Looking for a detailed guide on quorum blockchain? Here you’ll find the description of everything, from definition and architecture to Quorum blockchain use cases.

Any individual acquainted with the world of technology must be familiar with the term blockchain. There is no surprise that a technology which has the capability for serving diverse purposes in different sectors would become popular in such a short period of time. Many blockchain platforms have evolved over the years, with different consensus mechanisms and encryption methods. 

Quorum is one of the popular blockchain platforms which have gained promising popularity in recent times. Therefore, the interest in Quorum blockchain use cases has also been increasing profoundly in recent times. Let us take a look at the fundamental guide on Quorum in this discussion with an overview of its use cases.

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Need for Quorum Blockchain

The foremost aspect in any guide on Quorum blockchain must focus on the problems that led to its origins. Smart contracts are known for offering better efficiency alongside reducing the costs in comparison to the existing enterprise systems. The existing smart contract systems available with replicated shared ledgers do not have adequate capabilities for offering data privacy. The smart contract state data and transactions are clearly visible on replicated shared ledger, and various setbacks like these have led to the evolution of new variants of smart contracts. 

The new methodologies included zero-knowledge proofs, homomorphic encryption, cryptographic protocols, and many others. Quorum use cases are basically leveraging the power of a simpler approach towards privacy, with the essence of Ethereum platform. Quorum retains various significant features of Ethereum, like increasing the overall security of the network by revealing details of private transactions to parties involved in the transaction. So, let us find out more about Quorum and what exactly it is before diving into uses of quorum blockchain

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Defining Quorum Blockchain

Quorum is basically a private or permissioned blockchain network based on a fork of the Ethereum blockchain. The foundation of Quorum is the Go implementation of Ethereum. It leverages a voting-based consensus algorithm. The unique highlight of Quorum, which ensures data privacy is the new feature known as a private transaction identifier. The primary design goal behind Quorum was reusing the use of existing technology as much as possible. As a result, quorum blockchain use cases would have to undergo limited changes for maintaining sync with upcoming versions of the public Ethereum codebase.

Majority of the logic underlying the Quorum blockchain focused on better privacy functionality is evident in a layer sitting aboard a standard Ethereum protocol layer. The fundamental question ‘Who is using quorum?’ should often come after reflecting on why enterprises and individuals should use quorum. The core foundation of Quorum emphasizes using cryptography to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data in private transactions. The basic design of Quorum features the following two elements,

  1. A singular shared blockchain
  2. Blend of modifications to Ethereum and smart contract software architecture

Smart contract architecture in Quorum delivers functionalities of private data segmentation. The changes on the go-Ethereum codebase for Quorum also include changes to the validation processes and block proposals. The block validation process undergoes changes in such a way that different nodes offer validation for public transactions. 

However, in the case of private transactions, only the nodes that are party to the transaction through execution of contract code related to the transactions take part in the block validation process. In the case of other transactions marked as private in certain Quorum use cases, the node can escape the process for contract code execution. 

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Architecture of Quorum Blockchain

The working of Quorum architecture relies on state database segmentation. The state database would be replicated in two categories such as public state database or private state database. The nodes in the network are maintained in perfect state consensus on the public state. In the case of private state databases, variations would become clearly evident. 

Even if the client node state database could not store the state of the whole global state database, the concerned distributed blockchain, alongside all transactions, enables the complete replication throughout all nodes alongside offering cryptographic security for the benefits of immutability. As a result, the uses of quorum blockchain could find a unique advantage related to other segmentation strategies on the basis of multiple blockchains. It also adds up to the security and resilience in the design. 

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Who is Using Quorum?

The features of Quorum and its basic design principle point out to possibilities of various productive use cases of Quorum. However, after having a detailed overview of what is Quorum Blockchain, it is reasonable to wonder about “Who is using Quorum?” for finding out more regarding its popularity. So, let us take a look at some of the notable enterprises which use Quorum before moving towards its use cases.

  • ING Group
  • Ant Group
  • LVMH
  • HSBC
  • Novartis
  • Cargill
  • Microsoft
  • JP Morgan Chase

Furthermore, Quorum is well poised for continuous growth throughout different industries along with Enterprise Ethereum. According to the Forbes Top 50 list for 2021, Quorum can find promising applications with promising scope for growth in supply chain management, finance, manufacturing, and insurance.

