For everyone working with digital currency, then the blockchain(1) world should not be new to you. We have carried out extensive research and have come to the conclusion that blockchain technologies can be used to transform your business. Follow these guidelines on how to implement blockchain.
Here Are The Steps Involved For Blockchain Implementation:
Begin with A Use Case
To begin with, this is the first important step when it comes to blockchain implementation. What it means to identify a use case is that you have to study, clarify, and arrange your needs for a blockchain.
In identifying your use case, you would need to ask yourself certain questions such as: “why exactly do I need a blockchain?” “Why does my business need a blockchain implementation?” “What are my targets, aims, and objectives if I decide to apply a blockchain implementation?”
These and other related questions would help you to understand better why you need a blockchain implementation and then how you can carry on with your plans.
The answer to the questions would clear any grey areas that may be present in your decision to have a blockchain implementation. As you proceed to identify a use case, keep in mind that it is safer, to begin with, small steps.
You have to select some relevant blockchain use cases which you would have to evaluate, research, and thoroughly explore before you utilize them in the implementation of your blockchain as the picture gets wider and clearer to you.
The Need to Create A Proof of Concept (POC)
After you identify the different options for your use case, the next step is to create a valid Proof of Concept. In case you are wondering what POC means, it simply refers to a strategic procedure that is used to evaluate how realizable the blockchain implementation would be for your business.
Before you create your Proof of Concept, it is necessary that you understand the rigid planning phase that precedes it. Again, you would need to consider certain relevant questions that would aid you in a step by step evaluation of your Proof of Concept.
These questions would be based on your business and what it requires. You would have to consider questions regarding the competition and the challenges of your business.
Some questions you may be considering could include: “What business problem am I trying to solve through this blockchain implementation?” “What are the positive results I want to see in my business?” “How can I use blockchain implementation to transform my business?” etc.
Importantly, it is key to state that “direction” is essential in creating your Proof of Concept. You should be able to grasp ahold of the potential outcomes of your actions. In short, your actions and decisions should be tactical and deliberate.
Creating a Proof of Concept involves the following steps:
- Develop and follow a set of guidelines that explain the extent of your business project
- Create a prototype that would entail sketches, design, code, architecture, etc.
- Test your prototype. It is very important that you test your prototype
- Analyze your MVP with the minimum set of top features that you want. MVP simply means a minimum viable product.
Selecting the Blockchain Carefully
It is important that you are deliberate and careful in selecting a blockchain platform for your business. This is a strategic step in which you would have to consider factors such as your budget and thorough research making.
In selecting the blockchain for your business, you should be aware that you can choose from a variety of blockchain platforms. We have highlighted some of the popular blockchain platforms below.
Some of the popular blockchain platforms
- Ethereum:- Basically, it is used to develop innovative contracts. It is currently being utilized by many organizations to determine the potential growth rate of their business.
- Quorum:- A lot of companies have adopted the use of Quorum in their blockchain implementation. Quorum basically helps to eliminate the tampering of data in business transactions by allowing organizations to make transactions on the platform thereby guaranteeing top security and transaction privacy.
- Hyperledger Fabric:- This blockchain platform is used to create private blockchain applications for businesses and organizations. An expert in utilizing Hyperledge would be able to develop technical solutions that would build your company through blockchain implementation.
- Stellar:- Basically, Stellar as a blockchain platform is used to develop blockchain applications for companies and organizations.
- Corda:- An expert in this blockchain platform would be able to create excellent designs, as well as leveraging the platform to eliminate all costly contingencies in your business contracts. It allows you to make direct transactions via smart contracts that guarantee topmost security and privacy.
- Open chain:- The primary objective of this blockchain platform is to leverage on blockchain technology to maximize each and every aspect of your business’s human resource management.
- Multichain:- Just like its name, this blockchain platform can be employed in numerous industries such as banking and finance, healthcare sector, human resources, e-commerce, educational sector, retail businesses, etc. It is basically used for professional optimization of your business’s human resources work.
