Blockchain Development – 5 Tips for picking the right services
Initially introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, the blockchain technology has gained a lot of perks and features over the following years. Now that its usability reaches far beyond peer-to-peer electronic cash, it has drawn the attention of many companies that strive to implement it into their operations. However, the technology is still pretty young and developers that have sufficient experience to deliver great products are too few. In this article, we are going to share some advice on how to find the best blockchain development company and answer a few most frequent questions that one can come across in the process.
What is blockchain development?
When we talk about blockchain development, we mean implementing this new technology into business operations in order to make use of all the advantages it provides.
Blockchain represents a network of independent computers or nodes linked with each other using cryptography. Every new block generated by these nodes is connected with the previous one via hash and serves as a vault for storing transactional data.
Invented by Vitalik Buterin in late 2013, Ethereum is a blockchain-based platform that adds smart contracts on top of this structure. These are self-executable programs that allow performing different activities (e.g. money transfer) in an automatic way once preprogrammed conditions are met. With that said, blockchain offers a range of benefits for businesses such as:
- Immutability and security. In order to change transactional data, one would have to gain control over more than 50% of all the nodes which is near to impossible with Ethereum and other popular analogies. It is possible with less-known platforms, though, that’s why the platform choice is really crucial.
- Irreversibility of transactions. Businesses will no longer suffer from fraudulent customers requesting a refund from banks.
- Transparency. All transactions can be verified on an open ledger by any interested party.
- Lower costs. With smart contracts standing in place of intermediaries such as banks and notaries, the costs for conducting deals can be significantly reduced.
The benefits are aplenty, and there’s no wonder that the number of companies that use blockchain has grown so quickly.
How do blockchain companies operate?
Keep in mind that blockchain is not a magic pill to solve all problems in all verticals, but there are a few areas that can benefit from its implementation more than the others. Let’s review a few examples.
- Financial companies. Blockchain can improve the banking industry by not only reducing the costs of verifying transactions but also by helping participants to exchange value in a much faster way.
- Healthcare. Storing patients’ health records on the blockchain can improve their security and eliminate the risks of personal data leakage.
- Logistics. Keeping records of products’ origin and their relocation across the whole supply chain via RFID chips can resolve the problem of counterfeit and food safety.
- Government and voting. Adding transparency to the voting process can improve people’s trust in their authorities.
This is not an ultimate list of all areas, of course, but still, it shows the general direction.
Tips for picking the right blockchain development company
With the rise of Bitcoin’s popularity, many blockchain development companies have emerged to fulfill the market’s request. Finding the best blockchain consultant may not always be easy, especially if you haven’t dealt with this new technology before. Below, we have listed some tips that can help you select the best blockchain developer to resolve your tasks.
Tip #1. Supported blockchains.
Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchains for dApp’s creation which makes it easier to find a skilled developer. However, mind that this platform has scalability problems as it allows processing quite a small number of transactions per second.
Currently, it is still in the process of changing its underlying consensus from PoW (Proof-of-Work) to PoS (Proof-of-Stake) aiming to resolve this issue. As the final stage of this transfer is being constantly put off, many other platforms have been created with better performance such as Cardano, Cardano, Hyperledger, and EOS. See which of these platforms the company has experience with.
Tip #2. Custom development.
Out-of-the-box blockchain solutions may not always be sufficient for resolving specific business tasks. Complicated types of infrastructure may require an individual approach. Check if the company offers custom blockchain development in case none of the existing platforms fits your requirements. It would be a good bonus if the team can help you write white and yellow papers to support their custom design with needed specifications.
Tip #3. Smart contract audit.
While focusing on blockchain software development, companies may often pay too much attention to the logic and token issuance while failing to provide the needed level of security. See if the company has the capability to conduct the audit of smart contracts with the help of third-party services to ensure that the software they create is secure. It would be a big bonus if the team can also optimize contract processes to help end-users pay less for gas and thus reduce operational costs.
Tip #4. Check the team’s experience.
It is considered a good practice among blockchain consultants and blockchain technology companies to showcase their teams’ experience in the industry on dedicated pages of their websites.
Find all these people’s profiles on Linkedin, see if they have worked on similar projects, and if they have relevant experience in this niche.
Tip #5. Check the company’s field of expertise.
Blockchain business development may require a lot of new skills related to this highly technological area. Find out which programming languages and frameworks the team has worked with, the size of its past projects, and the verticals where it has operated. If you run a huge enterprise and the company only focuses on small startups, most likely they just won’t be able to provide you with sufficient quality due to the lack of experience.
Tip #6. Check third-party reviews.
In the era of open-source technologies, there’s no difficulty to find reviews on any project on the web. GitHub, Bitcoitalk, Clutch, Linkedin, Gartner, and other similar platforms can give you lots of food for thought and help you find out what unprejudiced parties think about the blockchain provider of your choice.
How much does it cost to hire a blockchain development company?
Just like with mobile apps’ development, the cost of creating decentralized apps differs from one company to another and depends on multiple factors.
The size of the company and the level of blockchain developers’ experience is one of the most obvious characteristics. Then follow the complexity and the type of apps that they develop. Different niches also may affect the ultimate price for the same reasons.
All in all, the prices may range from 2,000 USD for the simplest decentralized application (shortly dApp) to > 35,000 USD for a whole blockchain-based platform with multiple features and functions.
All-in-all, the starting price you can keep in mind is 2,000 USD. The upper boundary can only be limited by the client’s imagination and specific requirements.
A blockchain technology company, in-house blockchain developers, or blockchain freelancers?
This is one more important question that needs to be answered. To help you make a decision, we have compiled a comparison table below based on the key factors.
|Comparison aspect||Freelance blockchain provider||In-house blockchain developers||Blockchain development companies|
|Costs||Lower rates for a one-time project||Higher rates (salaries)||Higher rates (development, consulting, deployment, and support)|
|Project size||Small or mid-sized projects (the best fit for startups)||Any size||Any size|
|Availability||Depends on the freelancer’s schedule||Working hours during the week||Depends on the company’s time zone|
|Range of services||Development||Development, implementation, support||Development, implementation, support|
|Confidentiality||High risks as there’s no way to guarantee that NDA will be followed||Low risks thanks to NDA||Low risks thanks to NDA|
Blockchain software development FAQ
How do blockchain development companies operate?
Implementing blockchain into business operations may help to improve transparency and security, reduce costs on transactions, and eliminate the need for intermediaries.
How long takes to develop a decentralized app?
The timeframe may vary from 1 month to create a simple application to 6 months and more to make the blockchain technology an integral part of a huge enterprise.
How much does it cost?
The costs may vary depending on many different factors. The typical range is 2,000 – 35,000 USD.
Can I upgrade my blockchain product in the future?
Yes, it is possible. Just like with any other custom software development, new features may be added in the future to resolve new tasks.