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Blockchain is defined as a ledger of decentralized data that is securely shared. Blockchain technology enables a collective group of select participants to share data. With blockchain cloud services, transactional data from multiple sources can be easily collected, integrated, and shared. Data is broken up into shared blocks that are chained together with unique identifiers in the form of cryptographic hashes.
Blockchain provides data integrity with a single source of truth, eliminating data duplication and increasing security.
In a blockchain system, fraud and data tampering are prevented because data can’t be altered without the permission of a quorum of the parties. A blockchain ledger can be shared, but not altered. If someone tries to alter data, all participants will be alerted and will know who make the attempt.
Think of a blockchain as a historical record of transactions. Each block is “chained” to the previous block in a sequence, and is immutably recorded across a peer-to-peer network. Cryptographic trust and assurance technology applies a unique identifier—or digital fingerprint—to each transaction.
Trust, accountability, transparency, and security are forged into the chain. This enables many types of organizations and trading partners to access and share data, a phenomenon known as third-party, consensus-based trust.
All participants maintain an encrypted record of every transaction within a decentralized, highly scalable, and resilient recording mechanism that cannot be repudiated. Blockchain does not require any additional overhead or intermediaries. Having a decentralized, single source of truth reduces the cost of executing trusted business interactions among parties that may not fully trust each other. In a permissioned blockchain, used by most enterprises, participants are authorized to participate in the network, and each participant maintains an encrypted record of every transaction.
Any company or group of companies that needs a secure, real-time, shareable record of transactions can benefit from this unique technology. There is no single location where everything is stored, leading to better security and availability, with no central point of vulnerability.
To learn more about blockchain, its underlying technology, and use cases, here are some important definitions.
There are two main types of blockchain nodes:
The use of blockchain technology is expected to significantly increase over the next few years. This game-changing technology is considered both innovative and disruptive because blockchain will change existing business processes with streamlined efficiency, reliability, and security.
Blockchain technology delivers specific business benefits that help companies in the following ways:
Blockchain is no longer an emerging technology. In fact, blockchain has continued to progress solutions and address business needs with other technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning. These key technology partnerships help users achieve important insights from data.
In an IoT deployment, traditional IT systems are not built to handle the massive amount of data that is generated. The volume, velocity, and variety of data produced by IoT networks could overwhelm enterprise systems or severely limit the ability to trigger timely decisions against trusted data. Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology has the potential to address these scalability challenges with improved security and transparency.
Hyperledger is an open source project started by the Linux Foundation to advance global collaboration of blockchain technologies. The main purpose of Hyperledger is to develop open source blockchain implementations that address enterprise goals for scale, performance, and security. Hyperledger supports a neutral, open community of members who contributed code to develop Hyperledger Fabric, the software that many enterprises use as the foundation for blockchain projects.
As a key member of Hyperledger, Oracle and our Blockchain solutions are built on Hyperledger Fabric, leveraging open source and maintaining interoperability with core protocols.