Moving over bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, the blockchain technology has now entered the mainstream mobile app technology. Developers are already mulling over how effectively the Blockchain technology would fulfil the needs of the mobile apps, particularly in relation to security.
Is Blockchain technology a right fit for your application?
When the traditional databases such as MySQL, which works just as fine, the question of using Blockchain technology for your mobile app is to be earnestly considered. If so, then how do you gauge if Blockchain – which is mainly used to facilitate secure bitcoin transactions – would be the right fit in securing mobile applications?
To answer that question it calls for a bit more digging to know about the Blockchain technology – most importantly of its pros and cons and the security features it offers – to gain a clear understanding about what it has and what it lacks.
First things first.
What is blockchain?
Despite being one of the hottest technologies today, sadly there is no clear definition for Blockchain (one of the strange sides of technology), however, here we’ve gathered information to explain it a simple way so you can understand.
Blockchain is widely used to enable bitcoin (digital currency, also known as cryptocurrency) storage and transaction online. Basically, it’s a distributed digital ledger which is designed to help users to safely and securely carry out online transactions of digital currencies. So, now we are clear that one of the blockchain’s most important feature is its security.
One of the key features of the Blockchain is that it allows users to perform online transactions without the use of any third parties.
Blockchain and Mobile apps
Whether if Blockchain is an ideal security solution to your app or not thoroughly depends upon which aspect of Blockchain you prefer to use. To simplify it further, if the functionalities of your app is similar to that of bitcoin then Blockchain might be a good fit. That doesn’t mean that any app which deals with online money transaction can straight away go and rope in Blockchain technology.
Since Blockchain being a distributed database it is useful in some ways for mobile apps.
Consider these before you decide if Blockchain is the right fit for your application.
Developing & testing distributed applications can be harder
Testing and debugging apps can be a painstaking task. When you encounter bugs like ‘mandelbugs’, ‘heisenbugs’ and ‘schrodingbugs’, especially on a distributed applications, it can turn out to be a nightmare. Developing, testing and debugging applications on distributed network is much harder and expensive than doing it on a non-distributed, single computer. So, be prepared to encounter these issues while working on distributed platform like Blockchain.
Legal framework is crucial, especially when dealing with currency transaction. Blockchain, particularly in reference with bitcon, does not have the same level of legal framework as does transactions related to bank accounts. Validating data could be a challenge. If you are developing an app that needs a solid legal framework, it calls for a deeper research on Blockchain’s legal structure and then decide.
Learn more about the platforms
There are a wide range of Blockchain platforms available. For any developer who wants build apps using Blockchain technology needs to first wet his feet with its various platforms. Here are some of the popular ones: Eris, MultiChain, OpenChain, HydraChain, OpenZeppelin, Ethereum, Quorum, Stellar, Chain Core, Corda, Lisk, Credits, Domus Tower Blockchain and several more. Check out these platforms and then decide which will work best for your app.
Improving mobile app security through Blockchain
First off, formulating a security framework for an app depends on the kind of data it handles, and how that data is being distributed. Since Blockchain technology’s core function is facilitating online currency transaction through its ledger mechanism, experts have been trying to rope in blockchain technology into the mobile app arena and leverage its security features.
Here are some of the blockchain security features which could help in securing mobile apps.
Protecting Brand Infrastructure
With Blockchain app owners have the benefit of moving their core aspects of the brand infrastructure to a decentralized platform. By storing the app’s DNS entries on Blockchain, app owners will have a distributed and transparent DNS where the domain records are firmly under their control. This makes highly difficult for others to tamper, manipulate or misuse entries.
Working on a decentralized public database platform makes modification or hacking difficult. And, it is said that, by assigning private key encryptions to the users who work on the cryptography makes misusing information even more difficult or almost impossible.
Cutting the need of passwords
Blockchain-specific SSL certificates on a decentralized network facilitates in creating an consensus between parties for authentication. With this type of authentication of users and devices in place, it is needless to have passwords. The decentralized and distributed network of this type verifies and authenticates every transaction made, making data breach extremely difficult.
Data transparency and protection
Experts says that it is impossible to breach information on Blockchain due to its nature of giving a direct source of transaction publically. Every data that entered in Blockchain becomes sort of a general knowledge. And by providing direct access to the reports for all the involved parties, Blockchain also brings in data transparency.
As Blockchain being the power behind secure bitcoin transactions, its natural that other development areas would tap into that power to improve their efficiency. Now that developers are figuring out a way to leverage blockchain technology mobile apps, it is hard to tell what would be the upshot of this collaboration of technologies.
Since the idea of using Blockchain to secure mobile apps is relatively new, looks like only a deep trial-and-error method can shed some light on it.