In the past two years, blockchain has become a topic on everyone's lips in the industry. So, what is blockchain?A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block contains typically a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.
Is blockchain a sustainable industry? HUAWEI CLOUD believes that having solid underlying technological capabilities is the entire basis for ensuring the development of blockchain and is the way to securing sustainability and competitiveness.
Which are the features of blockchain? First, data is written and maintained by multiple parties. Second, ledgers are public and data is shared. Third, intermediaries are removed and the layout changes from single-center to multi-center one. Fourth, data share security mechanisms ensure that data cannot be tampered with.
One huge value of blockchain is that data cannot be reversed during transfer, which effectively simplifies the process and improves efficiency while reducing costs. HUAWEI CLOUD breaks downs blockchain into four categories and nine scenarios in the current state of development (see Table 1).
Table 1: Four categories and nine application scenarios of blockchain
To better assist the industry in transforming to the trusted digital society, HUAWEI CLOUD released the Blockchain Service (BCS) platform in 2018. This platform is a combination of the open source blockchain technologies and the core technologies in Huawei’s enterprise-level cloud service portfolio – services like distributed parallel computing, PaaS, data management, and security encryption. HUAWEI CLOUD BCS is an open, easy-to-use, flexible, and efficient general technology. It helps enterprises quickly and efficiently build blockchain solutions and applications on HUAWEI CLOUD.
The overall logical architecture of HUAWEI CLOUD BCS is divided into four layers and two columns. The layered architecture design of Huawei BCS helps enterprises quickly and easily implement the available features into their layout.
- Resource layer: HUAWEI CLOUD IaaS and PaaS layers provide the blockchain system with unlimited storage, high-speed networking, elastic scaling servers, and automatic fault recovery.
- Service platform: Featuring robust reliability and scalability, the service platform is being expanded into such frameworks as Corda and EEA. It provides high security, high reliability, and high performance for upper-layer applications while keeping the cost low.
- Contract layer: Use standard intelligent contract interface Hyperledger so users can build their own contracts to suit the particulars of their profile. HUAWEI CLOUD is working with partners to build smart contract libraries for common scenarios, such as supply chain management and source tracing, supply chain finance, digital asset inventorying, public welfare, Internet insurance, and long list of other applications.
- Service application layer: Provides trusted, secure, agile blockchain applications, allowing users to select from various solutions provided by HUAWEI CLOUD (such as the supply chain finance, gaming industry, supply chain source tracing solution, and new energy solutions) to quickly build their blockchain applications.
- System security: The most important feature of the alliance chain is node controllability and ledger security. HUAWEI CLOUD security can provide all-round security assurance for blockchain nodes, ledgers, intelligent contracts, and upper-layer applications.
- Software development cloud: Users can use the software development cloud to implement continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) into the full-series of their processes, such as service application and intelligent contract development, testing, and deployment.
Powered by the secure, reliable, and high-performance HUAWEI CLOUD platform, BCS provides enterprise-level easy-to-use blockchain services for enterprises and developers. Enterprises and developers can deploy and run enterprise-class commercial-use blockchain services within five minutes, saving about 80% of the development and deployment costs involved with building blockchains while achieving up to 10000+ TPS in processing power. Adding to the appeal, BCS can be built in Kubernetes and Docker.
Blockchain is an open digital value stream. It builds a new value network and builds trust on top of technology. Huawei projects the following four things will take place in the development of the blockchain feature:
First, 2018 is year for blockchain. Before the standard is finalized, PoC is the focus for different industries. Data storage for public agency, IoT logistics and IoV applications, cloud network collaboration, and supply chain finance will be the first to have well-formed industry-specific solutions. This is because these areas need to use blockchain to build transparent business environments and resolve data sovereignty issues.
Second, from the technical perspective, security is a critical issue to consider when building blockchains. Cryptographic algorithm will become a major market application standard in China. The blockchain framework will include three layers: cloud, pipeline, and device (terminals). Software and hardware are used together to build highly reliable security capabilities.
Third, from the perspective of the development of the blockchain industry, China, the US, and Europe will be the three top regions with the highest level of blockchain adoption. The future business development of blockchain requires clear industry policy as the incubation environment continues to develop rapidly.
Fourth, from the perspective of the development of the blockchain framework, the trusted hardware environment will provide chip-level blockchain security and accelerated performance. This is an important direction in the industry.
HUAWEI CLOUD BCS will be gradually deployed in different management domains of HUAWEI CLOUD and the public clouds of its global partners. The global deployment can be gradually achieved, and the multi-center capability of blockchains can be maximized, ensuring the security and high availability of the blockchain systems. With public and private chain options, HUAWEI CLOUD BCS is able to fully satisfy the varying deployment requirements of enterprises and even individual users.