Building and Testing Blockchain Solution
It is advised to always study the present blockchain technologies so as to choose the best for your blockchain implementation. This process involves evaluating certain factors such as:
- The infrastructure of the blockchain
- The quality of the technology; that is, does it offer valuable security and consensus? You should also know if it is compatible with both private and public blockchains.
- The vastness of the technology; that is, is it compatible with multichain and any other multiple platforms?
One of the most important parts of blockchain technology is the feature of smart contracts. Smart contracts enable businesses to make vital transactions without interference from a third party. All you have to do is attach your own set of rules to the contracts.
The benefit of this is that it allows the transaction process to be automatic, transparent, and fair. All parties to the contract are mandated to abide by the contract rules. The automatic nature of smart contracts is the reason a lot of enterprises have selected blockchain technologies.
Hence, in building your blockchain solution, you have to develop smart contracts that will automate the processes of your business transactions. Testing your blockchain implementation requires testing apps, as the case may be, on the test network to confirm that it is working properly in the right way.
Run and Manage the Network in Production
In order to do this, you have to create the first block of your own. You should keep in mind that this block must have all the characteristics of the chain. Basically, this step involves laying the foundation for the receiving information.
It is at this stage that encrypted token, popularly known as cryptocurrency, comes into the picture. The encrypted token would be used to activate the power required to make sure that the persistence of the communication of the nodes remains intact.
Activating the Blockchain
After running and managing the network, all that is left is to activate an application on the blockchain network. This would be a prepared application server. Here, you would have to host each of your applications on the main blockchain.
In the case of having hybrid solutions, that is applications that are both on-chain and off-chain entities, it is recommended that you initialize them on the cloud server.
Selecting the Right Consensus Protocol
- Proof of Work
This is a consensus protocol that rewards its miners for providing useful solutions to tough equations. Basically, the main objective of Proof of Work is to counter cyber-attacks such as DDoS, meaning Distributed Denial-of-service attack. Proof of work also helps to validate transactions so that new blocks can be produced on the chain.
- Proof of Stake
This is another consensus protocol whereby the developer of the subsequent block will be selected through different combinations of random qualifications which could be based on age, wealth, performance, etc.
Usually, with Proof of Stake, the miner has to validate the block transactions based on the number of coins he or she possesses. In layman’s explanation, the higher the quantity of cryptocurrency in the possession of a miner, the higher his or her ability to create more blocks.
- Delegated Proof of Stake
This is a consensus protocol that is democratic in nature. Here, the stakeholders simply have to elect or vote for representative miners that would build the blocks. This consensus protocol ensures the approval of transactions. Here, only a fixed set of miners are involved in the block production activities.
- Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)
This consensus protocol involves a situation whereby different components of the network may fail. Hence, the consensus is achieved based on the same value even if some network components are unresponsive.
- Proof of Weight
In this consensus protocol, the agreement is achieved based on how much cryptocurrency the miners have, that is the ‘weight’ of their cryptocurrency. Here, the amount of coins available in a miner’s wallet is what determines the weight of the miner’s cryptocurrency.
Building the Ecosystem
When numerous stakeholders begin to get involved in the blockchain, then it becomes necessary to have an ecosystem. The ecosystem will be a community inside the larger blockchain community.
It will function to help improve understanding of the blockchain industry, as well as fostering trust among businesses. In building an ecosystem, the stakeholders have to agree on the following issues:
- The terms of engagement
- How to make sure that costs and rewards are shared without bias.
- The mechanisms of governance that have been erected.
Having a Deliberate Design
Every blockchain expert would agree that the structure of blockchain requires careful design. The design must be deliberately done to ensure it easily solves any issues with the organization.
Working Your Way with Uncertainty
The future of blockchain regulations is still very much uncertain. This is why it is important to follow up with the revision of these regulations and to be deliberately involved in the making of these policies.
These policies vary from country to country and you should endeavor to influence the policymakers in your country to work towards increasing the use of the blockchain industry.
( Also Read: Top 14 Benefits of Blockchain Technology )
Other Important Factors to Keep in Mind During Blockchain Implementation.
