Decentralization May Not be Considered Core Value of Blockchain Tech, Harriot Cao from IRIS Foundation Argues

Harriet Cao, co-founder at the IRIS Foundation, an organization that supports the ongoing development of IRISnet, a platform that serves as an interchain service hub for next-generation distributed applications, says that China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN) is a “relevant step” forward when it comes adopting blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT) based technologies.

Cao explained that public or permissionless blockchains have gone through many different iterations of technology improvements. She claims that many newer or third-generation public blockchains, including IRISnet, already have “efficient computing capabilities” which are needed to support complex distributed applications.

She added:

“Many application scenarios involve interactions with the real economy, especially the enterprise computing that must meet compliance requirements, such as KYC as well as financial regulation. In the past, the only way to solve compliance issues was to build a specific and dedicated consortium blockchain. Each consortium had to maintain its own ledger, which had really high costs in terms of maintenance and negatively affected the mass adoption of blockchain technology.”

She continued:

“[China’s] BSN (Open Permissioned Blockchain) O. P. B. built a compliance framework at the application layer: this allows enterprise applications not only to have guidelines to follow in order to reach the required standards but also to utilize the rich computing resources and trust services provided by the public blockchain technology through the BSN environment. In this way, dApps can focus on the realization and implementation of the application layer business logic by itself.”

Cao further noted that through the BSN O. P. B., public blockchain networks in China will be able to support many different use cases or applications. This should help them with onboarding more users, while being able to test out technology updates more effectively.

She added that the core value of blockchains should be to offer a trustworthy service or a “trust service” through a protocol. She believes a blockchain is like a “trust machine” and that decentralization is “definitely a way to achieve the ultimate aim of a blockchain, but at the same time could not be considered as the core value of the technology itself.”

Cao claims that Open Permissioned Blockchains won’t have a negative impact on the “decentralization” that’s offered by public blockchains (even though most projects today are basically centralized solutions).

She explained that the typical blockchain architecture has what we’d call a top-level layer or the application layer. Then there’s the middle or the consensus layer, and the bottom layer, which is called the communication layer.

She added:

“Decentralization is enabled by the design of the consensus layer in the middle, while the open permissioned blockchain [is] found at the application layer. This should make you realize that from a technical architecture perspective, BSN Open Permissioned Blockchain works at the application layer, so there is no technical basis for assuming that this will affect the public blockchain ‘decentralization’.”

Cao claims that the Open Permissioned Blockchain won’t have a negative impact on the core value of blockchains – which is to serve as a type of “trust machine.” She believes this project will promote “the realization of the blockchain value itself.” She thinks the BSN O. P. B. will lead to the development of many new use cases for public blockchains.

She also mentioned:

“Value can only be realized if someone is using it. BSN O. P. B. allows those applications which need to meet compliance requirements to also be able to use public blockchain services. This initiative can bring more applications and more users to the corresponding public blockchain ecosystem, which greatly enhances the core value of the blockchain.”

As reported, China’s public blockchain network BSN recently launched the new BSN Global Portal. IRISnet will be one of the partners that will contribute to the project.

The IRISnet team is inviting developers to create their first decentralized application (dApp) using the Public Chain Node Service offered by BSN. They’ve put together a tutorial to help software engineers with getting started with the appropriate tools provided by partners involved in the BSN initiative.

IRISnet is preparing for the launch of the BSN testnet, which is expected to go live on October 31, 2020.

As confirmed by the blockchain developers, IRISnet’s decentralized finance (DeFi) and Interchain Testnet Bifrost went live on September 2, 2020. The IRISnet team claims that the era of “the Internet of Blockchains” is getting closer.