Blockchain has been all over the news for the last few years thanks to the rise of Bitcoin and other digital “cryptocurrencies,” and it’s had a major impact on the software development world, too. In this article, we’ll take a look at blockchain, and how it may be changing the way that software is created.
Blockchain Is Establishing New Standards
One of the most interesting aspects of blockchain technology is the idea of “smart contracts,” which allow for the storage, verification, and execution of code on a blockchain. A smart contract could be used to send a payment after a job is completed or goods are delivered, for example – and do so automatically.
Because it’s so new, there are still many competing blockchain standards, which are looking to replace the traditional elements of the computing stack – processing, storage, and computing.
In the future, it would not surprise us if blockchain became more standardized – and when this happens, it will need to be integrated alongside conventional programming technologies. While this process may take a bit of a learning curve, it’s sure to have a major impact on how blockchain standards will be implemented – and open up new programming opportunities.
Blockchain is Changing Database Technology
Blockchain is, in effect, a distributed database. Data records are accessible to everyone – but protected from unauthorized access. Using peer-to-peer technology to achieve consensus, blockchain allows new records to be added and lets users view data – but prevents modification or deletion of data records.
This may have a large impact on companies who need to preserve the integrity of information. Manufacturing companies, for example, could use blockchain to track the crafting of a metal part at every stage of its journey – from mining to processing, manufacturing and more.
Enterprise software developers can use blockchain to create these kinds of integrated databases. While we may see separate blockchain databases, we think that it’s more likely that blockchain layers may be added to existing databases – such as MongoDB. This would allow companies to benefit from blockchain without completely overhauling their current software and database structure.
Blockchain May Enable New File Storage Protocols
This is certainly a new challenge in enterprise software development. Projects like IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) are creating a shared, peer-to-peer method of file hosting, spreading files across a distributed network with blockchain technology.
In the future, it’s possible that enterprise software developers may use a similar technology to spread files between services and IT infrastructure – allowing unused storage and processing power to be put to use, thanks to the distributed nature of blockchain-based file storage.
While implementing such a technology may be difficult, such a system would allow for extremely efficient file and data storage – for small and large companies alike.
Blockchain Poses Both Challenges And Opportunities For Software Development
Like any new, disruptive technology, blockchain has the potential to change how we create software forever – but transitioning into including it into traditional software will not be easy.
While blockchain is not the solution to every development issue, it does have a lot of potential for some use-cases where distributed information and transparency are important. As time goes on, it will be interesting to see how blockchain software development continues to affect the field of enterprise software development.