Blockchain will save your business. This is not a drill!

Part II

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…Although it’s priceless, not everyone will understand the need for an immutable, trusted and decentralized method of contract administering till:

  • There is an instant requirement for an agreement which can’t be delayed.
  • Trust in all men becomes an issue to be considered.
  • Confidentiality in business transaction is of utmost importance.
  • Affordability becomes farfetched in preparation, execution and legal enforcement of a contract.
  • Efficiency in monitoring the execution for possible breach of contract etc.

Our everyday business operations are always conditional. Some sort of inbuilt etiquette to guide our daily transactions to ensure we make profits and not losses. The usual hurdles we face in these daily activities are: time, effort, money and distance which are usually overspent and not enough to leave good profit. We need trusted means to get things done faster and cheaper. It is needless to state how significant time is in every transaction.

“We need trusted means to get things done faster and cheaper…”

Time is a very important factor to be considered in every setting that involves dealing with people. A stitch in time these days saves millions. How long does it take to get an emergency loan for a clinical surgery or an insurance entitlement for a house disaster, or a pension benefit after retirement from the service? Of course, not all conditions measured by time need to be money-related. Value can also be attributed to sensitive goods delivery to measure their value as against time taken to deliver them. Not all goods are to be valued the same even when produced by the same company; time and some delivery conditions can be measured and used to determine the value when delivered. Good examples of factors to be considered include temperature, time taken, nitrogen preservatives level etc. This form of transparency assures the customer that they are paying for their money’s worth in the products purchased. So, if you are at first wondering why your company should, start thinking why should your company not and be one of the early adopters of this great technology taking customer centricity to the next level.

For now, let’s focus on the basics which exclude the complex technical talks not everyone really wants to know provided it works perfectly. For the sake of those who do not know, it works! What people really want to know is what do I have to do to get started? Below are lists of a couple of things you need to know:

  1. I hate to repeat this but I just have to. Blockchain is meant for everyone but not every aspect of your business can work with the Blockchain. So, you need to figure out by exemption which area of your business will thrive on Blockchain integration.
  2. You don’t need to be tech-oriented to work on the Blockchain. You just need to understand how your business works and the experts will tell you the aspects that can be taken over by the technology.
  3. If transparency isn’t going to help your business, then you need to drop the idea right now.
  4. If a fully decentralized system isn’t part of your company’s future ambitions, you may also want to slow down a bit.
  5. Although a fully automated system that will get your products from inception to finish line, sell and sends your returns to the desired location can be developed, but it can’t be entirely a Blockchain process. So, if you are having that dream, quit it.

“Blockchain is meant for everyone but not every aspect of your business can work with the Blockchain”

What you need to do?

  1. Highlight the line- process involved in your daily business activities, starting in order of importance and time sensitiveness.
  2. State the various Oracle sources that can be found online that decision making are based.
  3. Provide all other related details you want simplified. It’s all just mathematics and programs eventually.
  4. You may need to hire/employ a developer to compile the Java class, develop the contract and to build a dApp for this purpose.
  5. Deploy on the trusted Blockchain platform.

Talking about trusted Blockchain platforms, we have seen many versions of these designs and we have also heard of the many that failed including the popularly known giants. Being able to code and program isn’t all it takes, but the ability to design perfectly to taste for a course with credible years of experience. That’s why I will be focusing on the Ardor lightweight contracts. One of the major problems with Blockchain-based smart contracts is security-related problems and bug testing. On the Ardor platform, the lightweight contracts can automatically be tested saving huge amount of effort using JUnit tests which utilize the existing testing infrastructure of the platform itself.

“Being able to code and program isn’t all it takes, but the ability to design perfectly to taste for a course with credible years of experience”

Another advantage I found so interesting ― and you should too ― is the language. How easy will it be to communicate and get things done faster if everyone were to be speaking your dialect? Nice imagination, right? Now, that’s an imagination for laymen like you and I who will rather not worry about complex statements as the next line. Ardor provides a simple and robust framework to develop your Blockchain-based contracts in Java, which is a generally used language, and also using industry standard development tools. In other words, on Ardor, you aren’t required to learn any alien language before you can deploy a contract.

One thing you will need to understand is that, considering most business operations that can benefit from Blockchain use, it will be almost impossible to develop the desired use case without merging the Blockchain with an outside source of information. This outside source of information contains the conditions for decision-making. This is called the Oracle which in Blockchain context is a process that retrieves information from an external resource and registers it on the ledger. Other contracts or online users can base decisions on this information.

“…on Ardor, you aren’t required to learn any alien language before you can deploy a contract”

Oracles provide a bridge between the Blockchain and external resources. The ability to develop and deploy them quickly and efficiently is essential for any smart contracts ecosystem. Ardor lightweight contracts provide a flexible and straightforward mechanism to develop Oracles which can interface with any external resource, including resources which require authenticated access or even paid services. In other words, it doesn’t matter how complex your operations are, the lightweight contracts on Ardor will make it simplified. Now, we all understand what it does and how it works, but still need a workable sample.

A simpler example to what’s to be presented as a case study in the coming lines will be employee monthly remuneration which can be automated. A first use case which is simple and the usual will be to just pay employees based on the clocked in hours. This can be automated on the Blockchain by using the trusted company database from the online server where employees clock in every working day as an Oracle source to interact with the Lightweight smart contract. A more accurate one will be to provide employees with daily milestones which equal a daily 100% task measured on the average against the clocked in hours making it two combined conditions to measure employee activities as against their justified remunerations.

I have been opportune to work for some companies remotely and got paid hourly. So I know how stressful and time-consuming it is all the time for the team manager to go through the spreadsheet to calculate each employee’s worked hours to prepare a payment sheet, then submit it to a superior officer to confirm who then gives to the accountant to payout. Sometimes it takes days to get the payment out, and in some cases it’s never accurate as there are some little human errors. It’s easier, cheaper and more accurate to just have it all programmed and transparent for all to see.

“Ardor lightweight contracts provide a flexible and straightforward mechanism to develop Oracles…”

Now that we have been able to get the simple tasks out of the way, let’s try a more complex and pressing one. We will be touching few possible use cases such as: loan securing and repayment, pension disbursement, hire purchase scenarios and customer appreciation/reward program. These are the obvious ones that people can easily relate with. We will be looking at other possible Blockchain-oriented business ventures that probably haven’t been realized yet. So, if you are an entrepreneur looking for new ideas, please stay tuned and read ahead. But before we continue, let’s go back to the beginning of this article to know what was said before all this. You can find this in the next article (Part I). This was the second part after all.

Further reading:

https://medium.com/@lyaffe/more-advanced-contracts-46865515743d

https://medium.com/coinmonks/lightweight-contracts-b738b6e29377

https://medium.com/@lyaffe/oracle-contracts-on-ardor-94480bc4890b

https://medium.com/@lyaffe/lightweight-contracts-design-f37fa5211bae


Blockchain will save your business. This is not a drill! was originally published in Coinmonks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.