Making Blockchains Disappear

clicks | 14 days ago | comments: discuss | tags: bitcoin

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Recognizing this fact, infrastructural developments to make blockchain adoption, deployment and operation easier for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has been started at a gigantic scale in China. BSN will integrate with the global ambitions of the belt and road initiative. This article is on how the Blockchain-based Service Network will make blockchain disappear in China. As blockchain and internet of value maturity creeps upon us, more and more such turnkey solutions will appear. They will take different forms in different countries. However, their capabilities and costs will converge.
The state technology company, a state backed payments company and big chinese mobile operators are behind BSN. BSN is executing what Xi Jinping promised, a Blockchain revolution. We can dismiss this as predictable, centralized, controlled and watched over by the government. It would be a mistake to see only that in BSN. It is a way forward for creating infrastructure at scale. BSN is only focused on what is called consortium chains or enterprise blockchains in China, although public blockchain support is allowed in other countries. BSN is the Internet of Blockchains
The technical whitepaper for BSN says that it “integrates cloud resources, underlying frameworks, operating environments, key management, development SDK and gateway API”. Looking beyond the words, it is blockchain agnostic. The capability provided by BSN include interoperability between the chosen chains both locally and internationally. In addition, there are facilities for interaction with non-blockchain external systems. For these capabilities they have partnered with external solutions like Cosmos and Chainlink. They chose not to re-invent the wheel, just adapt it to their culture.
The aim is to enable building permissioned blockchain networks in China as easy as creating a website and just as costly.
The BSN launch implements the following capabilities Easy to get on for Small and Medium Enterprises (as simple as building a website) No deep knowledge of blockchain needed to participate. Any user, including small and medium enterprises can create an account, choose a blockchain framework from a list, deploy smart contracts, manage user accounts and billing by logging into a local portal. To interact with other businesses, they either join a consortium or interoperate with consortia, using facilities provided as part of the BSN. Built in data protection and privacy, presumably from all eyes other than that of the government. Face a uniform user interface for interacting with multiple chains and to manage costs. The use of a single private key and a single cryptographic algorithm, allows easy interoperability and a simpler user interface. A cost of 2000 to 3000 renminbi per year for a 4 node network confined to a single public city node.
Public city nodes (PCN) are the basic constructs of BSN. They are local to a geographic area. They are already available in most big cities in China, as well as in some global cities. PCNs are built on cloud platforms, each PCN is on the local cloud infrastructure of a cloud provider like Alicloud, Tencentcloud, Azure, AWS or Google cloud. These are on a highly connected network. Users (businesses) interact with their local PCN through a BSN portal, administered and serviced by service providers who are accredited. User accounts, self-service, billing and other services are pre-built and available on these platforms. All smart contract deployment, as well as other blockchain specific tasks are also performed through the portals.
Another big push is in the area of training and education. Free training courses for developers on general blockchain concepts are available. In addition, courses targeting BSN user management as well as free template applications for certain business patterns like provenance, supply chain are also made available.
Efforts in Other Jurisdictions
If you look through the capability lens, we see similar trends in the enterprise blockchain space here in the United States and elsewhere in Europe and around the world. Uniform identity management and interoperation emerge as themes. Most cloud providers, like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud provide turnkey solutions in the form of Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), which make deployment and operation of blockchain consortia with lower membership numbers possible. In addition, the traditional overlay of identity management for authentication and authorization are available on most cloud platforms.
To knit them together, the creation of public, low cost and low touch value transfer infrastructure is needed. Standards are needed, for interoperation, for continued operations. Frameworks for launching and maintaining chains are needed. Standards work is being done in many Standards Development Organisations like IEEE and ISO. However, experience suggests that these are often behind the curve f...