Top 10 Quorum Blockchain Use Cases

The clarity regarding the basic functionality of Quorum and its popularity in the enterprise landscape gives the perfect foundation to start discussing the uses of Quorum blockchain. Let us take a detailed look at the different examples of using Quorum across ten different sectors. 

1. Banking and Finance

The most promising sector for finding the use cases of quorum blockchain obviously points out to financial services. Blockchain has been a prominent game changer in the field of financial applications. Each quorum example in different applications of Quorum in the financial services sector enhances the value of blockchain in finance. Some of the most prominent use cases of quorum blockchain in banking and finance include the following applications.

  • Tokenized cash
  • Commercial bank payments
  • Exchanging information regarding sanctions
  • Trade finance
  • Supply chain finance
  • Institutional trading
  • Capital market data
  • Commodity post-trade processing 
  • Loan marketplaces and issuing debts
  • Interbank payments in association with central banks

Apart from these applications, the quorum can also help in developing a ledger system for auditing financial transactions. For example, Block Ledger is an example of the use case of quorum blockchain. It is actually a decentralized accounting ledger system that leverages quorum blockchain through the BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service) approach. The functions of Block Ledger focus on rationalizing debtors and creditors through the addition of hash on the blockchain. This can be helpful for account reconciliation, transparency, risk and credit scoring, e-invoicing, and audit trail. 

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2. Insurance

The most common quorum example in the insurance sector is State Farm. The primary functionality of leveraging quorum blockchain in this insurance use case emphasizes insurance claim subrogation. State Farm leverages the functionalities of Quorum blockchain in collaboration with the renowned insurer, USAA, for this use case. The blockchain insurance subrogation network could support the acceleration of payments for auto-insurance claims. 

The shift of insurance claims to the blockchain network can substantially reduce the volume of exchanging checks alongside other paper-based processes between the two participating institutions. Replacing the existing insurance subrogation mechanisms could deliver promising improvements in efficiency. Blockchain could be helpful for introducing improvements such as automation of carrier-to-carrier claims payments. As a result, it can provide considerable savings in terms of money and time. The use of quorum blockchain technology could ensure secure improvement and automation of manual processes. At the same time, quorum blockchain use cases in the insurance sector could also help in ensuring that money travels faster to members and customers of an application.

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3. Healthcare

Healthcare is another prominent sector for showcasing the uses of quorum blockchain. The most notable example of using quorum blockchain in the field of healthcare deals with the management of healthcare provider data. According to the HIPAA Journal, the total number of records compromised in healthcare data breaches in February 2020 only amounted to almost 1,531,855. Therefore, blockchain is definitely a favorable alternative for improving the security of healthcare provider data while ensuring seamless data movement.

The most notable example of using quorum blockchain for the healthcare sector is Synaptic Healthcare Alliance. It is a pilot blockchain project with five founding members. The primary objective of the Synaptic Healthcare Alliance project focuses on creating an industry-wide database for healthcare providers. The project would aim at resolving the concerns associated with healthcare provider data management. The uses of quorum blockchain in Synaptic Healthcare Alliance emphasize improving data quality and reducing administrative costs. Synaptic Healthcare Alliance achieves these outcomes by sharing provider data inputs alongside the modifications introduced by different participants throughout the blockchain network. 

4. Digital Identity

Digital identity use cases are also one of the important highlights among the answers to ‘who is using quorum?’ with Uqudo being a prominent example. It is a mobile-based identity management platform that helps customers in shifting the physical ID records and existing digital IDs to their phones. The application leverages NFC and biometrics for the verification of personal information about an individual. In addition, Quorum could provide suitable proof regarding the integrity of digital IDs as well as onboard documents. 

Uqudo is capable of supporting customers in using phones for consuming services from identity-based service providers. Users could easily avail services such as applying for telecommunication services, age verification in online shopping, or providing the KYC details for opening a bank account. Uqudo helps users in creating a digital representation of ID details on mobile phones with a digital ID wallet. The ID wallet leverages the quorum blockchain for offering an additional layer of security. Therefore, the uses of quorum blockchain in digital identity could clearly deliver promising benefits with use cases involving consent management and data sharing.                    

5. Supply Chain

The wide range of applications of blockchain in supply chain management has gained promising levels of attention in recent times. As a matter of fact, supply chain management provides better scope for different quorum use cases. The different areas in which quorum can support supply chain applications include automated inventory tracking and shipment tracking. In addition, the use cases of quorum blockchain in supply chain management also focus on the verification of authenticity regarding luxury goods. 

