Solidity, VyperThe blockchain development process is a technically complicated task requiring many decisions along the way. Should you go for a private or a public blockchain? Which blockchain platform to use? Which blockchain technology to select? Should you build on an existing platform or your own blockchain from scratch?
This guide focuses on creating a blockchain solution with these steps in mind. You will learn whether your business will benefit from blockchain development, go through creation steps, and select a platform, technology, and other project elements.
Understanding the core blockchain principles
To understand what blockchain truly is, how to create blockchain, and whether your company would benefit from blockchain development and consulting , you should grasp the fundamental principles that make blockchain different from other technologies. They are:
- Decentralization: Unlike traditional databases managed by a central authority, blockchain distributes its ledger across a network of computers. This effectively means no single entity has control over the entire network. Decentralization is the reason why blockchain is relatively safe and challenging to manipulate.
- Transparency: Every transaction on the blockchain is recorded and publicly visible to anyone accessing the network. Once a transaction is added to the blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted.
- The principle of consensus mechanisms: The network nodes must reach a consensus to add a new transaction or block to the blockchain. Popular mechanisms include Proof of Work (used by Bitcoin) and Proof of Stake. These mechanisms validate transactions and protect the network from fraudulent activities.
- Cryptography: Blockchain uses cryptographic techniques to secure transactions. Each block contains a unique hash, and altering any information within the block changes this hash. This creates a linked chain that is extremely difficult to fake.
- Tokenization: Blockchain allows digital tokens to be created, representing assets or rights and being traded over the blockchain. This enables new forms of digital assets and economies. Cryptocurrencies and NFCs are examples of such tokens.
Our blockchain projects
Finding a development team for blockchain development might be more difficult than for other IT projects because blockchain is still niche, and the number of specialists is still quite low. Luckily, Binariks is well-versed in all things blockchain development, having completed dozens of successful projects for customers across industries. We can help you create your own blockchain, as well as build your project using an existing platform.
The projects that we are experienced with include:
- Blockchain wallets
- Smart contracts
- Decentralized apps
- Asset tokenization platforms
- Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
- Blockchain consulting
- Interoperability solutions
- ZKP (Zero Knowledge Proof) chains
Delivering an MVP with essential blockchain-powered edutech platform features
Web app development and blockchain integration
Delivering an MVP with essential blockchain-powered edutech platform features
Blockchain benefits: How it transforms businesses
Among the benefits that motivate your company to build your own blockchain are enhanced security against data fraud, increased transparency, and traceability of transactions. By eliminating middlemen and intermediaries, blockchain can also significantly reduce transaction costs.
Overall, blockchain's decentralized structure removes the risk of centralized control and single points of failure, enhancing system resilience and reducing vulnerability to attacks or operational issues.
Is blockchain right for you? The truth is that it can benefit your business in non-obvious ways, even if other businesses in your industry don't often use it. Your business needs blockchain solutions if:
- You are looking to store enterprise-level amounts of data and need a transparent ledger for it.
- You need automated support for vast amounts of data without manual maintenance.
- If you operate directly without a third-party authentication solution.
- If you are not worried about having a low transactional speed.
Blockchain technologies are used by companies across sectors , including financial institutions, governments, the healthcare sector , eCommerce, real estate, legal industry, cryptocurrency, tech, and many more companies.
Here are some examples of how companies use blockchain technologies for their leverage:
- HSBC's Global Payments: HSBC utilized blockchain to revolutionize its global payment system. By implementing a blockchain-based platform, the bank streamlined international trade transactions, reducing the time to process documents from 5-10 days to 24 hours.
- Estonia's Digital Governance: Estonia is a global leader in digital governance. It implemented blockchain for securing public service records and e-governance through digital apps that citizens can interact with without the burden of bureaucracy.
- De Beers Diamond Tracking: De Beers implemented blockchain to track diamonds from the mine to the end customer. This ensures conflict-free diamonds and enhances consumer trust by providing a transparent product journey.
- Sweden's Blockchain Land Registry: Sweden tested a blockchain land registry system to simplify property transactions. The system reduces fraud and speeds up transactions.
