Why Single Application Sidechains are Beneficial for Large Corporations

Mappo
Mappo
Nov 12, 2018 · 6 min read

In the last few months we have posted a number of articles delving into the technology behind aelf, but all the technology in the world needs to have clear benefits to society and direct use-cases. Aelf has incorporated many new developments into the aelf blockchain ecosystem in order to improve blockchain usability by businesses. These include parallel processing and database separation for scalability improvements, cluster nodes, and single application sidechains for flexibility and governance. This article will be looking at how one aspect of aelf technology will provide clear benefits to the current situation facing large enterprises.


Single Application Sidechains

What is wrong with current blockchain tech?

Currently any application running on a blockchain is required to run on the same blockchain as many other applications. Think of it similar to dozens of businesses running their own specific applications on the one computer. Should you require heavy graphics or powerful processing, it won’t matter as there is just the one computer everyone uses (resource segregation). Flexibility is at a minimum and should you require one aspect to be upgraded, you will need to acquire the agreement of every the majority of application holders on the computer, regardless of if it is beneficial to or affects them (poor governance). Should an upgrade be agreed upon, there is enormous effort required to bring all parties to incorporate the new upgrade; but with saying this, in regards to scalability, similarly to a physical computer, one can only upgrade so much before it is not cost-effective or simply not feasible (limited scalability). In addition to these complications, should one application use up all the computer’s resources and slow the machine down, all other applications will be negatively impacted to the same degree. This example identifies three key problems with the current blockchain model: Lack of resource segregation, poor governance and limited scalability.

What are Single Application Sidechains?

Single Application sidechains are specific blockchains which branch off a ‘mainchain’, but are designated to a specific application or use case. Using our example from above, instead of a single machine, we now have one powerful computer (mainchain) plus many other application specific computers. The sole purpose of the mainchain computer is not to run applications, but to run the network connecting all the other computers, verify all the data with the applications and provide overall protection and oversight. Then we have multiple separate devices which benefit from the mainchain oversite, but run their own application. Each computer is designed specifically to the requirements of the respective application, ensuring resources can be maximized and application processes are optimized. Now if one machine runs out of resources or slows down, it will not affect any other application and can easily and quickly adjusted to the new requirements.

Now replace each computer in this example with a blockchain and that is essentially how a single application sidechain network is set up.

Pierre Nanterme is not wrong in the quote above. Essentially the bane of large corporations is that they lack the ability to adapt to the ever changing environment around them. With this type of sidechain we are bridging the game between fast moving technology and the ability for large enterprises to adopt it.


How does this benefit Large Corporations?

In order for this technology to be adopted by mainstream large enterprises it will need to provide a solution to current problems or provide a clear benefit compared to existing solutions. In order to show how this is provided by single application sidechain networks we’ll need to touch on a few topics, like data protection and process management.

Data Protection:

Massive amounts of resources currently go into the ability to store and share data within an organization while still keeping it confidential and ensuring the right people have access to the right information only. With Single application Sidechains, an enterprise will have complete control over the privacy settings of the blockchain. The data will be immutable and fully trustworthy, stored automatically in the corresponding data pods. They can set up multiple sidechains which will interoperate without the risk of data leaks or data getting mismatched, lost or corrupted.

Process Management:

Process management is such a large and important component to any fully functioning enterprise, there are even people who specialize and consult these organizations in process management full time. Time is often spent, double handling information, verifying it, ensuring it goes to the right person and making sure information is not given before a set of requirements have been met. By adopting a mainchain + multi sidechain system, an organization can still have full control of the information and processes, while having the confidence that the data can be verified in an efficient and effective manner on a continual basis. They can set up simple smart contracts which take care of the if/then process — If ‘xxx’ is true then complete ‘yyy’

Customized needs:

Generally speaking, many larger organizations have very specific requirements when it comes to moving processes onto blockchains. Blockchains like ethereum have already proven they do not provide the level of customization required. Application specific sidechains do bring this to the table. They provide the ability to customize the blockchain to exactly the requirements of the specific applications. In addition to this, should these requirements change or new adaptations to blockchain arise that better suit the application, the user can adjust the setup of their sidechain to improve or optimize the performance. This includes, but not limited to the privacy, governance, scalability, network and smart contract components

Fast development:

The larger the organization, the more their time is worth. As such, they require any new technology to have the ability to be adopted simply and quickly within existing processes or the new processes to fit into their business model easily. Although the single application sidechain may sound complex, it can be set up with minimal coding experience, in almost a plug and play scenario requiring just the information regarding the smart contracted. The work required vs the flexibility and efficiency of this system far outweighs that of current multi-application blockchains. Through the use of a simple kernel template, an enterprise can setup and initiate the running of their customized blockchain with minimal time and cost


Aelf uses application specific sidechains

Above gives some examples of the reasons we have chosen to incorporate the Single Application sidechain structure into the aelf ecosystem. In addition to this, this design also aids in the implementation of cluster nodes and parallel processing which significantly improves the scalability of the sidechain network as a whole. Another key criteria for large enterprise adoption. For more information on parallel processing and scalability read this piece.

In order for blockchain technology to be adopted by the large organisations that drive the current business environment, as mentioned above, we need to ensure we provide a real solution to real problems, instead of simply creating an ‘innovative piece of technology’. At aelf, we believe we have done this through the use of single application sidechains and will continue to drive mainstream adoption. Aelf will be on the forefront of this merging of the business world and the revolutionary technology that is blockchain.

Related article:

aelf Testnet Results Explained

Aelf technology — The Key features behind us

aelf Tech in Detail — Concurrent Scheduling

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Mappo

Written by

Mappo

Head of Content Creation & Community Engagement for aelf. Crypto investor, trader, maker and baker - all things crypto

aelf

aelf

ælf, the next breakthrough in Blockchain.

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