Blockchain is what Web 3.0 is all about – the era of the blockchain-based web. Businesses are looking for ways to harness this power for themselves. However, it’s still not very clear what a typical blockchain development process looks like – and how they can navigate themselves around this new era of the web.
With our cultivated experience in blockchain development, Ekoios is well-versed in the blockchain development process as well as all the struggles involved with it – and that is why, in this article today, we’ll help you understand it once and for all.
What is blockchain
In short, blockchain is a digital ledger where all crypto-based transactions occur. Differing from other centralized networks, a blockchain network is made to be decentralized, not subjected to the control of any person and/or group.
Because of its decentralized nature, businesses can now develop their own closed-off, private blockchain networks where they can conduct secure transactions without involving third parties. This means enhanced security, transparency, and the immutable nature of blockchain making it nearly impossible to tamper with recorded data on the blockchain.
Benefits of Implementing Blockchain Solutions
Blockchain can be implemented into almost every business to deliver real benefits and ultimately improve the bottom line. It helps to increase trust, transparency, and traceability – you can think of it as a better way to write, read, and trace data across a secure business network.
Improved security and transparency
Once created, a record on the blockchain can’t be altered and is stored across a network of computers instead of one centralized server – hence the immutable nature of blockchain. Anyone with access to the blockchain network can look up the record and see all the information and the entire history of the record – from when it was created, which crypto wallet created it, and so on.
Thanks to smart contracts, transactions in a blockchain-powered network are fully automated, which means increased efficiency and reduction of human intervention in your business operations. And since smart contracts are inherently flexible, you can also restructure your business in a way that it’s semi-reliance on smart contracts, which helps to further bring down operational costs.
Increased speed and efficiency
Blockchain streamlines your business operations by allowing almost everything can be stored on it and with fast process speed. Documentation, for example, can be stored on the blockchain where it can be accessed anywhere and effortlessly within seconds.
📌 Related reading: Blockchain Use Cases
What to consider when going for blockchain development
When going for blockchain development, one should not jump head-first into it and expect things to work out the way you want. Instead, you’ll need to know what you want first before going for a solution provider. To sum it off, here are some important points to consider when going for blockchain development:
- Development plan: conducting a throughout development plan is required before going blockchain development. Start by identifying problems that blockchain can solve for your business, and then work on building a Proof of Concept for your project
- Types of blockchain: Choose between the various types of blockchain such as public, private, or hybrid, and start from there
- Costs: how much will everything cost for the development process, how much a typical transaction on the blockchain will cost, and everything else should be taken into consideration
- Model: choose between a team of in-house dedicated developers who handle everything for you or outsourcing each crucial developmental work to freelancers
7 Steps in Blockchain Development Process
Either you’re just getting started or have already had a proper idea for how blockchain can fit into your business operations, it’s important to go through these steps to make sure that everything goes smoothly:
Step 1: Identify how can blockchain help solve your problems
Where exactly can blockchain fit into your business operations? How can it help to solve your existing obstacles? Those are the questions you should first have in mind because, despite all the good words about it, blockchain is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
If you’re unsure at this stage, it might be worth it to list out the challenges that your business currently struggles with, and see how blockchain can fit into everything. Some current blockchain solutions that can address business needs are:
- Staking platform
- Crypto wallet
- NFT marketplace
- Decentralized exchanges
These are specialized solutions developed from the ground up. Popular brands have opted for blockchain solutions that are more tailored to their business operations, such as Walmart with their blockchain-powered food traceability system.
Step 2: Build/choose a blockchain platform
A blockchain platform (or blockchain network) is required for all transactions on the network. There are various blockchain platforms, each one with a different set of pros and cons so it might be worth it to research the kind of blockchain platform you want and go all in on it.
An existing blockchain platform has its perks since it saves on the costs of developing a new blockchain from scratch and has proven reliability, but it’s not really reliable as a platform where business transactions occur. On a public blockchain, for example, anyone is free to join and conduct transactions – even people who are not part of your network, and you don’t have any right to make changes to transactions on the blockchain.
A private blockchain, or a permissioned one, is generally better for businesses. With a private blockchain, you can make it so that only verified users have the right to conduct transactions on the network, and moreover, you can have total control over the blockchain network and can edit, delete, or override transactions as you please.
📌 More about this: Public and Private Blockchain
Step 3 (optional): Blockchain ideation
After having roughly identified the challenges that you need to solve and deciding that you want to build a blockchain network, you’ll need to brainstorm a conceptual workflow and the blockchain model for your specific blockchain application.
For starters, you can decide on the consensus mechanism that dictates how transactions are validated on the blockchain network. Some of the popular ones include
- Proof of work
- Proof of stake
- Byzantine fault-tolerant
- Deposit-based consensus
- Proof of elapsed time
Your consensus mechanism will determine how every transaction on your blockchain network is run so it’s important that you choose the right one for your business needs first. Besides the consensus mechanism, there are other decisions that need to be made as well such as the front-end and back-end programming languages to be used, where to store NFT data, servers and external database, and so on.
Once all the technical components have been decided, a roadmap of your blockchain application should be prepared to get clear objectives of what needs to be done and when.
Step 4: Proof of concept
When all the basics have been defined, it’s time to create a PoC (Proof of Concept) to demonstrate the practicality of blockchain implementation for your project. A prototype and a theoretically build-up is generally used in this stage in order to pinpoint the potential risks and challenges when going into development.
Step 5: Visual & user experience design
With a prototype already designed, you can use the existing sketches, mockups, and designs to start designing the user experience. Your UI elements can then leverage APIs to communicate with the application at the back-end.
Step 6: Development
Once everything has been defined, it’s time for the actual development work. This step is where most people rely on solution providers to lift all the heavy work for them, but if you feel like you can be up for it, you can do blockchain development with your team of blockchain developers.
Generally, the core blockchain development process requires developing or integrating middleware in order to accelerate the process. Middleware sits between the low-level blockchain protocols (which is L1 or L2) and the application interface, and it serves to bring more functionalities – such as smart contract development and deployment – to the blockchain application. Some examples include lower middleware like Infura to higher ones like Truffle.
Step 7: Test & public release
For public release, you’ll want to test your product thoroughly before releasing it. The goal of this stage is to achieve an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in order to see how everything looks in action and if the blockchain application is capable of delivering real-world benefits to your business.
Jumpstart blockchain development with Ekoios
Blockchain development shouldn’t be overly complicated. With our streamlined development process cultivated from years of experience, we can help you accelerate the blockchain development process in whichever way you want to – full-cycle or partial development.
For your inspiration, look no further than how Travala renovates the booking industry with blockchain technology.