Permissionless and Permissioned, Technology-Focused and Business Needs-Driven: Understanding the Hybrid Opportunity in Blockchain through a Case Study of Insolar
KIm, H.M., Turesson, H., Laskowski, M., and Fard Bahreini, A. (2020). "Permissionless and Permissioned, Technology-Focused and Business Needs-Driven: Understanding the Hybrid Opportunity in Blockchain through a Case Study of Insolar," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Forthcoming.
37 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2019 Last revised: 28 May 2020
Date Written: May 27, 2020
Blockchains can be public, permissionless networks implementing novel cryptocurrency-based technology features or permissioned, interorganizational networks championed by industry consortia. Some ventures operationalize a hybrid of these two network types to enhance adoption of their blockchain platforms by broadening their base of stakeholders or facilitating interoperability between heterogeneous blockchains. In this paper, we synthesize literature and industry writings to identify four hybrid blockchain architectures: hybrid blockchain approach, connected hybrid blockchain, interoperable blockchain architecture, and hard-forked blockchain for enterprise use. We then analyze these architectures along dimensions of semantic modeling support between private and public networks; data connectivity between networks; syntactic interoperability support between networks with heterogeneous codebases; governance model, and technical features. We find that hybrid blockchain ventures make trade-offs: support API’s, tools, and customized development so that a codebase is useful for private and public networks or provide such support for interoperation between heterogeneous codebases. We then conduct a case study of an exemplar for a hybrid blockchain approach, the startup Insolar. We identify characteristics that have led Insolar to be idiosyncratically agile and effective in its blockchain development, which together with our architecture analysis may be timely and prescriptive as enterprises grow interested in addressing blockchain hybridity and interoperability.
Keywords: Blockchain, Hybrid Blockchains, Blockchain Interoperability
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