Infosys experts share their views on how digital is significantly impacting enterprises and consumers by redefining experiences, simplifying processes and pushing collaborative innovation to new levels

« Chatbots: Transforming Customer Experience | Main | Microservices in the Insurance Industry - Part I »

Integrated Blockchain with API & Microservices

Industry leaders, economists, scientists and researchers have called out the most promising change agent that will impact day-to-day businesses and even our lives to be Blockchain. The impact will be more than any other technologies like AI, robotics, IoT, Driverless cars or Passenger spaceships that continuously make to the news stable. Knowing this, numerous FinTechs, Venture Capitalists, and Fortune 1000 firms are aggressively investing and researching to become the early adopters and gain advantage of this nascent technology.

Bottom-line, as Don Tapscott a leading technology author conveys “Blockchain is the revolution to bring the Internet 2.0 (Internet of Value) and it will become as ubiquitous or more as the current internet (Internet of Information)

The Internet as we know today created the information access easy for all. All of its products and byproducts enabled positive changes and allowed us to immerse in this pervasive technology becoming part of our lives. However, it poses serious limitations for economic activity and businesses. We cannot establish a party’s identity without the help of an intermediary like bank to transact a basic money exchange. These intermediaries in turn invade our privacy and control virtual identity of ours for their own business benefits. We also see a rise in credit card frauds, identity thefts and many governments still don’t have laws to keep up with the Outlaws of technology.

There is a need in the online world that allows democratization of “assets”. E.g. Peer to peer transactions for Remittances, Votes, Art, Media (Music, Films), Intellectual Property, Royalty, Contracts, Deeds, Coupons, Financial assets such as Options, Futures, Bonds, Stocks or even Real-Estate.

Blockchain attempts to solve this need, through the fundamental internet problem of ‘Trust’ without an intermediary. When it was created along with the Crypto-currency Bitcoin, the original problem it solved was of “double-spending” (when a user sends $10 to another, the transaction is not sending a copy of $10 but the asset itself, the sender shouldn’t have $10 with her at the end of transaction). Blockchain does this by establishing a Trust Protocol without the need for an intermediary.

In Principle Blockchain protocol follows a simple rule - A transaction is computed by distributed nodes of the internet by billions of devices that ensures the Integrity of data. There is no need for 3rd party mediators. The miners in the network do the validation, verification and establishment of the truth for a peer to peer transaction. The transactions are added to the “blocks” (e.g. all transactions in last 10 minutes worldwide). These blocks are now added to the “chain” of the public ledger “sealed” with a timestamp. To decrypt or hack a transaction, you need to know the complete chain - it will take humongous computing transactions to simultaneously hack all the blocks in an infinitely long chain of blocks. This is Immutable. It is Write-Only.

One of the reasons why it is a game changer even for businesses and has gained interests in corporates who have learnt the hard way about the fallibility of the current internet (hacks on JPMorgan, Target, Yahoo, etc.) Further, every Transaction and blocks are on the public ledger making it Transparent *and incorruptible. For any industry, this also offers *Trace-ability as every transaction is a contract between parties sealed with a timestamp.

Example use cases:

  1. In the Financial industry, an example of remittance from Canada to Kenya today goes through not 1 or 2 banks but almost 10-12 intermediaries each shaving of a part of the money that eventually is a money lost by the remitter. Similarly, a credit card transaction goes through multiple parties before it is settled. The possibilities are enormous by removing these intermediaries involving loans, stocks, bonds or any financial asset.
  2. In the Entertainment industry, internet piracy has resulted in artists not having any control of their created content. With Blockchain, a music single can be launched directly by the artist that can be bought by each consumer without the need to go through any mediators like records or publishing companies.
  3. In the Energy industry, Carbon credits or green loyalty points can directly be awarded to the consumers by the providers and sellers without the need for Tax Credits or State laws based on energy consumption measured using IoT devices.
  4. In Retail, the payment channels can be shortened for online or even in-store purchases with Crypto-currencies that are instantly settled. Shipments can be monitored as part of the rules to create the immutable blocks.
  5. Luxury goods from rare Arts to Villas can be easily purchased internationally which today requires a lot of bureaucratic hurdles, taxes and multiple middle payments.
  6. Social uplift is possible through multiple opportunities where Credit Card History does not have to be a prerequisite for financial aids. Micro-loans can be cashless.
  7. In government and public services, Blockchain can create direct voter to legislator relationship for any decisions impacting citizens. A “Blockchain Vote” removes any fraud related to voting or surveys. It also removes any form of corruption in the public-government-corporate nexus.
  8. It fosters People to create their own monetization models without depending on multiple regulatory authorities.

A key benefit for the online user is that there is no compromise on the privacy of the data to deal with the intermediaries.

The opportunities are immense and has positive bearings on socio-politico-economic lives of the population at large.

For us in Infosys, our API & Microservice solutions are based on paradigms such as iPAAS, Cloud-Integrations, Open Source Microservices that relates with these key themes of Trust, Integrity of Data, Transparency and Traceability.

Blockchain technologies have already sprung up such as OpenChain, Hyperledger that allows RESTful APIs, Digital Wallet integrations, Private Sidechains for enterprise adaption in the form of Cloud, On-Premise and subscription based Blockchain contracts.

Microsoft and Amazon have cloud development environments and support for platforms such as Etherium. We have done some exercises focusing on APIs and widgets for Microservices that creates smart-contracts.

Many are exploring Distributed databases for enterprises that can serve as tamper proof write-only ledger system and a Microservices/API layer for different bespoke functionalities from contracts to crypto-currencies and digital assets.

In essence, Blockchain technologies in Enterprises provides opportunities in integrating with new systems through standardized APIs and monetization models, create faster functional apps through Microservices and business process changes with BPM and RPA.

Please watch out for more information as we create go to market solutions on Integrating Blockchain with Enterprises.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please key in the two words you see in the box to validate your identity as an authentic user and reduce spam.