Blockchain application development essentials
How to make a blockchain? Developing a blockchain application requires careful planning and a clear understanding of the blockchain ecosystem. Here are the essential steps and considerations for blockchain application development:
1. Define the use case
Identify the problem you want to solve or the process you want to improve. Ensure that blockchain is the right technology for this purpose. Not all applications require blockchain's unique characteristics.
For example, a supply chain management system is a great use case to create your own blockchain because transparency is excellent for supply chains. On the other hand, a blockchain may be an overkill for a simple internal employee database.
2. Build the right blockchain team
When developing a blockchain application, it’s also essential to have a team with the right mix of skills, including blockchain expertise, smart contract development, cybersecurity knowledge, and experience in the relevant industry or sector.
A typical blockchain team consists of blockchain analysts who inspect data flow, blockchain developers and analysts, UI/UX designers, and QA engineers. These are the key specialists that should be on every blockchain development team, though a team can be bigger based on your needs.
3. Select the appropriate blockchain platform
Choose the right blockchain platform based on your project's requirements. Options include Ethereum for smart contracts and DApps, Hyperledger Fabric for private blockchains, or Binance Smart Chain for high-throughput DApps. The choice depends on consensus mechanism, transaction speed, scalability, and cost.
4. Design the blockchain instance
Decide on a private (permissioned) or public (permissionless) blockchain based on your needs. Private blockchains are more centralized but offer greater control and privacy, while public blockchains are decentralized and transparent.
5. Smart сontract development
If your application involves transactions or agreements, develop smart contracts. These are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into lines of code.
Embrace blockchain technology for enhanced growth, security, and efficiency
Embrace blockchain technology for enhanced growth, security, and efficiency
Approaches to building blockchain solutions
Blockchain solutions can be public, private, hybrid, or blockchain as a service. There is also smart contract development and developing blockchain from scratch. Let's look into the details regarding these different approaches:
1. Public blockchain development
This approach involves building applications on public blockchains like Ethereum, Bitcoin, or Binance Smart Chain, with Ethereum being the most popular. It's suitable for decentralized applications (DApps) that require transparency and are open to everyone.
- Use case: Cryptocurrency platforms, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, NFT marketplaces.
2. Private blockchain development
Private or permissioned blockchains include Hyperledger Fabric or Corda. This is ideal for businesses that must restrict access to the blockchain network and maintain privacy and control over data.
- Use case: Supply chain management, internal record-keeping, enterprise-level solutions.
3. Hybrid blockchain development
Hybrid blockchains combine elements of both private and public blockchains. They offer a flexible solution tailored to specific business needs, providing privacy while enabling certain data to be publicly verifiable.
- Use case: Healthcare data management, legal and compliance records, and government services.
4. Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
BaaS providers offer cloud-based solutions for blockchain apps and smart contracts. This suits businesses that want to use blockchain technology but do not want to invest in building and maintaining the infrastructure.
- Use case: Startups and SMEs looking to implement blockchain solutions quickly and experiment with blockchain applications.
5. Smart contract development
This method is about making contracts that run themselves by baking the agreement's terms into the code and automating processes and deals. These contracts are stored and replicated on the blockchain and are executed automatically when predetermined conditions are met. Smart contracts enable trustworthy transactions between anonymous parties without needing a central authority or particular legal system.
- Use case: Automated insurance claims, self-executing legal agreements, supply chain automation.
6. Custom blockchain development
For unique requirements, developing a custom blockchain from scratch might be necessary. It is quite difficult and resource-intensive to create a blockchain from scratch, but it offers flexibility and maximum customization.
- Use case: Highly specialized industry applications, innovative technology projects.
The table below will teach you how to build a blockchain with the best platform by comparing the most popular platforms:
Selecting the perfect blockchain technology
Selecting the perfect blockchain technology for your project depends on factors like the intended use case, performance requirements, governance model, and specific features, such as scalability.
Some of the most popular blockchain technologies today are Corda, Ripple, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, Solidity, ERC20, ERC-721, and BEP-20. Let us investigate them in detail.
