^ Jump up to: a b c d Bhaskar, Nirupama Devi; Chuen, David Lee Kuo (2015). "3 – Bitcoin Mining Technology". In Cheun, David Lee Kuo. Handbook of Digital Currency: Bitcoin, Innovation, Financial Instruments, and Big Data. Academic Press. pp. 47–51. ISBN 978-0-12-802117-0. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via ScienceDirect.
@gendal I am discussing private chains with prospects, so my interest is not superficial and theoretical. I see the benefits for the organization in using the private chain as another form of internal database, with better security properties. It can also be used where a service bus product would be today, to facilitate integration, conformance, monitoring, audit. Private chain can also, via a two way peg, be connected to the main chain, achieving a form of public/private network divide that routers created for us in the early stages of the Internet development. Anything else on the benefits side that I missed?
The first question to answer is “What is public blockchain?” The very name of this type of networks implies that they are open and permissionless. It means that anyone in the world can join the network, add blocks and view the information stored there. Indeed, public blockchains are totally transparent as any of their members can audit them. For this reason, independent participants can easily agree on transactions without middlemen and the fear of deception.
My chief concern is not with the concept of side chains per se (yet). I have still much to learn about how they are being considered. I am only concerned with the way the concept is being presented here. However, I am sure that much of this was due to space restrictions as much as anything. The concept of side chains is an intriguing one. It is also clearly attempting to address a major problem with the whole Bitcoin scheme- namely the verification latency it introduces for transactions. This is only one of the hurdles facing Bitcoins acceptance into the world of commerce, but it is a considerable one.
Let’s switch gears quickly before we get back to talking about trust mechanisms. We’ll define what a “smart contract” is. The first blockchain that was popularized is obviously the Bitcoin blockchain. But the functionality of Bitcoin is very limited. All it can do is record transaction information. It’s only useful to keep track of the fact that Alice sent Bob 1 Bitcoin.
The creation of sidechains have been a direct result of scalability issues associated with the main blockchain for projects such as Ethereum. Making sidechains increasingly popular way to speed up transactions. Lisk was the first decentralized application (dapp) to implement sidechains. With Lisk, each dapp created exists on its own sidechain without interfering with the mainchain.
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Plasma, a project by Ethereum, uses this side chain concept. It encourages transactions to happen on side chains (or child chains). An authority governs each of the child chains. If the authority starts acting maliciously, anyone on the child chain can quit the child chain and take back their pegged assets on the main chain. It’s in its early stages of development but shows a lot of promise in handling some of Ethereum’s scalability issues.
Cohen recently noted that before blockchain is practical in retail, brands have to understand its relevance. NPD said it’s not just about payment methods or sourcing transparency. It also has the potential to touch all areas of a company. Cohen highlights a few areas where blockchain has the ability to impact retail including revolutionizing supply chain management, preventing against counterfeiting, simplifying payments and creating safer data security.
A consortium blockchain is part public, part private. This split works at the level of the consensus process: on a consortium chain, a pre-selected group of nodes control the consensus process, but other nodes may be allowed to participate in creating new transactions and/or reviewing it. The specific configuration of each consortium chain (i.e., which nodes have the power to authorize transactions via the consensus process, which can review the history of the chain, which can create new transactions, and more) is the decision of each individual consortium.
It might seem that this technology is beneficial for any business, but it is not. Quite often projects fail to justify their will of public or private blockchain implementation. The key reason to use blockchain is the inefficiency of existing centralized solution that is slow, expensive, and lacks transparency and reliability. In other cases, blockchain isn’t required.
A big thanks to Diego Salvador for helping me write this episode. Him and the rest of the team over at Rootstock are doing fantastic work with cryptocurrency and Sidechains. We wish them all the best. I'll be sure to leave a link to their website in the top of the description so you can go check it out and learn more if you wish. And as always, be sure to subscribe and I will see you next time.
Walmart recently filed patents that could allow the retailer to store vendor and consumer e-commerce payment data using blockchain technology to improve security. This application would encrypt payment information in digital shopping systems and create a network able to automatically conduct transactions on behalf of a customer. The payments would be received by one vendor or more, depending on the services and who provided them.
Pegged sidechains employ a two-way peg to transfer assets between chains, and they consist of providing proof of possession in the transferring transactions. The idea is to enable the capability of locking an asset on an original parent chain, which can then be transferred to a sidechain before eventually being redeemed on the original chain. Notably, the original asset on the parent chain is locked in a specific output address and is not destroyed like early implementations of sidechains.
This type of blockchains can be considered a middle-ground for companies that are interested in the blockchain technology in general but are not comfortable with a level of control offered by public networks. Typically, they seek to incorporate blockchain into their accounting and record-keeping procedures without sacrificing autonomy and running the risk of exposing sensitive data to the public internet.

