Lack of a Unified Architecture for Multi-Chain Coordination
A key problem observed within the nascent enterprise blockchain space is the lack of a unified architecture that solves the scaling trilemma of blockchain while also delivering on its promise to organizations by encapsulating every rung in the value chain.
The reason for this is because a coordinated architecture capable of delivering the transformative value organizations are seeking requires multiple consensus protocols. There is no one protocol which solves all needs. This fact deserves additional attention when considering that enterprise solutions are built to last for years or even decades, while new blockchain protocols and standards are yet to be created.
When considering current public ledgers (mainnets) like Bitcoin or Ethereum, we can see that they primarily offer benefits for cryptocurrencies and their applications. These involve (pseudo)anonymity for users and node operators, but with no guarantees or standards for the network or its operators in terms of performance, location of the involved hardware, SLAs, transaction costs or support. As a result, they cannot be easily stopped by regulators or governments.
From a business perspective (that of a CIO, CTO or regulator) it becomes obvious that key aspects for cryptocurrency-focused ledgers contradict enterprise needs, for example:
  • Guarantees on performance, availability and latency
  • Fixed or at least predictable costs (e.g., per transaction, unit of storage, etc.)
  • Clear commitment on data privacy and protection standards implemented (e.g., GDPR)
  • Support guarantees and reliable SLAs (e.g., service level agreements)
These are not necessarily shortcomings of cryptocurrency DLTs — as compared to business DLTs — it is more that they serve different purposes and thus deserve different consideration in a unified architecture. Ethereum, for example, is not the obvious choice for a business mainnet, but a preferred candidate for handling cryptocurrencies, altcoins, and everything around DeFi, which may extend business processes.
From an architecture perspective, it is important that vendors providing commercially-supported Baseline-as-a-Service offerings have a clear interface highlighting how various infrastructure and software components can be implemented and loosely-coupled.
We understand “Layer 1 Protocols” as standards for workflow exit and tokenization, i.e. to provide notarized, “rolled up” states representing anonymized business processes, and “Layer 2 Protocols” as standards for privacy-preserving workflow and workstep state transitions which “rollup” prior to exit and are sufficiently entangled with previously-validated state.
It is clear that many bespoke Layer 1 and Layer 2 protocols exist today, but the efficacy of blockchain in the context of delivering enterprise value remains relatively low. Due to the cost and complexity of designing production-ready solutions that incorporate bespoke Layer 1 and fast-moving Layer 2 protocols, productive use of blockchain at enterprise-scale has remained inaccessible to organizations.
The Baseline Protocol is a significant breakthrough in communicating the benefits of blockchain to enterprise decision makers and promises to define a standard for interorganizational business process automation, but it also requires the aforementioned design decisions related to Layer 1 and Layer 2 consensus prior to adoption.
Baseledger supports a unified architecture, specific enough to serve the defined standards of the Baseline protocol, and sustainable enough to ensure future evolvement of different Blockchain protocols.
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