Corda is a blockchain technology with private/permissioned blockchain, enhanced data privacy, and smart contract support. It is mostly used for financial services. Benefits include privacy and scalability. Corda is ideal for managing legal contracts and other shared data between trusted parties.
- Use case: HSBC used Corda to streamline and automate its trade finance process. The solution digitized letters of credit, reducing transaction times from 5-10 days to 24 hours, thus enhancing efficiency in international trade finance (Source ).
Ripple is not your typical blockchain but rather a distributed ledger, which is good for cross-border transactions. It differs from other platforms because Ripple uses a unique consensus algorithm called the Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA). This mechanism doesn't require mining, a fundamental component of many traditional blockchains like Bitcoin.
The RPCA uses a network of validating servers that compare their transaction records. It is used in global payment and remittance systems. Its benefits include fast transaction processing and low fees. Because of this, it is used in global payment and remittance systems.
- Use case: Santander launched 'One Pay FX,' a service that uses Ripple's technology for faster, cheaper cross-border payments. It allows customers to make international transfers on the same day or the next day (Source ).
Bitcoin is a well-known cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It is basically a highly secure public blockchain suitable for simple transactional applications. It is ideal for peer-to-peer value transactions and digital currency projects.
- Use case: While there are plenty of Bitcoin applications, one unique thing about it is that governments are adopting it. El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. The move aimed to boost the economy, reduce reliance on the US dollar, and facilitate remittances from citizens living abroad (Source ).
Ethereum is yet another public blockchain that is also a cryptocurrency. It supports smart contracts and has a large developer community. Ethereum is primarily suitable for decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contract deployment. It is used in a variety of industries, from finance to gaming.
- Use case: Decentraland is a virtual reality platform built on Ethereum that allows users to create, experience, and monetize content and apps. In this virtual world, users purchase plots of land as NFTs using MANA, a cryptocurrency built on Ethereum (Source ).
Hyperledger is a private/permissioned blockchain with a modular architecture that supports smart contracts. It works best for enterprise-level applications in supply chain and healthcare. Moreover, it works great for apps requiring data privacy within a consortium.
- Use case: Walmart implemented Hyperledger Fabric to create a food traceability system. This system enhances food safety by enabling Walmart to track the origin of food products in seconds, which previously took days (Source ).
Solidity is a programming language for writing smart contracts, primarily on Ethereum, not a blockchain per se. It has a High-level language for implementing smart contracts, widely used in Ethereum.
- Use case: Uniswap, built using Solidity on Ethereum, is a decentralized exchange protocol that allows users to swap various Ethereum-based tokens directly without intermediaries.
ERC20 is a standard for creating fungible Ethereum tokens suitable for ICOs and tokens in DApps.
- Use case: USDC, a stablecoin cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar, uses the ERC-20 standard for Ethereum. It offers a stable, digital dollar that can be used for global transactions and provides an alternative to more volatile cryptocurrencies.
The standard for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), that is ideal for digital collectibles and art. It enables the creation of unique tokens with different properties.
- Use case: CryptoKitties is one of the first games to popularize NFTs. It operates on Ethereum using the ERC-721 standard. The game allows players to purchase, collect, breed, and sell virtual cats, each represented as a unique NFT (Source ).
BEP-20 is similar to ERC-20 but on Binance Smart Chain. It is suitable for creating tokens with low transaction fees and high performance.
- Use case: PancakeSwap, running on Binance Smart Chain, uses the BEP-20 token standard. It is a decentralized finance (DeFi) application offering an exchange, liquidity provision, staking, and yield farming. BEP-20 benefits from BSC's low transaction fees and high throughput.
Blockchain development process
Blockchain development involves more specialized steps than standard IT project development. This complexity arises from the unique features of blockchain technology.
1. Identify a problem and assess feasibility
The first step is to identify a specific problem or need that blockchain technology can effectively address. This problem is usually related to transparency, security, data sharing, or process efficiency.
2. Define project scope and requirements
Clearly outline the business requirements. Include everything: the goals, the type of data that will be handled, the intended users, and how the blockchain application will improve or streamline the existing processes.
3. Identify and design a consensus mechanism
Choose a consensus mechanism that aligns with your blockchain application. Common mechanisms include Proof of Work (PoW), Proof of Stake (PoS), Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), and Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).