So, there is a kind of centralized authority that decides who has a right to contribute to and to audit the network. What is more – it’s possible to restrict viewing information stored on private blockchains. It might seem that in such conditions, a blockchain is no longer the blockchain as it lacks transparency and decentralization. Well, these remarks are fair, but only when the network is estimated from the outside. Within it, the rules remain the same as for public networks: it is still transparent for all the members.
When blockchain technology was introduced to the public in 2008 (via Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous white paper), it would have been hard to predict that private or consortium blockchains would become popular. But recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about this in the digital currency community. Many companies are beginning to experiment with blockchain by implementing private and consortium chains, although some people are critical of this. This discussion not only centers on use cases and benefits, but whether non-public blockchains are an appropriate application of the protocol to begin with.
Mastercoin and Counterparty are embedded consensus protocols (or meta-protocols) that use the blockchain to store their transactional data. Bitcoin devs, except Peter Todd who was hired by both teams to help them find a proper solution, are very unhappy, to say mildly, about storing the data on the blockchain. Heated discussions on this topic go on for hundreds of pages on bitcointalk and Mastercoin github issue. Mining pools like Eligius started censoring Mastercoin transactions (not sure if they are continuing with this practice right now, but the operators of this pool are adamant that data do not belong to the blockchain).
A Sidechain, in simplest terms, is just a separate blockchain but is attached to the parent through the use of a two-way peg which allows for assets to be interchangeable and moved across the chain at a fixed deterministic exchange rate. This two-way peg works by utilizing simple payment verification or SPV as it's otherwise known. To show and prove ownership of the assets on the parent chain.
The sidechains vision of the future is of a vast globe-spanning decentralized network of many blockchains, an intertwined cable rather than a single strand, each with its own protocol, rules, and features — but all of them backed by Bitcoin, and protected by the Bitcoin mining network, as the US dollar was once backed by gold. Sidechains can also be used to prototype changes to the fundamental Bitcoin blockchain. One catch, though: this will require a small tweak to the existing Bitcoin protocol.
Imagine there is a Bitcoin-like system out there that you’d like to use. Perhaps it’s litecoin or ethereum or perhaps it’s something brand new.   Maybe it has a faster block confirmation interval and a richer scripting language. It doesn’t matter.   The point is: you’d like to use it but would rather not have to go through the risk and effort of buying the native tokens for that platform. You have Bitcoins already. Why can’t you use them?
Bitcoin blockchain design has been done for a specific purpose, and this is a money (crypto currency) transfer. But what will we do, if we want to change or add some functions of the bitcoin blockchain? What if we want to transfer other assets rather than money, what if we want to do transactions automatically when pre-determined events occurred. Or what if we don't want other people see our transactions, or track our transactions' history. You can ask countless of what if questions and every answer to these questions drive you to a different blockchain or configurations
The creation of sidechains have been a direct result of scalability issues associated with the main blockchain for projects such as Ethereum. Making sidechains increasingly popular way to speed up transactions. Lisk was the first decentralized application (dapp) to implement sidechains. With Lisk, each dapp created exists on its own sidechain without interfering with the mainchain.

– The transactions added to the blockchain are public: the whole world (Member of the network as non-members) can access transactions that are added to the blockchain. The information of the transactions is made public for the miners who do not know the other members, to check the conformity (for example that the person who has created a transaction holds enough bitcoins). These transactions are obviously not nominative, only your public key appears, but if someone knows your public key, he will be able to find all the transactions that you have created.
Hasta la fecha (Agosto del 2016), las sidechains sobre Bitcoin no son más que algo teórico. Una implementación de este tipo requeriría de un cambio en el código Bitcoin (hay miembros de la comunidad Bitcoin con gran prestigio, como es el caso de Peter Todd, que argumentan que una sidechain, tal y como la describe Blockstream en su paper, no podrían llevarse a la práctica en Bitcoin sin hacer un gran cambio, hard fork, en Bitcoin). En el mismo paper de blockstream se reconoce que una implementación de este tipo, la cual su teoría es simple pero su implementación compleja, se enfrenta a problemas que no está del todo claro que puedan solventarse (y no todos son de tipo técnico).
The main point of a side-chain is to allow cryptocurrency networks to scale and interact with one-another. For example alt-coins and Bitcoin run on separate chains, however side chains allow for these separate currencies to be transferred through these two-way 'portal's or interfaces via a fixed conversion amount. Added benefits of side-chains are different asset classes like,stocks, bonds etc being integrated through a converted price onto the main chain, along with additional functionality like smart contracts,unique D-Apps, micro-payments and security updates that can be later incorporated into the primary network from these side-chains.
“The consortium or company running a private blockchain can easily, if desired, change the rules of a blockchain, revert transactions, modify balances, etc. In some cases, e.g. national land registries, this functionality is necessary; there is no way a system would be allowed to exist where Dread Pirate Roberts can have legal ownership rights over a plainly visible piece of land, and so an attempt to create a government-uncontrollable land registry would in practice quickly devolve into one that is not recognized by the government itself….
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