Intel has unveiled a modular platform called Sawtooth Lake for developing and maintaining of distributed ledgers.
Distributed ledgers (with blockchain being the most popular) provide a digital record that is not controlled by one central authority. Instead, members of a ledger contribute resources to shared computation that ensures universal agreement on the state of the ledger. The technology primarily underlies bitcoin but as well is applied to various areas including international remittance, insurance claim processing, supply chain management and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Traditionally there are three main components in distributed ledgers:
- A data model that captures the current state of the ledger
- A language of transactions that change the ledger state
- A protocol used to build consensus among participants around which transactions will be accepted by the ledger.
According to Intel, they implemented the data model and transaction language in a “transaction family” in Sawtooth Lake. They offer three transaction families for efficient building, testing and deploying a marketplace for digital assets:
- EndPointRegistry – A transaction family for registering ledger services.
- IntegerKey – A transaction family used for testing deployed ledgers.
- MarketPlace – A transaction family for buying, selling and trading digital assets.
The set of these three transaction families makes up an “out of the box” ledger that implements a fully functional marketplace for digital assets.
Sawtooth Lake provides two consensus protocols with two performance trade-offs – Proof of Elapsed Time and Quorum Voting. “Proof of Elapsed Time, or PoET, is a lottery protocol that builds on trusted execution environments provided by Intel’s SGX to address the needs of large populations of participants. Quorum Voting is an adaptation of the Ripple and Stellar consensus protocols and serves to address the needs of applications that require immediate transaction finality.”
The code for the Sawtooth Lake to start building your own distributed ledger is available here.
Intel is a part of the Hyperledger Project, a partnership of numerous companies with one basic aim to create advanced blockchain technology. The last companies to join the Hyperledger Project at the end of March were Blockstream, Bloq, eVue Digital Labs, Gem, itBit, Milligan Partners, Montran Labs, Ribbit.me, Tequa Creek Holdings and Thomson Reuters.
The most recent researches show that the investment in the blockchain technology by financial institutions alone will reach $400 million by 2019. Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, says: “There is no other effort advancing an open blockchain with this level of broad industry representation and level of leadership. The Hyperledger Project is among our fastest growing projects at The Linux Foundation. The opportunity is great. This leadership team and the community investments among members across industries put the project in the best position possible to accomplish its mission.”