Virtual currencies like Bitcoin have demonstrated the huge potential of blockchain digital ledger technology, but blockchain could also revolutionize the delivery of secure online services. However, the broad landscape of blockchain variants, blockchain’s inherent complexity and the difficulties associated with implementing it are significant barriers to adoption. The BoSS project seeks to simplify the creation of legally-compliant, blockchain-secured applications that maintain confidentiality and privacy. To do so, the consortium will develop frameworks for technology selection, supporting middleware, and regulatory compliance.
Traditional business transactions are based on trust, usually involving central authorities such as banks, clearing houses and governments to verify their legitimacy. Distributed ledgers such as blockchain are shared databases that support secure, transparent transactions without the need for a trusted authority. All organizations in a blockchain network have identical copies of the database, whose integrity and accuracy is cryptographically ensured. While blockchain has obvious disruptive potential in currency, many other applications could be impacted as well, including commerce, legal transactions, contract management and more.
In cooperation with five industry partners, BoSS will focus on five application cases: online contracts, domain registration, patient file management among hospitals, enhanced data sharing, and decentralized (meal) vouchers. As industry partners lack the infrastructure to support full copies of the distributed blockchain ledgers, cases above require blockchain-as-a-service platforms that could be offered by third-party infrastructure and cloud providers.
The BoSS project has outlined three innovation goals:
The outcomes of the BoSS project will help industry partners to use blockchain technology to gain the trust of their customers by reducing their reliance on third-party services and centralized authorities. The results will also provide the foundations for the development of blockchain-as-a-service platforms and specific industry collaboration projects.
“The BoSS project seeks to simplify the creation of legally-compliant, blockchain-based applications that maintain confidentiality and privacy, with the goal of increasing the blockchain-related knowledge base and reducing industry reliance on central authorities.”