The key of doing business properly is a contract that is an agreement with specific terms between two or more business parties in which there is a commitment to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration ( see “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world at http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ).
Blockchain (as the best, so far, records storage) provides integrity and traceability (see “Beauty of #blockchain - doveryai, no proveryai (trust but verify)” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/10/beauty-of-blockchain-doveryai-no.html ). This is a mandatory component of digital contracts as enablers of the safe digital economy, but not sufficient one. Let us see in a few following scenarios what is missing yet for the trustful sharing of data and documents in digital business transactions within digital contracts.
Variant 1 - P2P anonymous
As simple as giving a few coins to a poor person.
Variant 2 - P2P with zero-knowledge proof
Transaction participants may verify that their counterparts are a real and respectable person. In case of problems with a transaction, its participants can be reveal by court’s request.
Variant 3 – simple B2B
Some documents (e.g. offer, payments, certificates of digital assets, etc.) must be exchanged between participants. Thus they must be managed properly within each transaction by specialised “chains” as docs-chain and assets-chain. Their lifecycles are bounded by the relevant transaction. Actually, they are temporary secured storages that may use the blockchain for storing digital hashes of their content (see also “Electronic Health Records ( #EHR ) implementation with #blockchain, #BPM, #ECM and #platform” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/electronic-health-records-ehr.html ).
Of course, the best contract is a digital one ( see again “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world at http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ).
Variant 4 – B2B and partners
If the PartyB has a partner (PartnerB1) to produce PartyB’s goods then some documents from the PartnerB1 may be embedded (like a Russian doll) into the documents from the PartyB. In some cases, such documents may be anonymised.
Variant 5 – Supply Chain (SC)
As firms now rely on ecosystem partners for many of the functions once done in-house, one of their major organizational challenges is how to best manage their increasingly complex operations across a network of interconnected companies. Distributed operations can lead to increased risks, unanticipated consequences and new kinds of serious frictions. ( from http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/10/14/blockchains-and-the-promise-of-more-frictionless-trusted-economies/ )
To be able to run comprehensive monitoring and, potentially, some global optimisation, all the partners, all related data and all related documents must be in one secured storage of records, ideally, blockchain-based.