What is blockchain?
If Bitcoin is a blockchain, is every blockchain a bitcoin?
What are apps and dApps?
What businesses and organizations use blockchain apps today?
We are excited to answer such questions and encourage you to contact us to learn more about blockchain, dApps, and how ZorroSign delivers superior privacy and security with blockchain technology! Read on . . .
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) leveraging cryptography—user authentication, data encryption and verification—to secure information records (blocks) distributed across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. DLTs replicate, share, and synchronize digital data geographically spread across multiple sites (nodes), with no central data storage or administrator.
They can be run publicly (open) or privately (permissioned):
- Public blockchains, or open blockchains, allow anyone to run an endpoint node on the public network. Users can participate by mining a block or making transactions on the blockchain. Famous cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are public blockchains.
- Private blockchains restrict the endpoints or peers that can store data, requiring permission to participate on the private network. As such, permissioned blockchains are not used as cryptocurrencies, but instead make excellent business applications for storing, securing, and sharing data. Hyperledger Fabric is a ready example of a consortium private blockchain, allowing organizations to grant limited permissions to those endpoints participating on the blockchain.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Apps
Cryptocurrencies on public blockchains essentially produce a coin which serves as digital money. Cryptocurrency coins have the same characteristics as fiat money: They are acceptable, divisible, durable, fungible, portable, and have limited supply. For example, Ether is the coin of Ethereum and Lumen is the coin of Stellar. Cryptocurrency coins are held in digital walletsthat store private/public keys and interact with various public blockchains to enable users to send and receive digital currencies and tokens.
“Bitcoin was arguably the first dApp,” writes Computerworld. “Enabling anyone in the world to download a bit of open-source code to join a blockchain network and verify transactions using a ‘mining’ algorithm, thereby generating digital currency (cryptocurrency) as a reward.”
DApps, or decentralized applications, are computer programs running on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs). With private blockchain dApps, an organization controls access to the blockchain—limiting its distribution but also elevating its security. So while cryptocurrencies are often in the news for major purchases, market fluctuations, and hacks, blockchain business apps make the news by showcasing how blockchain can advance business, government, healthcare, and many other industries.
Mobindustry Corp notes some popular dApps such as:
- IBM Blockchain – one of the best blockchain apps that helps logistics companies and businesses with long supply chains to track the status and condition of every product on each stage of the supply process: from the start of production to the distribution stage. Blockchain provides full transparency of records, and offers real-time tracking of all parts in terms of their location and condition.
- MedRec – a healthcare example of blockchain app that provides secure access to medical records across different providers and actors, like doctors, patients, hospitals, pharmacies and insurance companies.
- Spotify – uses blockchain database for decentralized connection between Spotify tracks, artists and licensing agreements.
DApps on Hyperledger Fabric
Hyperledger Fabric is a private blockchain that emerged from an open-source collaborative effort hosted by the Linux Foundation. Built to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies and improve trust, transparency and accountability, Hyperledger Fabric’s “modular architecture maximizes the confidentiality, resilience, and flexibility of blockchain solutions,” explains IBM.
Hyperledger was built for data protection and confidential transactions, and “was introduced to accelerate industry-wide collaboration for developing high-performance and reliable blockchain,” says the Blockchain Council.
Some prominent Hyperledger Fabric deployments include:
- Chainyard, designed to improve supplier validation, onboarding and life cycle information management
- Honeywell Aerospace to create an Amazon-type marketplace for used aircraft parts
- IBM Blockchain Platform
- Walmart to create a food traceability system—decentralizing its food supply ecosystem to quickly find the source when an outbreak of a food-borne disease happens
- ZorroSign digital signature, document management, IDaaS, and transaction management platform
“Hyperledger Fabric is intended as a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture,” notes Hyperledger.org “Hyperledger Fabric allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play. Its modular and versatile design satisfies a broad range of industry use cases. It offers a unique approach to consensus that enables performance at scale while preserving privacy.”
Focused on B2B collaboration where transactions taking place on the network are only visible to the authorized members, Hyperledger Fabric allows dApps to choose between no consensus needed and an agreement protocol—greatly speeding transaction times while minimizing energy requirements to update the blockchain.
- For example, “transactions in the ledgers of Fabric nodes are always in the same order—they don’t get out of sync,” says BlocWatch. “So any application reading from a Fabric ledger doesn’t have to wait for blocks to age; they can be trusted immediately.”
- Further, private enterprise blockchain use significantly less energy than public cryptocurrency blockchains, explains Michael Barnard in a CleanTechnica report.
“Think of it as an operating system for marketplaces, micro-currencies, data-sharing networks and decentralized digital communities,” says GamesdApp.
ZorroSign on Hyperledger Fabric
The ZorroSign platform was built from the ground up on Hyperledger Fabric and delivers digital signatures, identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) features, digital document management, user verification and document authentication, and much more. Our dApp is available on iOS or Android, and can be readily accessed from any device—PC or mobile—anywhere in the world.
“We are proud to deliver a mature blockchain solution for digital signatures that is cost-effective and more secure than any encrypted e-signature technology that relies upon public-key infrastructure for security credentials,” says ZorroSign co-founder and CEO, Shamsh Hadi. “ZorroSign’s platform efficiently leverages blockchain to protect online identities and documents such as business agreements, government files, healthcare records, and other legal evidence stored in digital formats.”
For businesses, institutions, and individuals that desire to securely digitize paper-based workflows, ZorroSign’s digital signature and document management platform can decrease costs, reduce clerical errors, and increase productivity. Plus as a private blockchain, ZorroSign’s architecture has even tighter privacy and security measures than other blockchains.