In general terms, a blockchain is an immutable transaction ledger, maintained within a distributed network of peer nodes. These nodes each maintain a copy of the ledger by applying transactions that have been validated by a consensus protocol, grouped into blocks that include a hash that bind each block to the preceding block.
The first and most widely recognized application of blockchain is the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, though others have followed in its footsteps. Ethereum, an alternative cryptocurrency, took a different approach, integrating many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin but adding smart contracts to create a platform for distributed applications. Bitcoin and Ethereum fall into a class of blockchain that we would classify as public permissionless blockchain technology. Basically, these are public networks, open to anyone, where participants interact anonymously.
As the popularity of Bitcoin, Ethereum and a few other derivative technologies grew, interest in applying the underlying technology of the blockchain, distributed ledger and distributed application platform to more innovative workplace use cases also grew. However, many workplace use cases require performance characteristics that the permissionless blockchain technologies are unable (presently) to deliver. In addition, in many use cases, the identity of the workplace participants is a hard requirement, such as in the case of financial transactions where Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations must be followed.
For the future workplace ecosystem, we believe that we need to consider the following requirements:
•Participants and peers must be identified/identifiable
•Workplace ecosystems need to be permissioned
•High transaction throughput performance
•Privacy and confidentiality of transactions and data.
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