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by John MacKenna, Feb 08, 2018

With the Blockchain Training Alliance, Every Business Has a Distributed Use Case


Nodes

There is a blockchain use case in virtually every business, and a California-based training company is offering intensive, private training events to help businesses accelerate adoption and seize the lead. 

Ernesto Lee, CTO and a founding partner of California-based Blockchain Training Alliance, tells Distributed.com, “Blockchain is not just a new technology where you can write an application on the internet; it is equivalent to the internet. There is tremendous disruptive power, and businesses are creating their own internets that are hyperfocused on business use cases.”

Blockchain technology can solve the most critical problems in business, such as trust and security, according to Lee. For example, it applies the kind of immutability and transparency that is needed to protect investors from predators such as Bernie Madoff, who falsified financial reports to bilk clients out of more than $10 billion. 

“If you invest with a company that tracks your money on a blockchain, you can see where every penny goes and have complete accountability at all times,” Lee said.

Governments around the world are already using blockchain technology for Know Your Customer (KYC) and identity management, and companies such as uPort are marketing user-centric identity control platforms that enable consumers to protect personal information proactively.

“Soon blockchain will be everywhere and expected everywhere,” Lee said. “It was only in late 2017 that most blockchain specifications introduced lightweight options that allowed cellphones or tablets as nodes. Mobile blockchain apps are just getting started, and explosive acceleration is coming soon.” 

Consumer-Friendly Properties

Blockchain technology’s decentralization can offer far greater security than the internet, according to Lee. While a company that relies on centralized servers can be laid low by a single successful distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, blockchain technology’s peer-to-peer architecture and distributed ledger can make a network virtually impervious. 

“The more people that use the network, the more secure it becomes natively,” Lee explained. “That doesn’t mean it won’t be attacked and a node compromised, but the distributed architecture accounts for that, which makes hacking economically unviable. The built-in SHA-256 encryption is twice what the CIA recommends, so even if you hack a single node, you haven’t accomplished much.”

As companies look closely at blockchain technology, new cases proliferate rapidly. Government entities such as fishery regulators see opportunities to make seafood completely traceable from source to consumption. Transportation companies such as LaZooz see opportunities to outperform recent disruptors such as Uber. Manufacturers see the ability to authenticate every part of a complex finished product such as a motor vehicle.

The motor vehicle use case illustrates the values a blockchain can deliver to multiple parties in a business ecosystem. During manufacturing, the network can make the supply chain and assembly line more efficient and track provenance on every part. Post-sale, a blockchain can log all transactions and monitor onboard data recorders for events, which provides greater transparency for owners, buyers, regulators, finance companies and insurers. 

The cloud computing model that is now permeating business and consumer technology is yet another disruption target. Blockchain-based businesses like Storj and SingularityNET are brokering storage, computing and artificial intelligence among peer networks on blockchains.

“A company like Storj can provide cloud storage for less because they sell peer-to-peer without the middleman,” Lee said.

Use Cases Are Everywhere

Any use case for blockchain technology has four essential elements: a network, actors, assets and transactions, according to Lee. “There is not a single industry that does not have those elements, and there are clever people who don’t want their company to be the next Blockbuster, and they are building use cases now.” 

Blockchain Training Alliance helps businesses explore their opportunities with three types of training: remote via WebEx, public classes offered in large cities and private retreats.

“We recommend Blockchain Training: An Overview for Professionals to everyone and suggest that they explore the two main options for business applications, which are Ethereum and Hyperledger,” Lee explained. 

Five instructor-led courses are available now, focused on business overview, Ethereum, Hyperledger, security and architecting.

“The private training events are our bread and butter,” Lee said. 

Many businesses want a full immersion for their teams, and the Alliance satisfies them with private, weeklong events where teams explore use cases and compare blockchain options. 

“We identify the actors, the assets, and the nature of their transactions and see how they can cut costs, reduce friction on transaction, and eliminate middlemen,” Lee said.