Blockchain 101 – A Visual Demo

This is a very basic visual introduction to the concept behind a blockchain.  Anders Brownworth  introduces the idea of an immutable ledger using an interactive web demo. If you are interested in playing with this on your own, it is available online at:

http://anders.com/blockchain/

The code that runs this demo is also on GitHub:

https://github.com/anders94/blockchain-demo

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What is the Blockchain

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.

The Future of Financial Institutions: An ambitious look at how blockchain can reshape financial services by the World Economic Forum

 

The World Economic Forum’s analysis has yielded six key findings regarding the implications of distributed ledger technology (DLT) on the future of financial services:

  1. DLT has great potential to drive simplicity and efficiency through the establishment of new financial services infrastructure and processes.
  2. DLT is not a panacea; instead it should be viewed as one of many technologies that will form the foundation of next generation financial services infrastructure.
  3. Applications of DLT will differ by use case, each leveraging the technology in different ways for a diverse range of benefits.
  4. Digital Identity is a critical enabler to broaden applications to new verticals; Digital Fiat (legal tender), along with other emerging capabilities, has the ability to amplify benefits.
  5. The most impactful DLT applications will require deep collaboration between incumbents, innovators and regulators, adding complexity and delaying implementation.
  6. New financial services infrastructure built on DLT will redraw processes and call into question orthodoxies that are foundation to today’s business models.

 

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The analyzed business use case are: a) Payments; b) Insurance; 3)  Deposits and Lending; 4) Capital Raising; 5) Investment Management; and 5) Market Provisioning.

These key findings are explored in depth in the The future of financial infrastructure  report, based on the use case deep-dives conducted across financial services.

 

Agile (and its surrogates) vs. Waterfall Methodologies

The most prominent methods in developing software are Agile and Waterfall methodologies.

Waterfall methodology

Your project is worked following the Waterfall methodology when the eight project phases  (conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, implementation, and maintenance) have to be completed before the commencement of the development phase.

Pros

1. You know what to expect at the end of the project, in terms of sizing, costs and timeline.

2. Minimal impact in the event of high turnover thanks to the detailed documentation.

Cos

1. No changes are allowed when a task is completed, even if the initial requirements were faulty.

2. The testing phase is only done at the end, hence bugs are only discovered too late and a new code needs to be written from scratch.

3. The plan would not take into account the evolving clients’ need.

 

Agile Methodology

Agile is a framework for developing and sustaining complex products that follows an incremental rather than a sequential design process approach.

Development work focus on launching a Minimum Valuable Product  – from a end-user point of view – then by enhancing the MVP incrementally by working on flexible modules. The work on these modules is done in weekly or monthly iterations, and at the end of each iteration, project priorities are evaluated and tests are run. These iterations allow for bugs to be discovered, and customer feedback to be incorporated into the design before the next sprint is run.

 

Pros

1. It allows for changes to be made after the initial planning, but prior to the commencement of the spring/iteration period.

2. It allows the user’s feedback to be incorporated in the process by modifying the features in the backlog accordingly.

3. The testing is performed at the end of each iteration ensuring bugs are captured and fixed within the development cycle.

Cons

1. You  don’t know what to expect at the end of the project, in terms of sizing, costs and timeline.

Scrum vs. Kanban

Scrum and Kanban in software development are specific form of an agile software methodology.

Scrum is a framework that leverages team commitment as change agent, whilst kanban is a less structured model for introducing change through incremental improvements.

 

 

 

 

Mobile Web App vs. Native App

NATIVE HTML5 HYBRID
APP FEATURES
Design For specific devices No device-optimized Good for the device it is running in
Graphics Native APIs HTML, Canvas, SVG HTML, Canvas, SVG
Performance Fast, reliable, responsive design Slow Slow
Native Look and Fell Native Emulated Emulated
Distribution AppStore Distribution Web AppStore Distribution
Experience Consistent with the platform look and fell Browser based user experience UI browser elements might not be aligned to native UI elements
DEVICE BUILD-IN COMPONENTS
Camera Yes No Yes
Notifications Yes – Push Notification No Yes
Contact, calendars Yes No Yes
Offline storage Secure file storage Shared SQL Secure file storage, Shared SQL
Geolocation Yes No Yes
GESTURES
Swipe Yes Yes Yes
Pinch, spread Yes No Yes
Connectivity Online and Offline Mostly Online Online and offline
Development Skills C, Java, .Net HTML 5, CSS, Java Scripts HTML 5, CSS, Java Scripts
GO TO MARKET
Launch Slow time to market Fast to market Mediun time to market
Update Mediun time to market Instant Update Mediun time to market