Why the Netflix Model is that the Future for Enterprise Blockchain
In this opinion piece, Spoke looks at the hurdles encountered by enterprises adopting blockchain tech, and predicts more flexible and compatible solutions going forward.
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What’s a blockchain? Why not use a distributed database? What’s a sensible contract? What the hell is chaincode?
Among blockchain industry participants, you’ll get different answers and different views to all or any of those questions (and many more).
Almost weekly, we read new blockchain white papers proposing new unique functionalities to unravel a drag during a slightly better or different way. Of course, this amount of experimentation and research can only be good for the long-term growth and maturity of our industry, but it’s also made it extremely complicated for potential buyers to form determinations about what fits their needs best.
Although the term “blockchain” has generally been used because the umbrella name for a really broad collection of latest technologies, it seems to me that our industry has not yet skilled the required objective scrutiny to separate the great , from the bad (and the ugly).
Right or wrong, there seem to be some common themes among enterprise companies that became apparent over the course of 2016.
This is not a comprehensive list, but a couple of worth highlighting:
Companies are looking to create using permissioned blockchain networks (whether as an interim solution or a long-term outcome)
In many contexts, it'll be important to take care of transaction privacy
Current transaction performance on the general public bitcoin and ethereum networks is insufficient
Smart contracts provide a chic framework to automate shared business processes.
In considering these challenges and the way to unravel them, an outsized number of companies have migrated their efforts to ethereum.
It’s by no means an ideal solution, but arguably due to its flexibility and since of the organic community of developers surrounding it, it remains unparalleled within the industry.
Rather than check out ethereum together network, however, many consider it as a template to model, improve, customize and implement in difference contexts.
Ethereum technology, therefore, has found its way into multiple networks serving multiple purposes, although imperfectly.
To better achieve this outcome, i might argue that ethereum needs some rearchitecting to permit for multiple network implementations.
In its current form, it had been designed (and continues to be improved upon) as a protocol to power one global network.
Having come to an equivalent realization, variety of companies have created versions of ethereum that fit their needs – in many cases with band-aid fixes which will only be described as temporary and imperfect.
Among those companies, there are both startups and enormous organizations, most of which are primarily curious about one vertical problem set that impacts their industry and their business.
This has led to unnecessary fragmentation and incompatible modifications being made to the ethereum protocol altogether these various versions. Contrary to the initial vision of ethereum (of being a general purpose protocol), many of those implementations are being built as single-purpose solutions to power specific industry applications.
As companies meet up with to production, this problem is becoming more evident to those involved.
Drawing parallels from the online services (‘cloud’) industry, I’m convinced that we’ll see a replacement trend this year.
Rather than end users building their own customized infrastructure, and essentially managing their “full stack”, alittle number of providers will specialise in offering modular infrastructure which will be leveraged with little effort by the businesses solving challenges at the appliance layer.
This reorganization of the industry (infrastructure vs app) will leave specialization and better long-term improvements to the underlying software, while maintaining standards of compatibility.
In the same way that Netflix is made using Amazon Web Services, mature companies emerging during this space will partner with infrastructure providers to scale their businesses more efficiently.
Ideally, as we work towards this model, the resulting infrastructure frameworks will leave deployments that are fully compatible with ‘public ethereum’, while also enabling deployments that include custom functionalities required by the user.
One of the good benefits I foresee from this model is that new proposed ideas, which today find yourself as competing protocols, could become alternative modules compatible with a uniform framework. this may make it easier for companies to adopt improvements without having to rebuild from scratch.
Luckily, this isn’t illusion . a number of us are already on our thanks to making this real.