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Dgw birch eris_presentation

Everything you've been told about blockchains is wrong: the "killer app" isn't any particular implementation, but the database design itself. In this presentation I explain how the permissioned blockchain design pioneered by Eris Industries actually addresses the problems and use-cases everyone's said blockchains can solve, but hasn't actually used them to solve.

Hint: it's not because of "decentralisation."

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Dgw birch eris_presentation

  1. 1. Private and confidential. Images and text (where applicable) copyright Eris Industries Limited, 2015. “It’s just software.” ERIS The Distributed Application Platform
  2. 2. Private  and  Confiden.al 2 What? We have built a software platform that will allow developers to solve difficult commercial and governance problems using blockchain, distributed computing and smart contract systems.
  3. 3. Private  and  Confiden.al 3 Why? Because automation of industrial processes is a primary driver of human progress. Secure automation of data management is overdue. We build the tools to help developers solve these problems.
  4. 4. Private  and  Confiden.al 4 How? Most people look at blockchains like this “Can have it in any colour you like, as long as it’s black” -Henry Ford
  5. 5. Private  and  Confiden.al 5 We look at them like this See what we did there?
  6. 6. Private  and  Confiden.al 6 Commercial thinking demands Accountability. Controllability. Repeatability. Reversibility.
  7. 7. Private  and  Confiden.al 7 What this means in practice A blockchain IS NOT: Magical. An internet money machine. A blockchain IS: A database. Software.
  8. 8. Private  and  Confiden.al 8 What Bitcoin etc. doesn’t want you to hear A blockchain WILL: Do exactly what we tell it to do, no more, no less. THEREFORE: You can use a blockchain and explore its potential in your organisation without needing to use any existing or proposed cryptocurrency network. Without paying anything to anyone.
  9. 9. Private  and  Confiden.al 9 Wait, what? B-but, “decentralization,” “new paradigm…”!?! To be perfectly frank It’s bulls**t (Ok, that’s a little strong, but I have a flair for the dramatic) (Let’s just say it is for the foreseeable future)
  10. 10. Private  and  Confiden.al 10 HOW THE INTERNET CURRENTLY WORKS
  11. 11. Private  and  Confiden.al 11 When you interweb, the work is done by somebody else
  12. 12. Private  and  Confiden.al 12 Peer-to-peer architecture, as you know, is different
  13. 13. Private  and  Confiden.al 13 Blockchains are more different still
  14. 14. Private  and  Confiden.al 14 An explanation in English Blockchains are: 1) distributed rulebooks 2) that track changes made to them 3) where write permissions are controlled by public-private key cryptography and 4) as a result, knowledge of the rules does NOT give someone the ability to change them (Sort of like French law actually)
  15. 15. Private  and  Confiden.al 15 A BLOCKCHAIN DATABASE’S THREE CARDINAL RULES TELL ‘EM WHAT YOU’RE GONNA SAY SAY IT TELL ‘EM WHAT YOU SAID
  16. 16. Private  and  Confiden.al 16 RULE 1: TELL ‘EM WHAT YOU’RE GONNA SAY Also known as the “transaction protocol” Effectively: users’ rules of the game Who can broadcast transactions? What can they “spend?” How do they go about “spending” it?
  17. 17. Private  and  Confiden.al 17 RULE 2: SAY IT Also known as the “networking protocol” Open standard for common communication to achieve a common goal What can we say? What do words mean? To whom can we say it?
  18. 18. Private  and  Confiden.al 18 RULE 3: TELL ‘EM WHAT YOU SAID Also known as the “consensus protocol” Agreeing the truth What has been said? Who has said it? Is the record correct? “The dragon that eats its own tail:” what has happened (past) determines what can happen (now and future)
  19. 19. Private  and  Confiden.al 19 PUT IT ALL TOGETHER =" Mais,!c’est!en!français…"
  20. 20. Private  and  Confiden.al 20 A SHORT COMMERCIAL NOTE Just as drawing a line through s. 177 of the Companies Act in an statute book doesn’t change the law, having a copy of the rulebook does not give you the ability to change it beyond the scope of your permissions. This means new people can get copies of the rules of a system - and play by them - just by knowing what the rules are. Blockchains == data infrastructure without fixed infrastructure.
  21. 21. Private  and  Confiden.al 21 TRANSLATE IT INTO ENGLISH
  22. 22. Private  and  Confiden.al 22 Hey, presto. That’s a blockchain application.
  23. 23. Private  and  Confiden.al 23 WHY THE ENTIRE WORLD THINKS BITCOIN (etc.) IS SPECIAL CRYPTOCURRENCY RULE 1 Open to all Evades government controls CRYPTOCURRENCY RULE 2 Distributed architecture = resilient to interference/ destruction CRYPTOCURRENCY RULE 3 Relies on competitive “mining” and awards “Bitcoins” etc Process is automatic, no central third party required Fraud difficult (but not impossible)
  24. 24. Private  and  Confiden.al 24 Futurist histrionics notwithstanding Bitcoin doesn’t solve any particular problem well Unless you’re a libertarian (Most people are not libertarians.) (Disclaimer: I’m a libertarian, but not *that* kind of libertarian.)
  25. 25. Private  and  Confiden.al 25 HOWEVER Blockchain solutions can be engineered that do
  26. 26. Private  and  Confiden.al 26 DEFINE THE PROBLEM Does this solve a problem I have? TENDING TO YES: Harmonising between separate software stacks Simplifying multiple processes into single process Timely verification is paramount (e.g. settlement) Reducing supervision and oversight cost
  27. 27. Private  and  Confiden.al 27 DEFINE THE PROBLEM (Cot’d) Does this solve a problem I have? TENDING TO NO: Requires speed (blockchains are slow) Requires heavy computation (blockchains are passive) Is fully automatic anyway (order of magnitude improvement harder to achieve; though blockchains could still be useful qua secure open standard)
  28. 28. Private  and  Confiden.al 28 Then, write appropriate rules. MyChain Rule 1: Must be controllable in every respect All write permissions must be accessible through P/P key crypto In 99.99% of cases in finance, cannot be open/fully public MyChain Rule 2: Cryptocurrency got this mostly right, tweak for system reqs MyChain Rule 3: Must be able to change any aspect of the system on command Commercial standards of data security/certainty needed Reversibility required No “mining” to secure as this is pointless
  29. 29. Private  and  Confiden.al 29 DESIGN YOUR APPLICATION
  30. 30. THEN COME TO MOMMA (That’d be Eris Industries’ website) STEP 1: GET THE TOOLS Two commands: Then two more:
  31. 31. STEP 2: ROLL THE CHAIN And roll the chain (one command): Write your rulebook:
  32. 32. STEP 3: DEPLOY YOUR DAPP (one command) Translate into English, etc. In this case JavaScript.
  33. 33. Then do it again until you get it right (Because you won’t on the first try) (Because this is how software is meant to be built) (Because you can roll as many b’chains as you want)
  34. 34. Private and confidential. Images and text (where applicable) copyright Eris Industries Limited, 2015. Happy to answer questions!

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