While undergoing your blockchain implementation, there are some other vital key points that you should consider, and they are:
It Has to Work
You have to put in your all to make sure that your blockchain implementation actually works and works just the way you want it to. In order to do this, you would have to completely test your system and designs in a controlled environment. Thereafter, you can proceed to take it to the actual competitive setting for further testing.
Testing your blockchain implementation is necessary because this is when you may discover a variable that you had hitherto not considered, and it may affect the outcomes of your blockchain implementation exercise. You should also research more for the best blockchain implementation example.
Do Not Yield to Setbacks
Keep in mind that there will always be setbacks, especially at the beginning stage of blockchain implementation. However, instead of yielding to failure, you have to fix the problems and try many other methods.
In these kinds of scenarios, employing the tactic of trial and error would prove to be beneficial to you. Ensure that you have exhausted all available alternatives and in due time, you would finally stumble upon the solution that would lift your business in the blockchain.
Focus is Key
Never lose track of your foremost objective whenever you are making certain adjustments to your blockchain protocol. Blockchain comprises various aspects and one can quickly get carried away. Getting distracted will affect your general objective.
Make sure you stick to the plan and continuously give to the costumers exactly what you promised to give to them. Remember, the aim is to transform your business and not to transform the entire blockchain system.
The consequences of being distracted can be very unpleasant. In literal words, the consequences will be a huge loss of money, big disappointment, and eventually the end of your blockchain efforts. This is why focus is key! Do not jeopardize your entire progress on the blockchain network over some distraction.
Make Plans for the Future
After successfully implementing your blockchain protocol, the next step should be making plans for the future. Begin to work on some features that may require new improvements. Basically, you would have to evaluate the blockchain network to make sure it remains useful for the future growth of your business.
As we all know, the only constant thing in life is change. The blockchain industry will evolve and improve over the years that go by and you must equally engage in continuous improvements too no matter how small it may be.
Challenges in implementing blockchain
To a very large extent, the blockchain technology industry, like every other industry, has its challenges and limitations. Below, we will be discussing the common challenges that are faced by stakeholders in blockchain technology implementation:
Insufficient Skilled Blockchain Developers
This is a major problem that is associated with the implementation of blockchain. The industry is still experiencing a low influx of experts and smaller businesses are being forced to offer competitive incentives so as to attract and keep the limited skilled blockchain experts.
Varying and Unstable Blockchain Regulation
Different participants in the blockchain industry are still unable to agree on regulations that will guide the implementation of blockchain technologies. The issue is not in adopting regulations; however, the challenge is with where what kind and how much should the regulation take effect in the activities of blockchain implementation.
This is why all blockchain stakeholders need to influence the government and other regulatory authorities on a consensual rule that will be beneficial to all.
Problem with Scalability
This is another prevalent challenge that blockchain technology implementation is facing. A lot of blockchain developers are currently tasked with resolving the contention between maintaining the normal benefits of DLT and at the same time ensuring that its scope is vast at high speeds. Indeed, the entire potentials of the blockchain technology industry are still very much unscalable.
This can as well be said to be the single most disturbing issue of blockchain technology. It should be noted that the basis of blockchain technology was security. However, with the increasing practical effects of the 51% attack theory, the blockchain industry is vulnerable to formidable threats from hackers.
Energy Consuming Consensus Protocols
This is in fact, one of the greatest challenges in blockchain technology implementation. This challenge was taken more seriously when it was revealed that in 2017, the energy consumed in the mining of bitcoin was equal to the same amount of energy consumed by the whole population of Denmark. This probably sounds surprising to you, right?
The solution to energy-consuming consensus protocols is for stakeholders to develop new and innovative modes of consensus for progressive decision making acts. A breakthrough in this challenge has been predicted to bring about a potential evolutionary process that will take DLT to the next level.
Blockchain implementation requires a number of modifications and this by implication may make it very complicated to work with. Ensure that your user interface is simple enough for your customers and make it affordable for the customers. Without doubts, we’re positive that this article will greatly help you in achieving your vision in the blockchain business regardless of any blockchain implementation challenges.