Enterprise Trustworthy Blockchain Contracts

Blockchain-red-link.jpg It’s interesting that contemporary architectural approaches such as factoring and tiered layers are aggressively being applied to blockchain enterprise digital contracts. These Smart Contracts consist of three basic components: the logic, the static and variable properties and the ledger. They are deployed on a single computer or node then the node is replicated so that exact results are produced for each contract step no matter what node in a network produces it. For trustless environments like Bitcoin or Ethereum, counterparties place their trust in cryptography. For enterprise consortium networks, a semi-trust construct can be formed where certain levels of identities are required. The contract can be separated into three familiar layers to developers - the data, business and presentation layer. For Smart Contracts the properties represent the data schema, the logic represents code and the ledger represents a database. Complex business logic is removed from the execution path to allow the data tier to be optimized reflecting the distributed nature of a network.

Dependent services the code needs can be provided in a “fabric” where it can execute and then send transactions to blockchain nodes where they are bound to its schema in the data layer. The host containers running in the fabric are referred to as “Cryptlets” and the nice thing is they can be run on a different compute platform or cloud rather than having to be executed across every node in a network. This framework allows developers to write in their preferred programming languages and deploy into environments that meet the business needs of a Smart Contract. So going back to our familiar tiered architecture, we can summarize the analogies. The data layer defines the data schema and has only logic for validation of inserts using languages like Solidity and Ivy. The business layer contains logic for the smart contracts and APIs for interacting with the presentation layer. These are the cryptlets that can be written in any language. The presentation layer handles interfaces to other platforms or applications built using the exposed APIs of the cryptlets.

I expect Smart Contracts based on blockchain technology to become more prevalent in healthcare during the next three years. Think of your medical record and provider encounters forming a digital care path where every trusted entity along the way adds a “block” to your healthcare blockchain - whether it’s an x-ray, biometric data, a lab report, a prescription or doctor notes. You control the key and your identity is verified & protected along with every other counterparty in the ecosystem.