Blockchain is currently actively discussed by millions of experts and interested people all over the world. Software developers are interested in its core concept; bloggers describe every single event related to Bitcoin and Blockchain in their articles and posts; entrepreneurs have a great willingness to apply Blockchain technologies in their projects. But only some of them understand exactly why to use Blockchain. The hype over the topic gets hotter every minute. The entire world keeps eyes on the price of Bitcoin and the freshest news connected with it. Of course, we have a unique possibility to observe a great breakthrough in digital technologies development. Blockchain technologies are able to change and improve virtually every industry of the world.
Things are even getting a bit out of hand. Software developers include the whole list of skills in various Blockchain-like technologies in their CV and product managers are obsessed with using Blockchain in all of the projects. Quite peculiar tendencies. In the era of Blockchain uprising and fame, it is important things to look deeper into its sense. And what is even more important, to understand clearly when to use Blockchain.
“Does my project need Blockchain?” Well, there are apps that work perfectly with Blockchain. On the other hand, this technology is not quite suitable for every single software solution. And it’s ok! Business decision makers often have a poor understanding of what it is about. Of course, it’s hard to keep abreast of technologies that develop lightning fast. And the idea that Blockchain is a fit for any software project that aims to succeed is very common.
The fact that Blockchain is a cutting-edge technology right now doesn’t mean that it should be applied in every app. In fact, one cannot make a right solution without a proper understanding of what Blockchain is.
Does my project need blockchain: a small introduction
Bitcoin cryptocurrency uses Blockchain technologies for a thing called “public ledger”. This is a magical place where all of the transactions are recorded. There are different thoughts on these two technological tools: some call them almost synonymous, the others divide them completely.
In fact, Blockchain is a special distributed database which consists of connected data blocks. The peer-to-peer architecture lays in the basis of all Blockchain processes. Many users have the access to data, but it cannot be customized by a single person. This is the most important feature of Blockchain-based projects: there is no need for the third party to participate in the transaction.
A distributed database like Blockchain has a higher level of security and availability. Data exchange occurs with the help of messages between users or simply through the global shared memory. Possible lack of consistency is another important Blockchain moment. It’s caused by the distributed nature of Blockchain. If it’s decided to implement Blockchain in a project, one should be ready to come up with a certain compromise related to the consistency questions.
“So, does my project need Blockchain”, you may ask. There is an interesting rule about using Blockchain: the more your project looks like Bitcoin, the more suitable Blockchain would be for it. Investing some time into detailed research of a Bitcoin topic can help you make a right decision. If you need an electronic cash system based on the peer-to-peer architecture there is a high probability that Blockchain would be good for your project. Alternatively, a good example of when not to use Blockchain is when you have no need in a special architecture.
Does my project need blockchain: step by step instructions
Finding out is Blockchain right for your project, ask yourself (or your development team) if there’s any chance to use a regular database? Such great solutions as Oracle, MySQL, and others have the capabilities to fulfill tons of tasks and implement the craziest ideas. Using a regular database has some considerable pros:
- Experience: working with a good old Oracle, the dedicated developers would know for sure what to do,
- Reliability: you know what to expect from a regular database, but in the case of Blockchain, there are still many points of discussion,
- Code: old players on the market have the perfectly optimized code.
Now, let’s take a look at the alternative and try to clarify why use a Blockchain and how to understand whether you need that at all:
- The greatest step towards the right choice is understanding WHY you need a database for your project in the first place. Also, how should the data be structured? What do you expect from a dedicated database? A shared database is just an option; meanwhile, the regular database is a market giant.
- The next stage is participating entities. Blockchain implies providing multiple users with the ability to generate transactions. Does your project require such kind of operations?
- If your answer to the previous question is yes, then there is another important thing: do you trust the users that have access to your database? Well, if you do not, this is a serious reason to answer YES to the “Does my project need a Blockchain?” question.
- As it was mentioned above, the need in third parties disappears when Blockchain is involved. Blockchain allows even the users that don’t trust each other make direct customizations safely. The process of verifying the transactions is spread over several users who have an access to the blocks of the database. The question you need to ask yourself at this point is whether your project requires any third-party involvement.
- We have almost reached the finish. The bottom line is that you decided that you need a database that is shared between users who do not trust each other but must have the access to data customization. One would also most probably want to consider the risks. However, the Blockchain technologies reduce the probability of fraud to 0% thanks to the distributed concept and flexible, high-security architecture.
Summing everything up, let’s define the short rules and answer the question - “do you need Blockchain” briefly. The answer is NO if: you consider the Blockchain option solely due to its popularity; you can simply use any traditional type of database in your project. The answer is YES if: there is an obvious need in a shared database; there is a lack of trust between people who have the access to a database, you want to exclude the influence of intermediaries, the transactions require the highest level of security and reliability. So, here we are, check out our tips and try to come to an ultimate decision as to which type of database you need in your particular case. We hope we managed to help you ease the decision-making process but do not hesitate to contact us if you wonder whether your project needs a blockchain.