch to blockchain technology or make a new application from scratch.
Once you’re sure you need a blockchain solution, you need to select the right blockchain platform. The chosen platform should meet your business requirements. The choice should be driven by the problems you want to resolve, like consensus mechanisms.
The next step involves drafting business requirements and brainstorming ideas. Decide which technology components should be added as on-chain or off-chain entities on the proposed blockchain system. Create a roadmap to build the project in time. Create DFDs, conceptual workflows, and other documents to create your blockchain application.
You should decide on the language you’re going to use to develop the frontend, backend, and servers as well. For example, you can choose angular development or React Js web development services for the frontend.
With proof-of-concept, you decide the practical applications and viability of a project. You can do that by either developing a prototype or via theoretical buildup. In the theoretical build-up, you theoretically make up different use cases to understand the feasibility of the application and explain the project’s scope and parameters.
This step involves designing the look & feel of your application and making technical designs to understand the application’s technology architecture. So, you’ll create a user interface for each component of your application. You will also design APIs to integrate the UI to run an application in the back-end.
At this stage, the actual development of your application will start. The developer needs to stick to the decided design and blueprint of the application.
The development of blockchain technology is a challenging task which is why it takes a lot of time to build it. Since blockchains are immutable ledgers, it is almost impossible to correct any corrupted data. Even to deliver a fix, you need to coordinate with all the parties in the blockchain.
So this step needs to be executed with extreme care.
At this stage, you’ll test whether the developed application does exactly what it is expected to do—nothing more and nothing less. Testing blockchain applications is similar to testing normal applications with a few more metrics added. For example:
Multiple software testing methods can be employed, like manual and automation testing.
The deployment phase refers to deploying the final developed blockchain application to the customer.
The maintenance stage involves providing training, customer support, and launching updates.
Blockchain technology offers a myriad of benefits, it is secure, reliable, speeds up business transaction processes, and so much more. The idea of incorporating blockchain technology in your business is appealing and indeed good. But you should know that it takes a lot of time to build an application and for everyone to warm up with it. Building blockchain software is an extensive process, and so you need to clearly define your requirements and then start with the process.