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Quorum blockchain is in limelight for past some time and this is how I was prompted to learn quorum blockchain basics and read about quorum blockchain guides on the internet. I am trying to share my quorum blockchain learning experiences here.

This article may be considered as a part of quorum blockchain tutorial but it is not a quorum blockchain ultimate guide.

Recently, there were news that Microsoft makes JP Morgan’s quorum blockchain for Azure cloud. Microsoft claims that by making JP Morgan’s Quorum blockchain platform availability as a managed service on its Azure cloud, bank’s customers will be able to build and scale blockchain networks in the cloud with almost nil capital expenditure on the internal infrastructure.

With all the fun and fancy around blockchain features and its applications, finance is considered to be the first industry that will adopt and will be disrupted by the blockchain technology.

Quorum is developed by J.P. Morgan, and is one of the major steps towards adoption of blockchain among financial industries. Quorum is an enterprise focussed, permissioned infrastructure. It is designed for use in the financial industry.

Finance industry has some specific intrinsic requirements and blockchain has to address them if it has to be adopted by them. They need control and access of information. They need public transparency, immutability and quick traceability. Finance industry also needs a certain scale of transactions. They are also concerned about the exposure of smart contracts to the public domain.

Quorum claims to be designed in a manner to answers the key concerns of the financial institutions for their use of blockchain in their financial operations.

 Some of the features, I understood and worth mentioning are that, it is built on Go and on Ethereum blockchain. It has network and peer permission management system. It has more transaction and contract privacy. Quorum has voting based consensus mechanism and lastly, it claims for higher performance throughput.

What is Quorum blockchain?

Getting started with Quorum, let’s discuss on the features.

Quorum is an Enterprise based Ethereum blockchain. Quorum was initiated by J.P. Morgan for the financial industry. It addresses the basic requirements of the financial sector like high throughput, participants’ privacy, high speed processing, hidden transaction details. It works in a permission groups.

You can read my other blog on permission and permission-less blockchains.

J.P.Morgan plans to implement a global network payment system using quorum. They aim for a 24X7 payment transfer tracking and payment settlement system.

Quorum Blockchain Features

Quorum blockchain features I stumbled upon and worth mentioning are the ones which makes it talked about. I try to explain them one by one.

Privacy and Transparency

Quorum offers transaction level privacy and network wide transparency. These parameters can also be customised by the business requirements. Smart contracts can play a crucial role in these customizations. Transactions and smart contracts (private and public) are validated by every node within the blockchain.

Apoint worth mentioning is that private smart contracts’ working is known only to the parties or any approved third parties. Quorum uses Zero Knowledge Security Layer. This ensures zero compromise for private settlements.

Performance and Throughput

Quorum network is claimed to handle hundreds of transactions per second. The transaction speeds can be configured according to the smart contracts and network configurations. The number of transactions can be changed and improved by configurations.

Quorum utilizes a vote based QuorumChain RAFT consensus algorithm and Istanbul BFT consensus algorithm.

Permission and Governance

Is quorum a public blockchain? No, a permission approach has been taken for Quorum which is useful for the financial organizations. It ensures transactions within a group of known permissioned participants. Some information on the internet reveal that it is done manually.

Governance is also said to be managed through a smart contract based tool which uses the best practices of cyber security.

Quorum is Open Source

Quorum is open source, which means it is free and there is no price for Quorum blockchain. Enterprises can take advantage of this to make the best out of it in long run.

Being open source, the code is verified and authenticated by developers. Quorum utilizes signature validation which brings trust in the permissioned network.

Being an open source project, Quorum invites developers from across the world to contribute to the blockchain development. Quorum uses GPL/LGPL license which is said to be similar to Ethereum.

Quorum Development

Quorum is an active project today. There are more than 300 contributors from all across the world. It can be downloaded, distributed, modified with no boundation.

There are some links worth mentioning here for more study on blockchain. These are:

There are also some third party tools and libraries. If you wish to go in details, please read them as well:

How Does Quorum Works?  – Architecture Introduction

Quorum architecture has three components –

  • Quorum Node
  • Transaction Manager
  • Enclave

Quorum Node

Quorum node is a command-line tool. It is a lightweight fork of Geth. But it has lots of modifications in the Quorum. Under this, the QuorumChain consensus algorithm is used which allows connections from permissioned nodes instead of the P2P connectivity. Also, Gas is not required (though it is a fork of Geth).

Constellation

This is another component of Quorum blockchain. It has the transaction manager and enclave in it. Constellation is a general purpose system that ensures information added to the blockchain remain secure. Constellation is not blockchain specific, hence can be used in other form of applications.

Transaction Manager

Transaction Manager manages the transaction privacy. It ensures the encryption of the transaction data. It does not have access to sensitive information.  The Transaction Manager can be scaled due to its stateless/restful state.

Enclave

Enclave helps in various cryptographic techniques, like participation authentication, transaction history, and other key functions. It checks that all the operations are performed optimally with scalability. Transaction manager delegates the encryption/decryption job to Enclave.

Quorum Blockchain development companies

Some of the Quorum blockchain projects I came to see while surfing are:

  • Alastria: A multi-sector Spanish consortium
  • Ethhotels – Part of PoC multi-blockchain network
  • Blockoneiq-quorum – Data provider for Quorum blockchain
  • FogChain – A Quorum network that offers IoT based location service and record management
  • IIN – It is an Interbank Information Network(IIN) payments platform. Ethereum and Quorum blockchain power it.
  • Kimlic – KYC on the blockchain
  • Komgo – An interesting project that helps financial network integration with other users and network
  • VAKT – VAKT provides a digital ecosystem that enables users to do physical post-trade processing
  • IHS Markit – Loan trading(syndicated) on the blockchain

Conclusion

I discussed the quorum blockchain basics in this article. Quorum blockchain technology should be a promising technology for the future. With its association with Ethereum, I can very well write that it is a mature platform. There are lots of real world implementations of Ethereum and Quorum is a soft-fork of Ethereum only. It is a permission blockchain and hence is one of the ideal solutions for use in private organizations. Quorum boasts of a great performance, ability to customize through smart contract and the transparency it offers.

Suggest to read on JP Coin at the below link which is a use case of Quorum blockchain.

JP Morgan Introduces JPM Coin

Also, please read my other article on Hyperledger at:

Learning Basics Of Hyperledger From Linux

xRapid from Ripple

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