– A cost per transactions which can be high: Miners only participate in the process of mining because they hope to get the reward (coinbase and fees) allocated to minors who have added a block to the blockchain. For them it is a business, this reward will finance the costs they have incurred in the process of mining (electricity, computer equipment, internet connection). Tokens that are distributed to them are directly issued by the Protocol, but the fees are supported by the users. In the case of the bitcoin, for example, minors receive 12.5 bitcoins for each block added, to which are added fees paid by the users to add their transactions to the blocks. These fees are variable and the higher the demand to add transactions, the higher the fees.
The cheapest and most simple option is doing calculations on your local network (off-chain) and integrating with main blockchain by sending the results. It has flaws; you cannot live full advantage of blockchain as we do in bitcoin, because you will still have existing constraints of your current system. Despite all this, it is still a valid option; perhaps you won't need all the features of blockchain technology. Perhaps it is just enough to use blockchain only for your pain points. Factom can be considered under that kind of option. They used bitcoin wisely in their design. They hold the actual mass data in their network and utilize stability of bitcoin in their solution. This project is so successful that at coindesk magazine, it is saying that Factom can be used for the land titles in Honduras. http://www.coindesk.com/debate-f...
That is however not all. Sidechains also have some specific use cases, unique to a certain blockchain. One example is the usage of sidechains in EOS. EOS is currently facing a RAM problem. RAM is too expensive and developers are complaining. Sidechains could compete with the EOS mainchain by having lower RAM prices, this would lead to competition, incentivizing both the EOS mainchain block producers and sidechain block producers (mainchain and sidechains of EOS are maintained by the same group of block producers) to keep the RAM price as low as possible. This also means there is more RAM available, so the RAM price will go down as a result.

The ShipChain platform unifies shipment tracking on the Ethereum blockchain, using a sidechain to track individual encrypted geographic waypoints across each smart contract. With this system, the meaning of each cryptographic waypoint is only accessible for interpretation by the parties involved in the shipment itself. This gives shippers more visibility across their supply chain, and allows carriers to communicate with ease.
Sidechain transactions using a two-way peg effectively only allow for intra-chain transactions. A transfer from Bitcoin (parent chain) to Ethereum (sidechain) would allow a user to use the functionality of Ethereum (i.e., fully expressive smart contracts), but the underlying original asset would remain precisely that, Bitcoin. So, a Bitcoin on an Ethereum sidechain technically remains a Bitcoin.

Peer-to-peer blockchain networks lack centralized points of vulnerability that computer crackers can exploit; likewise, it has no central point of failure. Blockchain security methods include the use of public-key cryptography.[4]:5 A public key (a long, random-looking string of numbers) is an address on the blockchain. Value tokens sent across the network are recorded as belonging to that address. A private key is like a password that gives its owner access to their digital assets or the means to otherwise interact with the various capabilities that blockchains now support. Data stored on the blockchain is generally considered incorruptible.[1]
Note: Some would argue that such a system cannot be defined as a blockchain. Also, Blockchain is still in it’s early stages. It is unclear how the technology will pan out and will be adopted. Many argue that private or federated Blockchains might suffer the fate of Intranets in the 1990’s, when private companies built their own private LANs or WANs instead of using the public Internet and all the services, but has more or less become obsolete especially with the advent of SAAS in the Web2.
Note: This is also a pioneering effort towards increased adoption of smart contracts because while the traditional contracts have been around for a long time, smart contracts are relatively new, and there are gaps in how they are structured. If the smart contracts have the necessary legal expressions then that could serve as a template to bridge this gap in future.
There has been tremendous interest in blockchain, the technology on which Bitcoin functions. Nakamoto developed the blockchain as an acceptable solution to the game theory puzzle – Byzantine General’s Problem. This lead to a number of firms adopting the technology in different ways to solve real world issues, wherever there was an element of trust involved. Majority of them could be relating to the ability to provide proof of ownership – for documents, software modules/licenses, voting etc.
By the end of this post, you’ll be able to freely participate in conversations like the above. This is not a coding tutorial, as we’ll just be presenting important concepts at a high level. However, we may follow up with programming tutorials on these ideas. This article will be helpful to both programmers and non-programmers alike. Let’s get going!
– 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.

