Blockchain in Salesforce

In the TrailheaDx Salesforce announce many things for developers. The topic which I like most is Artificial Intelligence updates and enhancement, Open source Lightning Web Component and Blockchain. Today we will read about Blockchain in Salesforce.

Blockchain in Salesforce

In this post I will cover what is Blockchain, how we will use Blockchain in Salesforce and how it is useful for users.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, a car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved.

Business networks also use blockchain. The blockchain architecture gives participants the ability to share a ledger that’s updated through peer-to-peer replication each time a transaction occurs. Peer-to-peer replication means that each participant (also called a node) in the network acts as both a publisher and a subscriber.

Security in Blockchain

Each node can receive or send transactions to other nodes, and the data is synchronized across the network as it’s transferred. The blockchain network is economical and efficient because it eliminates duplication of effort and reduces the need for intermediaries. It’s also less vulnerable because it uses consensus models to validate information. Transactions are secure, authenticated, and verifiable. The participants in both transaction systems are the same. Transaction record is now shared and available to all parties.

 A blockchain network has the following key characteristics:

» Consensus: For a transaction to be valid, all participants must agree on its validity.

» Provenance: Participants know where the asset came from and how its ownership has changed over time.

» Immutability: No participant can tamper with a transaction after it has been recorded to the ledger. If a transaction is in error, a new transaction must be used to reverse the error, and both transactions are then visible.

» Finality: A single, shared ledger provides one place to go to determine the ownership of an asset or the completion of a transaction.

Blockchain owes its name to the way it stores transaction. As the number of transactions grows, so does the blockchain. Blocks record and confirm the time and sequence of transactions, which are then logged into the blockchain within a discrete network governed by rules agreed on by the network participants.

Each block contains a hash (a digital fingerprint or unique identifier), timestamped batches of recent valid transactions, and the hash of the previous block. The previous block hash links the blocks together and prevents any block from being altered or a block being inserted between two existing blocks. In this way, each subsequent block strengthens the verification of the previous block and hence the entire blockchain. The method renders the blockchain tamper-evident, lending to the key attribute of immutability.

Consensus ensures that the shared ledgers are exact copies, and lowers the risk of fraudulent transactions, because tampering would have to occur across many places at exactly the same time. Cryptographic hashes, such as the SHA256 computational algorithm, ensure that any alteration to transaction input — even the most minuscule change — results in a different hash value being computed, which indicates potentially compromised transaction input. Digital signatures ensure that transactions originated from senders (signed with private keys) and not imposters.

Blockchain in Salesforce

Salesforce’s blockchain was built on Hyperledger Sawtooth, an open-source, modular blockchain suite developed by the Linux Foundation and IBM. It will be generally available by 2020.

Blockchain in Salesforce is for admin and developer, where they can use clicks to configure it.

Some of the key words you will heard most in blockchain world.

Participant

Any person or organization who is involved in conducting business. This can be the producer, supplier, partner, consumer/buyer, and so on.

Transaction

Actions, such when someone produces, sells, buys or trades, and takes ownership of an asset.

Ledger/Business Ledger

System of record where transactions are recorded.

Distributed Ledger

A database that tracks transaction data. It is replicated, synchronized among participants, and protected through encryption.

Block

A set of transactions bundled together to share with the network and lock into a chain to prevent changes.

Node    

A participant in a blockchain network.

Blockchain

A distributed ledger technology that tracks transactions in a series of blocks instead of updating a single copy. It is designed to deliver more efficient transfer of goods and services and be a more reliable source of truth.

So in this post you will get an idea of what is blockchain and how it works. There is trailhead module which you can refer Blockchain Basics to get the idea. As it is still in beta so you can try your hands on it.

Do you have any questions regarding blockchain or wants to discuss about blockchain, let me know in comments. Happy Programming 🙂

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