Blockchain is, and will remain, one of the most persecuted technologies in the world. There are many reasons why blockchain is so attractive, such as its security, ease of use, but most importantly its privacy.
In the blockchain ecosystem, a block refers to a data container or digital record, also called a transaction. Each block contains a timestamp and is connected chronologically, creating a continuous chain. The blocks are connected by a hash generated by a cryptographic algorithm and contain timestamps.
Changes to the information stored in a particular block are not rewritten, and it is virtually impossible to manipulate the data contained in it without detection, because old blocks are preserved forever and new blocks have been irrevocably added to the chain. For example, if a new block indicates that “A” has been changed to “B” at a certain date and time, it will be stored with the same timestamp as the old block, but will contain a different hash of the original block and not the new one.
Unlike traditional approaches, blockchains do not include central control and are called “distributed registers,” because the blocks are distributed and managed across multiple computers at the same time. By distributing the register and building a sense of trust in the data, blockchain participants can verify transaction documents.
Each time a new block is created, it is sent to every computer connected to the Internet that is part of the blockchain network. It is automatically linked to a hash from previous blocks and is generated for each new transaction record by specifying the date and time known as the timestamp. This creates a chain of records that automatically links to each other every time new transactions are added or existing transactions are updated, creating a single forward path that enlarges the block.
Each computer is known as a node, and each computer on the network shares the hash of the previous block with all computers that know it.
Each node uses the hash of the previous block to create a new block, and the next node participates in the blockchain network. Each node is responsible for playing a key role in maintaining the integrity of its network, since no node can ever make any changes to an existing block without regenerating the previous block. With a private key, a node could create a newer record of this block with the same hash as its previous one, but with a completely different hash.
The new shift
The IT landscape is being disrupted in a way that has not been seen since the rise of the Internet. Although the financial services industry is the most prominent industry harnessing the power of blockchains, there are several types of blockchain platforms that have cross-industry use cases. Ethereum specialises in contracts that are concluded by interested parties when certain conditions are met. It is a public blockchain platform that enables software developers to develop decentralised applications and use the cryptocurrency ether for financial transactions.
Ether is now one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, with a market volume of more than $1.5 billion. Ripple is another token platform designed as a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment and exchange for financial transactions. It uses a consensus process that allows payments, exchanges and transfers through a distributed process using XRP, now the third largest cryptocurrency in the world.
Platforms – Hyperledger
Hyperledger Fabric is a private blockchain network that requires its subscribers to register as a Membership Service Provider (MSP), while other blockchains are open. It is one of the few systems that allows unknown identities (nodes) to join the network without requiring protocols such as proof-of-work to validate and secure transactions. Founded in 2015 by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is an open source project for software developers to develop various blockchain frameworks and platforms to promote cross-industry blockchain technology. Hyperledger like Fabric can use distributed ledgers and smart contracts like any other blockchain, allowing their subscribers to manage their transactions seamlessly, but they are different from other blockchains.
The Hyperledger Fabric Network consists of more than 100,000 nodes, each with its own private blockchain protocol and smart contracts.
The MSP Fabric Certificate Authority (CA) has been introduced and issued to all network participants, ensuring foolproof testing by a trusted authority. This provides a strong identity for all devices and participants using an approved blockchain such as Hyperledger Fabric, where the identity of all participants is known. Identity is determined by the network’s smart contracts, not by a third-party certification authority or certification provider.
For all devices that are part of the blockchain network, a digital identity certificate that plays a crucial role in providing strong authentication and data encryption. For human participants, customised and fully automated authentication with a Smart Contract is a flexible token option that reduces the total cost of blockchain operation.
Although public key cryptography is the basic security basis of the blockchain network, it is of paramount importance to ensure the security of blockchain transactions by securely generating, using and storing crypto keys. Securing crypto keys is becoming crucial, as cryptography is also used to sign smart contracts to prove their origin and secure data stored in blockchain networks by ensuring the confidentiality of transactions.
To prevent malicious cyber attacks, it is critical for blockchain organisations to hire and hire blockchain security experts. Although blockchain may be the most secure form of digital currency on the market today, it would be foolish to take its security for granted. Crypto keys with SSL / TLS network connections can be created and stored in an HSM device for optimal protection against unauthorised access. Level 3 can also be validated by providing a secure way to exchange messages and manage authentication to ensure the integrity of blockchain transactions.