Enterprise blockchain platforms (Part 2)

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by Lumai Mubanga

Enterprise blockchain is designed slightly different from private blockchain in general. Remember, there are three main properties that are taken into consideration when designing a blockchain. These are scalability, security and decentralization. However, it appears enterprise blockchain is more inclined to enforce the scalability property better than security and or decentralization when compared with a private blockchain.

Enterprise blockchain is less on decentralization and more on scalability

The next few paragraphs will give two more examples of enterprise blockchain and highlight briefly how the scalability property suites these applications in reaching out to their many and broad customer base.

Ripple

This is an enterprise blockchain platform focusing on creating a global network of financial services. To support internal payments, it introduced an internal cryptocurrency known as XRP. It runs what is known as a federated consensus mechanism, supporting various types of participants, which Ripple classifies as network users and network members.

  • Network members: these are mainly banking institutions and other related service providers who provide core services such as processing payments and Liquidity support. In order to scale better and support its customer base, Ripple applies the scalability property of the blockchain design more fully. This way, the network is able to support its clients have a wider reach, expand payouts and increase payment volumes.
  • Network users: These include small medium-sized enterprise, corporates and mainly small banks. Network users utilise the services enabled by the Ripple network. For example, platform businesses might look to send disbursements of high volume and low value to suppliers, merchants, and employees. Banks and payment providers, on the other hand, might look to send payments rather than process them.

Ripple network supports processing of real time payments, sourcing of on demand liquidity, and transactions in global payments. These are called xCurrent, xRapid, and xVia.

Quorum

As a lightweight fork of Ethereum, quorum is built for enterprise, with a particular focus on security and governance. Confidentiality is essential too for global payments. On this network, there is a deliberate effort to tie nodes to real-world identities. It also enables confidentiality, allowing for details of transactions to be private. Minimal trust assumptions between participants can also be configured on this platform. Quorum manages much of its secure message transfers through a system called Constellation. This allows Quorum to have support for both public and private transactions. Public transactions are conducted as they would be on the Ethereum network, whereas private transactions can only be viewed by participants who have been specified as recipients. This dual functionality has won the admiration of many.

There’s an obvious difference between the focus of some enterprise blockchains versus that of public blockchains. Enterprise blockchains often times have an inherent boost in their ability to scale since they work with smaller networks with trust guarantees.

As can be seen, the underlying technologies supporting these enterprise blockchain platforms in many ways strengthen the potential to scale than decentralization for obvious reasons.

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