PoW is the best for businesses that already have large computational resources. Proof of Stake (PoS) offers the experience of a more centralized blockchain. Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) is best suited for blockchain networks prioritizing fast transaction processing and energy efficiency. At the same time, Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) is ideal for systems requiring high throughput and low latency in transaction processing.
4. Choose the appropriate blockchain platform
There are hundreds of different platforms, including well-known ones like Ethereum, Fantom, and Bitcoin. They differ in terms of consensus mechanisms, smart contract support, and software development languages. You can also create a blockchain from scratch if you are a blockchain startup.
5. Design the architecture
Decide on the architecture of your blockchain nodes. This involves choosing between cloud-based, on-premise, or hybrid solutions and configuring the hardware specifications, operating systems, and permissions.
6. Design blockchain nodes
Decide on the architecture of your blockchain nodes. This involves choosing between cloud-based, on-premise, or hybrid solutions, and configuring the hardware specifications, operating systems, and permissions.
7. Plan your blockchain configuration
This step configures various elements like permissions, atomic swaps, multi-signature, and key management. It’s crucial to define the rules for blockchain operation. The rules include governance, block signatures, and asset issuance.
8. Build your APIs
Develop necessary APIs if your chosen blockchain platform doesn’t provide them. Common APIs include data storage and retrieval, payment processing, smart contract deployment and management, and user identity verification.
9. Design the user interface
Create a user-friendly interface for your application. The design should focus on usability, performance, and experience across various platforms.
10. Choose an accelerator to optimize your blockchain app
Consider using a blockchain accelerator program, especially if you are new to blockchain development. These accelerators provide resources like funding, mentorship, and technical support to help speed up the development process and improve the chances of success.
Estimating costs for blockchain development
The final cost of blockchain development depends on many factors, including whether you use an existing platform or develop blockchain from scratch, the cost of the development team, the project's complexity, node maintenance, scalability, and many other aspects. Rates can vary significantly based on the development team's location and expertise.
A very general estimate is:
- A range from $15,000 to $50,000 for small-scale or proof of concept (PoC) projects built on an existing platform, such as smart contracts. These types of projects do not require the creation of a blockchain from scratch.
- A range between $50,000 to $200,000 for medium-scale projects on blockchain platforms.
- Between $200,000 and $500,000 for large-scale enterprise projects that require custom blockchain network development.
Blockchain development challenges
The road to developing blockchain applications comes with roadblocks. Looking into them beforehand helps to address these issues.
Limited expertise and talent pool
There is a limited pool of skilled blockchain developers and experts, which can make recruiting talent for blockchain projects challenging and expensive. A relative newness of blockchain technology is to blame for that.
While blockchain itself is secure, applications built on it, like smart contracts, are not immune to vulnerabilities. Ensuring the security of these applications is a significant challenge. There is also a lack of legal regulations that ensure the security of blockchain.
Blockchain networks, especially public ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, often face scalability issues. Handling many transactions per second without compromising speed and efficiency remains a challenge. Speed issues are a common side effect of scaling up blockchain solutions.
Complexity and usability
The inherent complexity of blockchain technology can be a barrier to adoption. User interfaces and experiences often need to be more intuitive than traditional systems, making it harder for non-technical users to adopt.
Public blockchains are transparent by nature, which can raise data privacy concerns. Balancing transparency with privacy, especially under regulations like GDPR, is a challenge.
A decision-making process during the development process of blockchain is complicated, but the more informed you are, the more benefits you can gain. Developing blockchain is absolutely worth it if your business is the right fit for it.
What you need to succeed is the clear plan and the right team of professionals to execute it. The development team should have the right mix of skills in order to deliver successful results – this can be challenging given the niche nature of this field with limited experts available. All in all, blockchain has the power to transform your business. You just need to get all the pieces of the puzzle right.
Looking ahead, we can expect blockchain tech to mesh with hot trends like AI and IoT , revolutionizing how industries like manufacturing and logistics make smart decisions and automate tasks. Additionally, with the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), blockchain could significantly disrupt traditional banking and finance sectors beyond what it is capable of today.
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