Everything Is Quite - Crypto

An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Prince has been associated with SFO for over two years now, prior to which he has worked with NTC Logistics India, ISYX Technologies, Emirates and Premier Inn.

A solution that came as a breakthrough innovation and which promised increased transparency, accuracy, traceability, trust, permanency, and lower costs is anything but Blockchain. That's not because of the technology failing or the fact that it was a hype, but the use cases and adoption rates are only yet picking-up. The fact that the crypto currency market is increasing by triple digits is not helping this case, and the true power and application of the solution that has wider mass benefit has some way to go.

I am of course referring to Blockchain which is the technology at the heart of bitcoin and other crypto currencies. Blockchain works as an open, distributed ledger that can store and record transactions between multiple parties efficiently and with immutable traceability which guarantees end-to-end verification. The distributed ledger also lends itself to several operations, and one such is that it can also be programmed to automatically trigger transactions.

With wide spread use of blockchain, we can reimagine the world where contracts are embedded in digital codes and securely stored in transparent, shared databases. This protects the contracts and code from deletion, fraud, and unauthorised changes. Imagine a world where every contract, every agreement, every process, every transaction, every task, and every payment would have a digital record and a digital signature that could be identified, validated, stored, and shared. Intermediaries would no longer be relevant, and professions like lawyers, brokers, and bankers would become redundant. This is the incredible potential of blockchain.

We are seeing a whole new way to manage digital collectables which can include rare artwork to one-of-a-kind sneakers and accessories

If we had used blockchain technology to validate the art prices, we could have prevented the criminal exploits of Monson Mavunkal, a fake antiquities dealer who spun a web of lies and mingled with the who's who of Kerala to swindle people of crores of rupees. Monson outrageously claimed to possess the Staff of Moses, the throne of Tipu Sultan, two of the 30 silver pieces Judas Iscariot accepted to betray Jesus Christ, a piece of the Holy Shroud, Chhatrapati Shivaji's private copy of Bhagavad Gita, and many others. With Blockchain in action, whenever an expensive work of art changes hands, the exchange is verified, the provenance of the art is available and attested with authorities including ownership history and its automatically insured against theft.

Enter Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) Blockchain technology has already made the space exciting with the introduction of NFTs. NFTs are a revolutionary new way of buying and selling digital assets that represent real world items. All NFTs are unique and can't be replaced or swapped they can only be purchased, sold, traded or given away by the original owner/creator of that asset. We are seeing a whole new way to manage digital collectables which can include rare artwork to one-of-a-kind sneakers and accessories.

NFTs would have a significant impact on the future of digital ownership and it is entirely possible that we would be able to buy everything from cars, homes to art pieces using NFTs in the near future. The year 2021 is expected to be the 'year of the NFT'.

Compose A Tune, Compose The Code
Now, we move from the Non-Fungible to Composable. Interoperability was a pre-requisite, and it still is and so is compatibility, especially backward compatibility when we are dealing with applications and platforms from multiple service providers and vendors.

The idea of integrations and connectivity is of high priority to all developers, especially now in this hyper connected, API-first economies. Programmers every where are looking for faster and simpler ways to integrate software without high overhead, and tools & techniques in this direction are increasing. The need to expose, consume, access, ingest data from multiple sources is now a standard expectation in software engineering design. Point to point to agents to an ecosystem of APIs have paved the way for composable technologies. The ultimate objective being that the code created by one entity for a piece of software can be modularly added onto another set of code of another software and the combined software system will live, seamlessly, error free, right alongside each other.

The underlying philosophy is that we are in a position to prove that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. With composable applications, all the underlying functional blocks of software can be decoupled from the overall application. The smaller component parts can be integrated to create a new application that is of greater value than its monolithic predecessor.

There is also a growing need to weave a wider variety of data into applications to improve situational awareness and decision making. In manufacturing, the need for the supply chain data, production data, machine data, planning data, inventory data all need to correlate to provide contextual insight and facilitate on the feet decisions. There are guiding principles that can be followed on the journey towards building a composable business, and they are modularity, autonomy, orchestration and discovery.

A composable business means creating an organization made from interchangeable building blocks. Building Resilience too has been shifting over the years, and following the principles of composable business, there is a new opportunity for improved resilience and agility in a far more digital manner. The strategy would help re architecting the business for real time adaptability and resilience in the face of uncertainty.

A well designed collection of composable APIs and libraries would certainly enable a team to build more intelligent solutions and improve the business visibility. The blocks of code and code base footprints would be smaller and easier to manage and the reusability and extensibility possibilities would be exponential.

There is a critical success factor, and that is skills. The community requires developers who are experts across the full stack and aware of utilising architectures and patterns. In times of uncertainty and chaos, the composable architecture will help the business smart pivot to leverage the interchangeable building blocks and prepare for the new normal and new futures and meet any shift in customer values or sudden change in supply chain or materials.