Blockchain for your Enterprise

It is difficult to come across a unified explanation of how one should look at the concept of distributed ledger technology or blockchain. Blockchain is a type of database spread across multiple sites, regions, or participants. As one would expect, a distributed ledger has to be decentralized, otherwise it would resemble a centralized database like most companies use today. Removing the intermediary party from the equation is what makes the concept of distributed ledger technology so appealing. Remember, the same people who find it appealing are against federation, top down rules, and are often encrypted themselves….

In most organizations, it is okay for a federated centralized ledger to exist. As a matter of fact, it is recommended. Here, the organization should be in charge, to manage the rules of access of each member, their identities and police their activities for compliance and productivity. So, it is for this reason that most don’t see blockchain and a centralized architecture as the same thing. 

What if that centralized ledger or application were simply in charge of the rules? A centralized system, capable of mashing up data from disparate locations, without limit, but with full security between those systems (and the log in of each user). Additionally, even though some data is centralized, if it normalized through separate tables within the central architecture, it is technically still ‘decentralized’ within that singular system. Oxcyon believes that both are possible at the same time, “Centralized Autonomy” which is a term coined by us, (and an oxymoron) suggest that you can have centralized federation, of completely disparate data sets….like a Grand Central Station which governs all incoming and outbound data connections, including the security of each passenger coming in and out, routing the right information (as an assembly of data blocks) to mash up and serve the composite view of that information for each (based on their individual security roles). Centralpoint manages each record, transaction, and access point is tracked by timestamp, including the times of each version history of each record....even if the information is NOT managed within Centralpoint. It merely needs to 'pass through' the central ledger or architecture (a user logging in to access a web service from data collections from other systems)

On paper, the entire description of a distributed ledger sounds exactly like what most people think of when they envision a blockchain. However, the blockchain is just one particular type of distributed ledger. Most people know it as the technology powering bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular cryptocurrencies. The name blockchain also refers to how “blocks” are added to the chain, which contains transaction records. To make the chaining of blocks possible, the blockchain uses a cryptographic signature, known as a hash. In this sense, it is certainly possible to use a blockchain as a ledger, which can be shared with anyone and everyone. In the case of cryptocurrencies, this can be achieved by the other parties looking up blockchain information in real-time and even without installing specific software to do so.

Oxcyon doesn't believe that Blockchain was invented by the (arguably fictitious and mythological) Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, it was first discovered by Charles Darwin, then by John Nash, IBM, Fred Smith, Zillow and so many along the way. There is no one blockchain, as it is unique for genetics, shipping, or dynamic DITA assembly. It is how you leverage it for your organization. Blockchain is simply yet another attempt to articulate properly: disparate data sets being mashed up to form a hybrid composite output, unique for each user securely. We agree that blockchain does a pretty good job, but sense that everyone interprets it only for security, banking or bad guys. DITA (Darwin Information Type Architecture) was as close of a description which ever was (circa 1990s) but it was strictly limited to the dynamic assembly of a document (fresh from the oven) on demand for each user uniquely. Centralpoint drives this home today as perhaps the first Blockchain Information Management platform. Although we are proud to fall under the Digital Experience Platform category, we believe that this latest acronym for what have been claiming for 16 years (see our updates to validate how long we have been saying this). Since no one else can articulate it, we will….Centralpoint, the First (market ready, install today, behind your firewall) Blockchain Information System. In this way the blockchain and its intelligence (smart contracts) can be customized for each organization uniquely. There is not ‘one’ blockchain. Blockchain is a system for securely harnessing disparate data, for the benefit of each member in the network. 

Centralpoint makes this possible through its unique SSO, AD, LDAP, SAML secure encrypted access of each member. Once in, the disparate data is brought together via data transfer, and secure restful web services (get, post, read, delete), allowing all disparate systems (within that organization) to be harmonized into a singular, centralized ecosystem of knowledge or information. The smart contracts are made possible based on Centralpoint’s unique scheduling tools, which allow for business intelligence, reporting, email broadcasts, alerts, and other such automated messages. Centralpoint is a platform technology (which itself can be replicated and managed across multiple servers to support truly decentralized data) you can build your own blockchain, around your organization's needs. This blockchain unlike bitcoin, is federated and controlled by an it should be. Imagine a self governing country, without the federated rules in place?

If you are a (Bitcoin, blockchain purist and) disagree with our definition of blockchain, we completely understand, as it can be interpreted numerous ways. If so, then you may prefer to consider Centralpoint as your Ethereum Virtual Machine (or Platform). A singular technology capable of sotring and executing scripts across disparate databases to control smart contracts. These smart contracts are intelligent conditions you create (When 'X' <=> 'Y', Do 'Z', 'Next'). In other words, you need your own IFTTT (If this, then that) rules engine to work against your disparate data to respond to your users accordingly. Oxcyon will often refer to it (in lay terms) to you being able to start building your own 'robot'. The more conditions and logic you feed it, the more intelligent it becomes over time; streamlining the efficiency within organization with each new rule, geometrically.

What makes blockchains so intriguing is how they are so much more than just a simple data structure. It is possible to use a blockchain to determine rules for a transaction or even to create a smart contract. Moreover, a blockchain is a sequence of blocks, but distributed ledgers do not require such a chain. Furthermore, distributed ledgers do not require proof of work and offer – theoretically – better scaling options. Some implementations are capable of combining both a distributed ledger and blockchain, albeit this does not necessarily apply to every project focusing on either of these technologies.

For more information see DITA, Centralpoint Wheel, SSO, SAML, Centralpoint's unique Data Transfer, Smart Contracts, Business Intelligence, Forms, Workflow, Syndication, and Centralpoint's (Secure, Encrypted, RESTful) Web API. these are the necessary ingredients needed for you to deploy your own Blockchain Information Management system or platform.

Diagram of Centralpoint UBER Diagram, supporting centalized block chain across disparate (decentralized) databases virtually....within a singular architecture. 
(Note: These datasets are not limited to those offered by Centralpoint, and may include ODBC, Oracle, SQL, OLEDB, or any form of JSON or web service (data)

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