A striking example of supply chain tracking with the help of quorum blockchain is Starbucks. It has been successful in implementing quorum along with the Azure Blockchain Service of Microsoft for tracking the production of coffee. The quorum blockchain use cases for supply chain tracking also point to the example of Eximchain. It is basically a protocol tailored for scalable and public blockchain networks for enabling privacy across different enterprise supply chain applications. Renowned luxury goods brand, LVMH, has also started a quorum blockchain-based solution for verifying the authenticity of luxury goods.  

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6. Governance and Public Sector

Quorum blockchain has also found many applications in the governance and public sector. A noteworthy example of a national network based on quorum blockchain is Alastria. It is actually the first regulated blockchain ecosystem in the world. Alastria includes more than 70 Spanish firms such as Santander, University of Valencia, BBVA, Santander, University of Girona, Telefonica and the University of Malaga. The project focuses on three distinct pillars of blockchain technology such as,

  • The Alastria Association
  • The Alastria Network
  • The Alastria ID

The Alastria Network is the blockchain infrastructure for the uses of quorum blockchain in creating a national network. The Alastria ID serves as the digital identity standard on the network. With the applications of Alastria, it can help in fostering collaboration of the private sector, the academic world, and public administration.

7. Enterprise Solutions

The capabilities of quorum blockchain are also evidently useful for enterprise solutions. Quorum blockchain serves as an ideal instrument for offering support to optimize existing enterprise operations and processes. Speaking of a quorum example of enterprise solutions, there are three distinct use cases for improvising support with technology solutions. 

First of all, ProofSuite is an example of using quorum blockchain for empowering financial technology research and development. 

Another notable example of using quorum blockchain in enterprise solutions is BlockTEST. The application offers adequate support for the development and optimization of enterprise blockchain solutions. As a result, the application would enable improvements in the flow of finances, products, and data. 

LayerX is also another entry among uses of quorum blockchain for enterprise support solutions. It leverages quorum blockchain for offering security auditing, technical consulting, blockchain integration, and proof of concept development. Presently, the application has focused its attention on the Japanese market.

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8. Media and Entertainment

Blockchain has also discovered many critical use cases in the field of media and entertainment. The example of Xbox Video Game Royalties showcases the potential of quorum blockchain for streamlining rights management. Ernst & Young and Microsoft are presently working on this blockchain solution based on quorum blockchain. 

The basic objective of Xbox Video Game Royalties will focus on reducing the processing time alongside ensuring faster tracking of royalties in the domain of video gaming. With this application, quorum blockchain showcases exceptional advantages of improving trust and transparency among industry stakeholders. However, quorum blockchain could offer the most interesting value proposition in managing operational inefficiencies during the royalty management process.

9. Travel and Hospitality

Quorum blockchain use cases have also found their way into the domain of travel and hospitality. The first example of use cases of quorum in the retail travel and hospitality sector refers to EMR. The owner of Burj Khalifa, Emaar, has launched EMR as a platform for rewarding customers for business referrals and loyalty. The platform would reward EMR tokens and users could redeem the tokens for malls, real estate, e-commerce operations, and hotels of Emaar. In addition, it is also suitable for trading with other users. Another example of using quorum blockchain for travel and hospitality is for airlines’ refund payout. Travacoin, a digital payment system, uses the quorum blockchain for ensuring that airlines could provide refunds and compensation for passengers efficiently. 

10. Blockchain Data Analytics

The final use case example of quorum blockchain presents an interesting proposition as it is directly related to Quorum. The Splunk App for Quorum is a useful tool for monitoring the blockchain infrastructure developed on the Quorum blockchain. It can provide a detailed impression of the building blocks as well as dashboards for ensuring visibility and monitoring regarding Quorum node logs. Quorum Splunk app also helps in recording metrics and transaction analytics from the blockchain network. 

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How Does Quorum Achieve Consensus?

Another major question related to Quorum is the approach it follows for achieving consensus. Quorum is dependent on a majority voting protocol, known as QuorumChain. It features a subset of nodes in the network with the ability to vote on the blocks. The voting role helps nodes in voting on the specific blocks which should be selected as a canonical head at a specific height.

Block creation for Quorum blockchain is possible only with nodes that are allocated the role of maker. The node with the maker role could create a block and could sign it in a distinct manner. Other nodes could verify that upon importing a block, it has the signature of one of the nodes with permission to make blocks. 

