Blockchain is a distributed database that will not lie to you; everyone has access to the same records. That makes it exciting because you do not even have to trust people. You just trust in the glorious word of blockchain. CIOs are still working out what to do with that glorious word though. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Minda Zetlin describes four ways you might experiment with blockchain:
- Use blockchain-as-a-service
- Use a public blockchain platform
- Fork an open-source blockchain and use on your own servers
- Write a blockchain protocol from scratch
Into the Unknown
Cloud providers like Microsoft Azure are already offering blockchain-as-a-service, which makes it an ideal low-cost playground to get started with the technology. The next step up from there is to take advantage of actual public blockchain platforms, like Ethereum, but you should remember that there will be a slight cost associated with each transaction in this scenario.
About forking an open-source blockchain to use on your servers, Zetlin writes this:
This means grabbing the open source code from a blockchain project and tweaking it to make your own blockchain. This option is popular with companies that want to use blockchain for things like authentication and collaboration internally. It can also be used for internal experimentation.
Pros: You can modify the blockchain to your liking. And you can keep it within your network and limit access as you see fit.
Cons: The blockchain may not work precisely the way you want it to.
Your final option is to write a blockchain protocol from scratch. But if you are actually considering doing that, then you probably already have so much knowledge and expertise that you do not have much use for articles about blockchain in the first place.
For additional elaboration on these points, you can view the original article here: https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2017/8/blockchain-4-ways-experiment