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).
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That is however not all. Sidechains also have some specific use cases, unique to a certain blockchain. One example is the usage of sidechains in EOS. EOS is currently facing a RAM problem. RAM is too expensive and developers are complaining. Sidechains could compete with the EOS mainchain by having lower RAM prices, this would lead to competition, incentivizing both the EOS mainchain block producers and sidechain block producers (mainchain and sidechains of EOS are maintained by the same group of block producers) to keep the RAM price as low as possible. This also means there is more RAM available, so the RAM price will go down as a result.
– The manipulation of the blockchain: It is indeed possible to come back at any time on the transactions that have already been added to the blockchain and therefore change the balance of the members. In a public blockchain, such operation would require that 51% of the hashing power (i.e capacity to mine) is concentrated in the hands of the same entity. This not theory anymore since it happened beginning 2014 when the cooperative of GHash minor reached the 51% threshold.
Transactions are cheaper, since they only need to be verified by a few nodes that can be trusted to have very high processing power, and do not need to be verified by ten thousand laptops. This is a hugely important concern right now, as public blockchains tend to have transaction fees exceeding $0.01 per tx, but it is important to note that it may change in the long term with scalable blockchain technology that promises to bring public-blockchain costs down to within one or two orders of magnitude of an optimally efficient private blockchain system
What Bitcoin’s development team is essentially doing through feature-creep is forcing everyone in the non-tech world to use Bitcoin through commercial proxies to avoid all this complexity (crypto-what? security? sidechain?), which effectively results in the loss of security, relative anonymity and decentralized properties that helped to make it interesting in the first place.
As you know, we at LTP have been doing a lot of research to understand other use cases of blockchain apart from Bitcoin-based payments. Recently we had released a comprehensive analysis of 50+ startups and 20 use-cases of blockchain. Though there have been news of large companies accepting bitcoin (Ex.: Amazon, Microsoft, Dell) and the overall acceptance reaching a 100,000+ merchants figure, upon deeper examination we realize that large corporations do not store the Bitcoin payments. They generally partner with a Bitcoin payment processor who converts the Bitcoins to cash as and when they receive a payment and this converted amount is what the corporates take into their account. What a bummer!
Over the last year the concept of “private blockchains” has become very popular in the broader blockchain technology discussion. Essentially, instead of having a fully public and uncontrolled network and state machine secured by cryptoeconomics (eg. proof of work, proof of stake), it is also possible to create a system where access permissions are more tightly controlled, with rights to modify or even read the blockchain state restricted to a few users, while still maintaining many kinds of partial guarantees of authenticity and decentralization that blockchains provide. Such systems have been a primary focus of interest from financial institutions, and have in part led to a backlash from those who see such developments as either compromising the whole point of decentralization or being a desperate act of dinosaurish middlemen trying to stay relevant (or simply committing the crime of using a blockchain other than Bitcoin). However, for those who are in this fight simply because they want to figure out how to best serve humanity, or even pursue the more modest goal of serving their customers, what are the practical differences between the two styles?
Many blockchain enthusiasts believe in the value of networks that are not only decentralized — which most closely resembles the current model of the Internet — but distributed. This includes Tim Berners-Lee, who founded the World Wide Web in 1989. Berners-Lee has proposed that blockchains can be used to reinvent the web in a more distributed and peer-to-peer fashion.
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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.

The paper outlines some critical developments and associated problems that were both currently trending and forward-thinking at the time, many of them still very much relevant today. At the time, altcoins were quickly gaining prominence and the problems associated with their volatility, security, and lack of interoperability with Bitcoin raised concerns. The paper primarily addressed 6 issues that pegged sidechains aimed to provide a solution:
A blockchain is a distributed computing architecture where every node runs in a peer-to-peer topology, where each node executes and records the same transactions. These transactions are grouped into blocks. Each block contains a one-way hash value. Each new block is verified independently by peer nodes and added to the chain when a consensus is reached. These blocks are linked to their predecessor blocks by the unique hash values, forming a chain. In this way, the blockchain’s distributed dataset (a.k.a. distributed ledger) is kept in consensus across all nodes in the network. Individual user interactions (transactions) with the ledger are append-only, immutable, and secured by strong cryptography. Nodes in the network, in particular the public network, that maintain and verify the transactions (a.k.a. mining) are incentivized by mathematically enforced economic incentives coded into the protocol. All mining nodes will eventually have the same dataset throughout.
Side-chain is another blockchain for one blockchain. To use side-chain of Bitcoin, for instance, you need to move BTC from the original chain to the side-chain. Then, BTC on the original chain is locked and the same amount of BTC on the side-chain appears. This is how BTC can be used/tested on another chain where we use some features different from the original ones.
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.
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