Choosing the Right Blockchain Platform for Your Startup
You’re ready to start your decentralized blockchain project and need to choose the right platform for your unique business requirements — which one do you choose?
Blockchain, a form of Distributed Ledger Technology, is a huge advancement in data management with increased security, lower cost and higher efficiencies. Currently, what exists in the business world is a vast network of various ledger systems, which are vulnerable to fraud, falsification and delayed response times. Distributed Ledger Technology, where data is replicated across a network of validators and secured using cryptography, offers a solution where all participants have the most current copy of the ledger resulting in a decentralized system where transactions are transparent, instant, reliable and incorruptible.
Blockchains are distributed and managed by peer-to-peer networks. It is a trust-less system, meaning the technology is inherently providing trust by design, eliminating the need for central data repository infrastructure and the attendant, sometimes nefarious, and often usurious control, while empowering the decentralization and democratization of human exchange. Transactions performed on a blockchain are grouped together and organized in blocks which are then linked to one another and secured using cryptography. Blockchains can be used without the utilization of a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum and can be a great fit for businesses that process transactions, record events, manage and track records, require asset transfers, for tracing assets, voting, land and property records.
Many industries — insurance, medical, education, real estate, logistics, supply chain, finance, quality assurance — are leveraging blockchain to address existing business challenges, security, cost and efficiency among them. We are still discovering what blockchain technology is fully capable of and there is no doubt amongst those currently in the field that the adoption of the new technology in business can bring about positive transformation.
Which blockchain technology is the right fit for your startup?
You decide the utilization of blockchain technology will be a benefit for your startup, now you need to decide what blockchain technology platform will work best with your business needs. There are a variety of blockchain platforms available to develop on.
Choosing a Blockchain Partner — Key Considerations
Use Case: It seems simple enough, but the ICO marketplace is littered with ephemeral projects attempting to tap into the new technology and perceived profits rather than using the new technology to solve problems. Make sure your unique solution solves real-world problems that can’t be solved with existing technology.
Scalability: As the number of participants and transactions increase, a blockchain network must be able to grow to adapt to this growth. Scaling challenges have become a major issue for blockchain projects, not least Bitcoin and Ethereum whose transaction speeds are not as high as Visa, PayPal or Ripple. If your project is not transaction intensive, perhaps only requiring periodic data review such as an escrow agreement, you should restrict vendor and network decisions to cost, quality, access, and ease of use. If your startup anticipates intensive aggregate transactions requiring the side-chain bootstrapping for scalability, be certain to examine side-chain implications for security/liability and properly assess total network transaction fees.
Community Support — An acceptable level of support is crucial for blockchain development. How accessible is the platforms community to provide feedback and support?
Skill Availability — Blockchain is still considered to be in It’s infancy and much of the programming language is new — which platforms allow developers to work in a coding language they already know?
Multifunctionality and Adaptability: Will the blockchain platform you choose need to adapt to an existing technology? What functions would it require?
Public or Private Blockchain — A public blockchain network is entirely open, and anyone can join and participate in the network. Bitcoin is the most known public blockchain network today. A private blockchain or permissioned blockchain is a private network that requires permission by the network creator to join.
Security — Has the platform’s code been peer-review tested multiple times? Is it ready for deployment or still in experimental mode?
For most DApps currently in development — the go-to blockchain technology platform of choice is Ethereum but, as with Bitcoin, there are currently, limitations with speed, security and other issues to overcome. Both platforms have scaling solutions in the works that will help improve throughput, but the currently the performance of Bitcoin and Ethereum is not where it needs to be for mass adoption.
What are some of the other options?
EOS was developed combining the best features of existing platforms, for example — Bitcoin’s security and Ethereum’s computing support.
Designed to scale, the EOS platform can process millions of transactions per second, is capable of supporting accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication and any type of application on top of its blockchain. aim to provide a complete operating system for decentralized applications by providing services like user authentication, cloud storage, and server hosting.
EOS’ goal — provide a more simplistic, massively scalable DApp platform for the everyday user and to provide a complete operating system for decentralized applications by providing services like user authentication, cloud storage, and server hosting.
Companies building on EOS: OracleChain, a decentralized oracle technology platform, designed to meet the demands of the Oracle (oracle machine) ecosystem by efficiently linking blockchain technology services with various real-life scenarios and ONEPAY, a revolutionary point of sale (POS) system that allows businesses around the world to begin receiving major cryptocurrencies as payments from customers are based on the EOS platform
Companies building on NEO: NEX, a company that combines the NEO blockchain with an off-chain matching engine to enable much faster and more complex trades than existing decentralized exchanges and Thor Token, a San Francisco-based blockchain solution for the Gig Economy that will provide Gig Economy workers access to affordable health care, an extensive job network, and retirement planning, while offering the on-demand companies they work for free paycheck processing, are building on the NEO.
BUMO, a production-ready public chain supports a two-layer multi-child chain structure enabling great scalability and flexibility and enables businesses the ability to transfer value across different chains.
BUMO is built to be developer friendly, with very easy-to-use development tools including online editing/IDE tools for debugging and editing. BUMO employs JS as the smart contract development language, uses Chrome V8 as the virtual machine to support more languages like C++, Python, Java SDK, Go, etc. and can support Android, IOS and web applications.
A unique feature offered by BUMO is ready-to-call BAAS services. After talking with over 1000 different companies, large and small, in different industries, they found there were common concerns they wanted to see addressed on platforms such as Identity Verification, Conditional Access, Justice Evidence, Payment Settlement etc. By implementing a specialized BAAS service integration time has shortened from 2–3 months to 2 weeks.
Companies building on BUMO: MatrixONE, an enterprise-level digital asset management platform based in NY and developed by the best minds in the financial and blockchain industry decided to partner with the BUMO public chain ecosystem. MatrixONE will collaborate with BUMO on the blockchain infrastructure development, token economy model design, strategic resources collaboration within the BUMO global ecosystem, marketing and fundraising.
BUMO is also the platform of choice for VitaData, a decentralized health data kick starter platform powered by blockchain that aims to leverage the digital health market to solve the patient recruiting bottleneck issue during medical/clinical research.
I spoke with Kevin Liu, Director of BUMO Foundation, North America, in regards to what a startup should look at and consider when it comes to choosing a blockchain platform provider and this is what Kevin had to say -
Launching a project on Blockchain is not easy, and it is not just a platform to execute a smart contract to launch some token. Blockchain as a technical infrastructure is only one aspect for a startup to consider, what’s more important is whether the public chain in consideration has the industry experience to help you with the overall token economy models design, to leverage the successful cases and experience to shorten the learning curve and avoid pitfalls. Another factor to consider is the maturity of the public chain’s ecosystem. It would be greatly helpful if you could find synergy within the ecosystem. A public chain provider should act as a mentor and resource integrator for a startup, not just open-source their source code and run away. Kevin Liu, Director of BUMO Foundation, North America
There are options — deciding where to put your resources can be a dauting task and some industry people believe the differences in the actual infrastructure are not that great as long as the team is committed to continuously improving the platform and, if you require additional assistance, do they offer additional resources such as consulting on the token economy model design, strategic resources collaboration within the ecosystem, initial cold launching, go to market strategy etc. These are much more related to the industry experience and community maturity of the public chain.
In the end, the technology is only a tool — one that will complement other key parts of your strategic business plan, especially if your unique solution solves real-world problems that can’t be solved with existing technology.