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What Factors Determine The Quality Of Blockchain Testing?
With technology having a disruptive and transformational impact on businesses and their end users, its acceptance and adoption depend on a variety of factors. Among these are the social and cultural mores, economic prosperity, and risk taking ability. If the world of the Internet and increased digitization have brought attributes like convenience, value for money and speed, they have also created challenges. These are in terms of generating trust, accountability and transparency for online transactions.
Furthermore, even if more number of people are switching onto online digital transactions, the inherent fear of being shortchanged or targeted by cyber criminals is always there. However, if digital technologies per se have created challenges of trust and reliability, the answer too has been provided by technologies such as blockchain. Though in its infancy, blockchain has been touted as the next big thing in ushering in a greater adoption of digital technologies. In fact, blockchain implementation across domains has become a serious matter of discussion for policy makers and stakeholders to share information in a secure and transparent manner.
What is a blockchain?
It is a decentralized digital ledger that tracks and records transactions and the flow of assets by using public key encryption or cryptography. The fact that blockchain’s system of recording and monitoring transactions does not take into account any centralized entity like the banks makes it cost effective, efficient and quick. The records of transactions in the form of blocks are stored in an interlinked network of computers owned by the users themselves.
Blockchain enables great collaboration and sharing of data, assets and cyber currencies among individuals or entities. Since the entire value chain or workflow is secured through cryptography where each and every transaction at various levels is changed only by a majority opinion, the level of trust is considerably higher. This also pre-empts hackers and cyber criminals from stealing data.
The multifarious uses of blockchain technology
• In supply chain management, blockchain can be used to monitor the movement of assets (digital and physical) on parameters such as origin, quantity, time etc. This enhances transparency and simplifies the workflow in the B2B ecosystem.
• When glitches are detected, it’s often difficult to trace their origin or the point of ingress. However, blockchain implementation can track the glitches all the way to their origin. This can help businesses to find out the reasons and execute necessary actions.
• In accounting, blockchain can eliminate human error since each and every record is verified when passed from one node to another thus creating an audit trail.
• Blockchain can create and validate smart contracts between enterprises without the need for mediators thus saving time and money.
With such prospects envisioned for this new technology, testing blockchain has become important to drive home its advantages. If scaled and taken to its logical conclusion, blockchain has the potential to transform businesses, banks, and governments by making them more stabilized, efficient, accountable and reliable.
Factors to consider prior to blockchain testing
Testing blockchain applications includes regular testing types such as integration, functional, security, and performance as well as specialised ones like smart contract, node, and non-functional. However, one should consider the following factors before going for testing blockchain.
# Code Quality: Even though this technology is considered secure and robust thanks to its peer to peer review protocol, it does have some security vulnerabilities. This is mainly to do with untested and low quality codes that are part of the blockchain workflow. The main job of the blockchain testing services is to ensure the codes are peer reviewed multiple times before deployment. It is better to use the Agile and DevOps model of continuous integration and testing of codes. Also, the protocols and smart contracts should be tested beforehand.
# Smart Contract Testing: This should be done similar to API testing comprising the validation of methods, boundary value, and conditional statement. Thereafter, the encryption part of the smart contract should be validated by another system while transferring it through the distributed ledger.
# Node Testing: All heterogeneous nodes in a blockchain should be independently tested as each one of them is part of the distributed peer to peer network that facilitates a successful transaction.
# Security: To ensure a secure transaction, the blockchain testing strategy should look into aspects such as access and authentication, secure hash, consensus algorithm, private keys, and vulnerability assessment among others.
The blockchain testing strategy should be guided by how the system has been implemented for your specific application. The above mentioned factors, provide a basic guideline for the validation and verification of blockchain technology.
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