Over the recent years, several significant innovative technologies have emerged that are revolutionizing the world assisting businesses to go digital. Among heaps of technologies, blockchain technology is becoming popular and has widely been integrated into many industries. Technology is transforming different sectors including medicare, finance, education and much more. Thus, according to the predictions forecasted that the blockchain technology industry will touch $20 billion by 2024. No wonder, the blockchain has disrupted many industries across the globe, now it is also making its way into the software development sector. With its decentralized architecture, the programmers are extracting its benefits out of it to enhance the shortcoming in their development practices.
Additionally, blockchain technology is also among the critical innovations that are pouring seamless effects on the digital market. Technology is also the backbone of developing cryptocurrencies. This technology is helping blockchain development companies to develop products that are transparent, have the potential of storing records safely and ensure that the data security remains fool-proof. However, Like the traditional Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) model, blockchain solutions development also includes certain steps that are more complex and not every firm is capable of practising them successfully. In this blog, eight essential steps will be discussed that make the best model for developing blockchain solutions.
Overview of Blockchain Development
As new technologies are emerging they are helping software development companies to come up with tech-enriched solutions that can ease people's life as well as make the business operation seamless. Blockchain technology is utilized to create a blockchain-native application, yet the development procedure is quite different from the conventional development approaches. However, a rigid set of knowledge and a considerable amount of planning is required for making decentralized applications, including the higher degree of transparency needed, special entities permissions and much more.
The databases created with blockchain technology are more secure and are notoriously difficult to exploit, making such storage options critical options for storing highly sensitive data. However, blockchain application development requires a rigid set of concepts like how this technology works and to what extent it has the potential to signify solutions. In addition to this, becoming pro in blockchain development, the developers should have complete knowledge regarding cryptography and the most popular blockchain development languages, for example, Solidity. Moreover, the blockchain developers are among the core entities that are responsible for ensuring that the whole development lifecycle executes seamlessly. The duties include thorough research of the application’s architecture, optimizing the databases and determining its use case.
Step 1: Define the Problem
Initially, to start the blockchain application development lifecycle, businesses are required to define the problem that their solution is intended to solve. This is quite similar to the conventional software development approach, however, blockchain-primarily focuses on solving the selected set of problems. Thus, blockchain technology is not required to be integrated into every part, as it can be unnecessary as well as increase the cost of the solutions.
Step 2: Select the Consensus Mechanism
The blockchain has come up with several consensus mechanisms. Among them, proof of work and proof of stake are being widely used by blockchain development service providers. However, POW is considered the most significant or commonly used mechanism, but businesses can also go for other mechanisms as well that fit the solution model. Other than the above-mentioned options, there are other mechanisms as well that include proof of elapsed time, proof of identity, proof of the importance and a practical Byzantine fault-tolerant mechanism.
Step 3: Pick the Blockchain Development Platform
Blockchain application development is carried out by using the platforms that are being systematically designed to assist the entire blockchain development lifecycle. However, the most popular and globally used platforms are created in the Ethereum blockchain. Yet, it's not only an option. Other platforms are also available including IBM Blockchain, Hydrachain, and much more.
Step 4: Design the Architecture
Once companies have chosen the platform, then they need to design the architecture of the internal nodes of the blockchain network that can be used in the application development lifecycle. It's in the hands of the company to decide whether the blockchain should be permissioned or be permissionless. Additionally, blockchain application development firms also need to identify whether the blockchain would be private or public. That totally depends on what type of solution is to be developed.
Step 5: Configure Your Blockchain App
At this stage, blockchain development companies need to make specific configurations for applications. However, this step requires a sound understanding of the whole project as it can’t be changed in later stages. Thus, when companies reach this stage of the development lifecycle, they should have a highly experienced blockchain developer that can assist the team to make the right decisions. At this part of development, the key elements are to be configured, including blockchain signatures, address formats, public or private key management and permissions.
Step 6: Build the APIs
At this phase of the blockchain development lifecycle, businesses can integrate pre-built APIs that can assist in the development process. However, to do so, a complete understanding of APIs is required so that developers can make choices that can add benefits to the product. Additionally, companies also require APIs that can generate public/private keys along with the blockchain addresses that can perform functions addicted to the auditing of the product. Furthermore, APIs that can assist in retrieving data or storing data using hashing and digital blockchain signatures are also needed.
Step 7: Designing Application Interface
Step 8: Start With an MVP
It's not suggested to build the product with all the features that businesses need to have in the application. As blockchain technology is still in the developing stage, it's new and not thoroughly explored, this means if something gets wrong the whole application can get crashed. Therefore, it's considered to start with a minimum viable product (MVP) as it can save time and cost in case the product doesn't work as it should be.
Key Blockchain Technolgy Use Cases
As blockchain technology is among the emerging innovations that is becoming the reason for enhancing the finance industry. It has come up with an aim to enhance the capital markets. According to the Mckinsey market findings, the benefits of the blockchain technology include:
- Robust settlement and clearing of funds
- Accurate audits
- Enhancing business operations
Regulatory Compliance and Audit
Blockchain technology has come up with innovative features including securing the data integrity that makes it a viable option for accounting and auditing purposes. It has the potential of reducing the possibility of human mistakes and assuring that the records are highly secured and can not be manipulated at any cost. Additionally, the information or datasets that are being stored in blockchain databases can not be altered once they are locked by the owners using blockchain digital signatures.
Money Laundering Protection
As encryption is also an integral part of blockchain technology, this makes it the most significant element of determining and curbing money laundering activities. Moreover, blockchain technology allows financial institutions to maintain customer records, which is an essential component of Know Your Customer (KYC) regulation, the critical procedure in which the companies determine and authenticate the true identities of the clients.
Supply Chain Management
The blockchain distributed ledger is a viable option for enhancing the real-time tracking of goods as they constantly change throughout the supply chain. By integrating blockchain solutions into the supply chains, the allocation of goods can become more accurate and robust. For instance, this technology can add new dynamic means of managing the data and tracking the shipments.
Wrapping it up, software development companies need to take understand the blockchain product development lifecycle that is described in this blog, as it's the first step for making blockchain applications. Once companies develop their MVP and launch it in the market, is time to focus on enhancing the blockchain application and modify it according to the target audience's feedback. However, creating blockchain solutions is quite a complex task, as this technology is recently emerged and still is in the developing phase. Therefore, to get the best out of blockchain technology ties knots with software development companies who understand blockchain application development lifecycle and have professional resources.