QuorumChain is useful for various Quorum blockchain use cases with its implementation in the form of a smart contract. The deployment of a smart contract is one of the crucial factors for consensus management. In addition, it has also provided an improvement over the census-upgrade process. 

The smart contract can easily track the lists of voters and block makers. Both the lists could be managed easily through simple and standard transactions. As a result, users can get explicit clarity and control over the identity of individuals responsible for governance of the network.

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Data Privacy- The Crown Jewel of Quorum

Quorum blockchain sells itself on the promise of data privacy. Data privacy in Quorum is clearly evident with the facility of segmentation and cryptography. Cryptography is generally applicable for data in the transactions, visible for everyone on the blockchain. Segmentation is applicable for the local state database of every node in all uses of Quorum blockchain. The local stated database features the contract storage, and only the node can access it. 

The nodes involved with the private transactions can only ensure execution of the private contract code. The concerned private contract code is related to the transactions that result in updates for the private contract data storage vested in the local state database. As a result, the local state database of each node is stuffed with private and public data they are involved with. Now, let us take a look at the components associated with data privacy in the Quorum use cases.

Private Transactions and Smart Contracts – The Working of Quorum

An API associated with the dApp for creating the transaction helps in deploying the private transactions. A private contract is basically a contract based on a private transaction. The node associated with private transactions would ensure decryption of transaction data before sending it to the EVM. 

The EVM does not focus on supporting any encryption or decryption operations. Furthermore, the private state data related to a private contract rests in the local database of parties involved in the transaction. As a result, the different uses of Quorum blockchain are capable of offering restrictions on availability of information external to the local node.

      1. Privacy of Transactions

Quorum ensures transactions through a list of public keys capable of identifying the parties to a transaction. Therefore, they can ensure the privacy of the transaction to the parties. In the case of this list, the creation of a standard Ethereum transaction features a unique highlight. 

The payload is basically the hash function of the encrypted private data. The newly established transaction, including the cryptographic hash, only moves to the Quorum node. From here, it goes to all nodes throughout the network in the form of a pending transaction. 

The basic components of a Quorum transaction include the following,

  • Recipient information
  • Signature of identification of the sender
  • The amount of ether, however, ether balance is not mandatory with Quorum
  • The optional data field, which contains a hash for private transactions
  • The optional list of parties associated with a transaction

      2. Private Contracts

Private contracts also have a profound role in uses of Quorum blockchain. They are just contracts created through a private transaction. The state of private contracts has representation as an individual Patricia-Merkle tree. It is not possible to ensure the creation of a private contract with a public transaction. Why? The documentation for state of the contract developed with public transactions must be in a different public state Patricia-Merkle tree. 

Validation of Blocks and State Consensus

The standard Ethereum block validation process would provide an important step for confirming the global position of different contracts aligning with the global state hash associated with the block header. This offers cryptographic proof that every node in the network has the right same state database. The proof actually serves as a provable prototype. 

The Quorum state database is an important component for Quorum uses with the facility of two different databases. The states have representation as a memory of two different Patricia-Merkle trees. The process for Quorum block validation would only match on the public state. 

On the other hand, parties associated with a private contract could need cryptographic state consensus evidence. It is actually a distributed application for retrieving the private contract state hash for a particular block. In addition, it can also help in sharing the value with the parties to the contract across on-chain and off-chain transactions. The specific application design could not need parties of the same contract with capability to have a different state. With public state consensus, it could ensure that parties with a private transaction could not go out of consensus for the following reasons.

  1. Validation of a block by including global transaction hash consensus as well as public state consensus
  2. EVM is deterministic in nature, and the same inputs are always capable of generating similar outputs
  3. The inputs are apparently similar because of the inclusion of global transaction hash check-in consensus
  4. Users know about using the same blockchain of transactions on the grounds of achieving public state consensus and sequential chain validation
  5. Subsequently, it is improbable for the EVM to generate a unique state of private contract through the processing of a private transaction

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Bottom Line

The primary issues, such as control of information alongside complete public transparency as well as access, serve as essential requirements for banking and other financial institutions. Even if blockchain delivers features such as immutability and effective traceability in a traditional banking system, it can be difficult to have a network that is completely visible to the public. 

Furthermore, exposure to smart contracts could also affect financial organizations. With the initiative of JP Morgan, Quorum blockchain use cases have the potential for transforming the financial services sector. Since the world is increasingly adopting blockchain technology, it is inevitable to choose the best platform. The world needs to know about different quorum blockchain use cases and their potential to transform enterprise operations efficiently.

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!