2016-06-21

Disassembling #blockchain concept

This blogpost is aimed to outline disassemble the blockchain technology and some blockchain-based application.

See also my other blockchain-related blogposts - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/search/label/%23blockchain

It is not secret that blockchain-based application do not explicitly separate various levels. Let us depict those layers as on the illustration below.


Note: there is a competing technology - http://www.the-blockchain.com/docs/Overview-of-Swirlds-Hashgraph.pdf and http://www.swirlds.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SWIRLDS-TR-2016-01.pdf


Using the blockchain anatomy, it is possible to explain various types of blockchain.

Bitcoin blockchain:
  • end customer = public
  • transaction validators = miners
  • storage keepers = miners
Public blockchain:
  • end customer = public
  • transaction validators = public
  • storage keepers = public
Private blockchain:
  • end customer = controlled set A of actors
  • transaction validators = controlled set A of actors
  • storage keepers = controlled set A of actors
Hybrid blockchain:
  • end customer = controlled set A of actors
  • transaction validators = controlled set B of actors
  • storage keepers = controlled set C of actors
Blockchain as a service:
  • end customer = various
  • transaction validators = various
  • storage keepers = service provider
Please note that the original “consensus protocol” is divided into parts - transaction validity and storage integrity because of the obvious reason demonstrated below.


It is clear that the transaction validation depends on a particular blockchain-based application. For example, bitcoin checks that all the bitcoins in a particular transactions are properly possessed. Validation of some blockchained documents, e.g. driving license, land possession certificate, etc. is guaranteed contextually by the legal status of the issuer and does not require yet another validation.

In case of complex composite structured documents, a validation procedure may be rather complex. For example, any copyrighted book may be considered as a set of small logical blocks, e.g. paragraphs, and each paragraph may be blockchained as a separate transaction thus preventing some forms of plagiarism. A transaction for the whole books contains all the transactions for all its paragraphs.

Thus the 'blockchain' concept is only about the storage layer.

Thanks,
AS
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