duesentrieb Lab

esentri & Blockchain: The journey continues (part 2)

esentri has taken the next step on its blockchain / DLT endeavour. Attending the 2nd annual IBM Blockchain Summit recently at IBM’s research center in Böblingen/Stuttgart, we extended our network and connected to more experts in the field of blockchain and DLT.

While we experienced many interesting discussions and presentations there were three highlights and learnings that stood out. We are happy to share these highlights with you as a blog trilogy. Last week, we described the business perspective on blockchain projects. This time, Jonas Huck (@huckjonas) analyzes an exciting real world use case by Deutsche Bahn.

Blockchain ≠ Blockchain
I got to admit that I’m a critic of Hyperledger based technology – when used for the wrong use case! Applied to a system with conditions not suited for the technology, it can easily lead to even more problems. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to analyze the problem you’re trying to solve thoroughly in advance. Understanding that Blockchain isn’t an atomic entity is crucial. The problems you can solve with a Blockchain heavily depends on the kind of Blockchain and it’s underlying consensus algorithm.

But there definitely are specific use cases – especially in an enterprise environment where it totally makes sense to build solutions on a Hyperledger based, privat and permissioned Blockchain. We identify those use cases in a consortium environment. Sharing trust and data sovereignty among participants.

Sharing trust – a consortium Blockchain

Deutsche Bahn provides the perfect use case to be solved by a consortium Blockchain. Together with IBM, they’ve built a solution based on Hyperledger fabric. The so called „Verbundticket“ involves many selfcontained parties such as Deutsche Bahn, different cab companies and even hotels or event organizers.

Due to the lack of trust between those parties issues arise such as agreement on the shared amount of the ticket reward, or tracking the utilized services by the end customer. Resulting in difficult and time expensive negotiations and contracts. A consortium Blockchain shares and lowers these trust issues among all participants owning the right of running their own node. The more parties involved, the more decentralized and less trust is involved for each participant.

The Blockchain resolves transparency issues, by tracking the customers process relevant actions and also strengthens the trust within the system. Shared data sovereignty without a trusted third party wasn’t possible without the Blockchain and can be a game changer in B2B environments.

Conclusion

This use case is a perfect example on how to automate and eliminate trust and transparency issues among parties involved in business activities and contracts. Large companies benefit from sharing trust and risk when transacting with smaller and unestablished business partners. Also smaller businesses get enabled to transact with large companies utilizing the power and reliability of smart contracts.