Blockchain has become a “Buzzword” in the business word today, and many Chief Technology Officers are under pressure to demonstrate their company is keeping up with technology and plan a “blockchain innovation” which will allow them to keep pace with their competitors.
But the problems for these Chief Technology Officers is not getting their Chief Executive Officers interested in the blockchain, it’s figuring out how to use the core strengths of a blockchain to improve their current “Legacy” systems and processes. The issues are familiar, costs, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for gains in market share and opportunities for losses of market share also. Add to this mix the technological unknown with its risk of hacking, with the theft of confidential customer information, plus proprietary information and you can guarantee many sleepless nights for the Chief Technology Officer. These shared unknowns and common deficiency of technological expertise has given rise to consortiums between competitors seeking to learn what their competitors know and possibly steal or “borrow” it, and also benefit from multiple technological minds brainstorming common problems. It’s like getting the expertise of your competitors for free or at least for the price of what your company knows, which may be very little, so this exchange is free for you, but yields valuable knowledge.
These consortiums can yield benefits if you brainstorm placing common processes on the blockchain, which doesn’t require you to divulge trade secrets, as many processes are done the same between competitors with only differences in scale. These exchanges can be fruitful enough to lead to active blockchain solutions that work and yield benefits to all participating. The devil is of course in the details. All consortium derived blockchain solutions should be decentralized, distributed, immutable and have shared governance. No one player should control the code or the computer centers or nodes which maintain the blockchain ledger. In short these consortium blockchains must be “trustless” and not rely on FairPlay to prevent one member from exploiting it to their advantage. This decentralized nature of a blockchain is the opposite of the way most organizations are built, but is a necessity for these blockchain organizations. Shared or distributed governance provides all members equal access to the advantages of this shared blockchain product and guarantees no member can extract fees, proprietary information or customer information from any other members as a condition of participation. While it seems like a difficult task for companies with no blockchain experience, the beauty of the blockchain is that it’s founders have already created a blueprint of the five core elements of a blockchain, which produce the decentralized organization your trying to build.
This is not an exhaustive explanation, but it’s written to hopefully explain to people who don’t write computer code or have a wealth of experience with blockchains hope, that these complexities can be translated to easier to understand English, and you can maintain control of your company technological assets on the blockchain because you can choose which processes are common and shared and which are proprietary and can only be excesses with permission.