What Is a Blockchain Operating System?

A blockchain operating system uses blockchain as a support system that runs in the background of a computer system or platform. For instance, your Android mobile or Windows PC needs a local installation of the respective operating system (OS) on the smartphone’s memory or on the PC’s hard-disk, and all transactions and commands are executed locally. A blockchain-based OS captures all commands and transactions from a user’s device where authenticating, executing, and recording them occurs on the blockchain.

Key Takeaways

  • A blockchain operating system leverage blockchain ledger technology to run computer systems or networks in whole or in part.
  • In order to function as an OS, blockchain protocols must allow for the execution of computer code and commands from users.
  • Initially aimed as OS for mobile phones or other connected smart devices, blockchain operating systems tout a high level of data security and user anonymity.

Understanding Blockchain Operating Systems

Beyond the standard payment processing system of the popular Bitcoin cryptocurrency, blockchain is finding extensive use all across the technology stack. The emerging fad among the technical development on distributed ledger technology is the blockchain operating system.

A blockchain essentially works as a ledger turned transaction processing engine. Whether you need a payment processed, or you need to arm your cryptokitty with the latest gadget on the Ethereum platform, or if you want to track your high-cost wine shipment right from the vinyard to your doorstep on the VeChain blockchain, all such applications of blockchain are based on authenticating, recording, and processing transactions.

Any standard operating system, be it Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, or mobile systems like Android or iOS, also executes transactions based on user commands issued through mouse-clicks or screen-taps where all the tasks get completed locally on the device. The same concept is extended to the use of a blockchain for device OS, where its use for working as an operating system is seen as a more efficient OS.

Examples of Blockhain OS Efforts

Attempts to build blockchain-based OS first emerged for use in mobiles and smartphones, and it was a cloud-based virtual system. All the necessary transaction processing occurs on the cloud-hosted blockchain-based data center, with the user only issuing necessary commands through the taps on the device touchscreen.

For instance, Hong Kong-based NYNJA Group Ltd. has a strategic collaboration with Amgoo smartphone makers for its blockchain-based NYNJA virtual operating system (vOS). The two companies will work with telecom operators in Latin America to provide NYNJA vOS users with an initial block of data upon activation. The vOS supports a communication layer offering text, voice, video conferencing and project management tools, a secure payments layer for commercial transaction, and a multi-currency wallet that supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and all ERC-20 compatible tokens. The OS platform also supports a marketplace for commercial activities - like allocating the skilled ‘gig economy’ workers to specific job demands from the users, and a market for users to buy and sell goods. The vOS is supported by its native cryptocurrency called NYNJAcoin or NYN.

Special Considerations

All benefits and advantages of blockchain are expected to be available to blockchain OS users.

Whatever a user does on their Android or iOS mobiles, or Windows or Mac PCs is prone to be captured by the respective apps, ISPs, as well as the OS manufacturers who may record all user activities in the OS logs. Blockchain based OS offers benefits of security and privacy, and the de-regulated, decentralized use of OS.

The concept is still evolving, and real world use is limited. However, if it succeeds in offering a smooth and clutter-free working of the device OS, it may not be too far to see more and more devices running on such blockchain OS.