July 19, 2017
We recently spoke to Or Perelman, Chief Operating Office of ChromaWay, a seasoned blockchain company (relatively speaking!). Or and the founding team at ChromaWay have been living and breathing blockchain since 2011. The company recently revealed its new product, Postchain, a new blockchain solution.
Enjoy the conversation!
LTP: Or, thanks for joining us. The news about Postchain is very exciting. First, let’s make sure everyone is familiar with you and the team. Tell us about Chromaway.
Or Perelman: ChromaWay was founded in 2014 around the world’s first software for putting assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, developed by our CTO Alex Mizrahi. Since then, ChromaWay has been pioneering blockchain development, with successful and industry-leading projects in banking, crowdfunding, and real estate. One of the most remarkable milestones for the company has been the creation of smart contracts for the Swedish Land Registry, a collaborative project with Lantmäteriet, Kairos Future, Landshypotek Bank, SBAB Bank, and Telia Company.
LTP: So what’s Postchain? Let’s start with the technical description.
OP: A Postchain network consists of a number of nodes, each maintaining an identical set of data. The key point of difference between Postchain and other private blockchains is that the transactions and data storage functionality is implemented using the traditional set of database tools, such as SQL and stored procedures, which meet the requirements for a blockchain (atomicity, determinism, rollback) while allowing for greater data complexity, easier deployment, and more secure integration with existing systems. A whitelist of transaction types defines the rules & capabilities of the system; transactions which are valid according to the rules of the system are distributed to all nodes using a consensus method, which ensures that all nodes arrive at an identical state as long as a majority of nodes are functioning correctly. Committed transactions are stored in a blockchain in the database, providing a cryptographically secure ‘recipe’ which can be used to reconstruct the entire state of the database.
LTP: What’s the history of Postchain? What potential solution did you see?
OP: We noticed that most of the private blockchains in the enterprise space were, to a greater or lesser extent, trying to force the kind of blockchain defined by Bitcoin into a space where it doesn’t really fit. Custom integration layers and strange NoSQL data structures were very much the norm. We realized that there is no need to avoid the enterprise database and SQL. Instead, we decided to use their powerful tools to build a new kind of shared-write data store that we call a consortium database. Postchain is the first consortium database; it is built from the ground up around this idea.
LTP: We find it best for our audience to give an example. Can you help illustrate what is now possible with Postchain that wasn’t before? An example would be very helpful.
OP: Blockchains enable trustless and disintermediated collaboration between parties with a limited set of shared goals. Postchain offers the same, but it does so with the added benefits of a traditional DBMS. This means that data storage can be complex – without a clumsy and experimental integration layer between a blockchain and a back-end database. It also means that the disruption entailed in implementing a blockchain in an organization is minimized because the database remains fundamentally the same. Maturity and stability come with using established software, and the ability to use the vast talent pool of SQL developers to create blockchain solutions is a huge advantage. Postchain has the capacity to fulfill all of the familiar use cases for blockchain in a more straightforward way. However, the increased sophistication and power of the system also opens the door to a set of new use cases. We are in the process of discovering and developing the best of these with the help of representatives from a broad range of sectors and industries across the world.
LTP: Who would your ideal financial services client be? What could they do with Postchain?
OP: One area of the financial services sector that we are especially excited about exploring is the value chain surrounding mortgages in the US. Companies like MERS, which tracks ownership and servicing agreements for mortgages across the country, as well as the lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders in the sector, would be ideal clients for ChromaWay and could benefit greatly from incorporating consortium database technology into their operations. Postchain offers the possibility for highly resilient and distributed tracking of every milestone in the lifecycle of a mortgage agreement. This means better transparency, leading to better provenance information and improved analytics. The reliability of the information stored with Postchain means that feedback loops between the data stored on the blockchain and the processes which depend on that data can develop. This means better mortgage agreements, and better financial instruments derived from them, as well as a resilient, decentralized, and interoperable network which is ready for the future of real estate and property technology.
LTP: What’s the next major milestone for the Chromaway team?
OP: ChromaWay is working towards releasing its smart contracting solution after the summer. It fits perfectly with Postchain (although it works with other blockchain back-ends too) and offers powerful authenticated process automation & multi-party contracting in a refreshingly simple way.
LTP: If someone wants to talk to you about Postchain, how do they get in touch with you?
OP: Interested or potential customers contact the team by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LTP: Thanks for stopping by LTP, Or! We are looking forward to seeing what you and the team do next!