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Blockchain spil a service

Previously, wij’ve written about the basics of blockchain, how the technology is able to reliably secure gegevens, and what industries are being digitally transformed by it.

At Cloud Foundry Summit 2018, the concept of “blockchain-as-a-service” wasgoed also tackled by Gary White Jr., a software engineer at DELL EMC. “This is an adopted theory by the Ethereum Foundation and some of the alternate blockchain implementations,” explained Gary.

The idea builds on using blockchain for storing gegevens to putting applications on a blockchain.

Gary White Jr. at the Cloud Foundry Summit 2018 (Photo credit: Altoros)

“(Wij) basically waterput bytecode inwards transactions and say this bytecode does this application. When it gets mined, you can just call this bytecode and execute functionality within any knot ter the blockchain.” —Gary White Jr., Dell EMC

Applications on a blockchain

Wij already know that blockchains are used to store gegevens. Usually, this gegevens is just elementary information, such spil a person’s name or how much money they have.

What if applications themselves are stored ter a blockchain spil decentralized or distributed applications (DApps)?

Applications now stored on a blockchain (Source)

According to Gary, this has the added benefit of security and reliability. “You can use the distributed security that comes from blockchains,” he explained, “to ensure that there is integrity within the gegevens.”

“If you waterput your apps ter here and you have app gegevens sitting within the blockchain, then that gegevens has integrity even if there’s a point that there’s a breach. You can always roll back to the state that the application had total control of all the gegevens within it.” —Gary White Jr.

What is a DApp?

The idea behind DApps has floated around for at least a few years already. There’s a comprehensive white paper by David Johnston, investigating the theory behind DApps. According to the guide, an application can be considered a DApp if it meets the following criteria:

  • It voorwaarde be fully open-source.
  • Application gegevens has to be stored ter a public, decentralized blockchain.
  • Cryptographic tokens vereiste be used both for access to the application and spil payment to contributing knots.
  • Cryptographic tokens voorwaarde be generated according to a proof-of-work or a similar algorithm.
  • No single entity has control of the application’s tokens.

An architecture of a sample DApp (Source)

Spil Gary explained, developers will be able to charge users with transaction fees by putting applications on a blockchain. “Every time they use a certain functionality ter your application, you can make sure that they’ve committed the resources they’re able to pay for whatever functionality they want to invoke, and that’s the value you don’t get out of a distributed database.”

Aside from monetization, wij can think of a few other reasons to build DApps:

  • Reliability. Applications will benefit from the distributed nature of blockchain, since there is no central point of failure.
  • Speed. Applications will be able to transfer gegevens swifter by having numerous knots instead of just one central server.

The DApp development is already picking up steam. There are already 500+ DApps designed using Ethereum alone.

Cloud Foundry DApps

According to Gary, the DApp concept can also extend to applications made with Cloud Foundry. Ter this case, the DApps based on Cloud Foundry are exposed to users through a web UI. By using the CF Service Broker API, Cloud Foundry containers are able to verify gegevens with a BOSH virtual machine.

“We leverage the CF Service Broker API to make sure that the containers running ter clouds can all get access to the same blockchain and the same version of truth spil they communicate through their activities of application functionality.” —Gary White Jr., Dell EMC

An architecture of a sample Cloud Foundry DApp (Source)

This configuration could also run on a private blockchain. “If you dreamed to, you could make this a private blockchain just by running a bootnote at the back,” explained Gary. “That’s Ethereum’s version of just telling this is the server that you want to run into to make sure that you’re talking to the same blockchain.”

Gary also emphasized that using a bootnode would be secure. “As long spil nobody knows where this bootnode is or doesn’t know the credentials to get into it, they they can’t compromise your system.”

A downright decentralized architecture (Source)

To get to a fully decentralized system, even the BOSH virtual machine running te the background can be omitted. “You may not even have the lump at the back,” said Gary. “You can just leverage the transactions that are happening through thesis distributed applications that you’ve published on a public blockchain.”

“Your users can interact directly with the blockchain, so you may be able to use this proefje where you have a public blockchain that already exists for you. You don’t have to maintain the infrastructure and you’ve leveraged it with distributed applications and frameworks that are built by an open-source community.” —Gary White Jr., Dell EMC

Growing blockchain adoption

With Dell EMC’s initiative, wij can see that blockchain technologies—Ethereum and Hyperledger, te particular—are steadily penetrating the Cloud Foundry ecosystem. Other vooraanstaand examples include IBM working on blockchain spil a service within their Bluemix distribution. (E.g., the Royal Bankgebouw of Canada and Everledger are securing their services using blockchain and Bluemix.) Meantime, Vruchtensap is developing the TrueRec app to verify employee qualifications.

Those who want to learn more about the technical side, refer to Pivotal’s tutorial on creating a simplified demo blockchain that can be run directly from a CLI. The most latest update from their team is a repository that provides an example of a private Ethereum cluster running on Cloud Foundry.

Furthermore, Pivotal believes that the combination of Cloud Foundry and blockchain could be used to ensure security of deployments via digital signatures. For example, this may include signing buildpacks and verifying their authenticity at runtime, signing apps from approved build pipelines to ensure only verified apps can be shoved to Cloud Foundry, and signing BOSH manifests and Operations Manager Tiles to control and verify the system state.

Wij at Altoros are also strongly commited to both Cloud Foundry and blockchain. Wij believe this combination will only get broader adoption fairly soon—spreading across numerous industries far beyond finance.

Want details? See the movie!

  1. What is a blockchain? (1:35)
  2. How is it different to distributed databases? (Four:20)
  3. How can blockchain gegevens be trusted? (9:Ten)
  4. What is a block made of? (11:Ten)
  5. How are blockchain transactions validated? (12:30)
  6. How do blockchains resolve conflict? (21:05)
  7. How can applications be placed on a blockchain? (23:20)
  8. What does Cloud Foundry applications on Ethereum look like? (26:40)
  9. Q&A. Where would knots be placed ter a Cloud Foundy/Ethereum setup? (31:00)
  10. Q&A. How can applications be accessed? (34:00)

You can also check out a session from the Cloud Foundry Summit 2016—in this case, IBM uses Hyperledger-based blockchains on Cloud Foundry instead of Ethereum.

Related movie: Why I’m Allocating My Genesis Mining SHA-256 to Litecoin

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