Beginner’s Guide to Private Blockchain Platforms and Projects

Beginner’s Guide / 16.03.2020

s Private Blockchain an Oxymoron?

We usually get puzzled and confused-looks from newcomers to the cryptosphere when we talk about a centralized party looking into “Blockchain Technology.” Or when a consortium of banks tries to find the best solutions using blockchain to stay in the game.

Assuming most newcomers count bitcoin as their gateway to cryptocurrencies, they are exposed to a lot of fancies and disruptive words like “decentralized,” “open-source,” “trustless,” etc. The people who stay are swayed away by the hopes and dreams and alternate realities they are exposed.

That’s why most of them are clueless when asked about the future of ‘Private Blockchains’ or ‘Enterprise Blockchains.’ Somehow, the word feels contradictory, like an oxymoron. How can a private enterprise take control of something open-source, community-based, and decentralized by definition? How can consortiums be formed to look into corporate solutions? How can governments try to take charge of the innovation?

The Competitors to Open-Source

An open-source, public blockchain, is an open application for all participants to read, audit, edit, and argue about the network’s internal functioning. Public blockchains are relevant mostly because they function as autonomous entities that are not dependent on established organizations. They do not depend on third parties to proctor the day to day functioning of the network. Bitcoin and Ethereum are just some of the classic examples of what a Public blockchain can do.

A Private Blockchain is just the opposite. A ‘Private Blockchain’ is an in-house solution or application developed by a closed group of members. It leverages Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) principles to develop solutions built on the existing organizational infrastructure. Building enterprise-based blockchain projects act as a way for centralized entities to compete with the advent of decentralized open-source technologies. It is an alternative for them to keep their foot in the game.

Let us look at some of the most enticing and competitive Private Blockchain projects that look to compete with the public blockchains:

Best Private Blockchain Projects

  • R3 Corda

Corda is an enterprise blockchain platform that enables easy management of legal contracts and other shared data between mutually trusting organizations. The platform makes it possible for a diverse range of applications to interoperate on a single network. The R3 Coalition is a consortium of some of the top finance giants in the business like Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Bank of America.

The Corda platform developed by R3 is considered the spearhead of Private blockchain adoption. With over $100 Million in funding and 50+ backers, Corda aims to create the most efficient and trusted enterprise solutions. For now, Corda Enterprise, a commercial distribution version of Corda, has been released for enterprise use.

  • Hyperledger

The most successful enterprise-based blockchain project, Hyperledger, is a platform built under IBM’s purview, with help from the Linux Foundation. Hyperledger is neither a company nor a cryptocurrency nor a blockchain. Instead, it is an open-source hub, which seeks to support industrial blockchain development. One can think of it as an open-source collective effort initiated by a private organization to accelerate the growth of cross-industry blockchain technologies. Hyperledger has evolved into several sub-projects, each with its specialization. The important sub-platforms to look out for include Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth, Indy, Iroha, and Burrow.

  • Quorum

Quorum is built under the coalition of financial giant JP Morgan and public blockchain giant Ethereum. The platform was initiated to develop operations of smart contracts based enterprise solutions. To compete with other private platforms, Quorum aims to specialize in enterprise automation by leveraging the Ethereum blockchain. Automation and blockchain could allow Quorum users to bypass intermediaries, third parties, and commission agents by directly transacting with each other.

Conclusion

The future of enterprise blockchain is evolving into a Blockchain 3.0 infrastructure. This new evolution can allow for high scalability, sustainability, and governance to existing centralized organizations. The platforms such as Corda, Quorum, etc. enable organizations rooted in traditional infrastructure to drive the technology’s institutional adoption. It allows them to stay in the game when competing with the threat of open-source competition.

With the advent of enterprise-based solutions and innovation in Digital ledger mechanisms, the time has come for blockchain to go out from the shadows of cryptocurrency. Enterprise blockchains can push away from tokens to having an application with the merits of their own.

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Sudarshan M is a long time crypto-enthusiast. Pulled in by bitcoin early on, it did not take long for Sudarshan to divert all of his academic attention from business studies to blockchain by doing his Masters and eventually pursuing his PhD in the subject.