Everything in this world is born twice – once when it first comes into this world and second when it realizes it’s greater purpose. Blockchain is no exception. It is coming to us in a second incarnation moving on from its current form as Cryptocurrency to a greater state of being – one where it will be used for medical records, financial transactions, contract fulfillment, or supply chain traceability while opening up new opportunities for interactions between parties that require trust and validation.
Intel in a recent blog post wrote about the potential benefits of this blockchain technology. They have been actively working with others to explore opportunities and identify areas where the amalgamation of their expertise and advanced technologies can bring an impact.
Intel is known to constantly push its boundaries when it comes to technological innovations. With dozens of organizations experimenting with blockchain technology in the sectors of finance, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing and technology Intel recognizes the broad deployment of the same can only be a tangible dream after considerable augmentation of privacy, security and scalability of blockchain.
A collaborative community HyperLedger noted Intel’s contribution called “Sawtooth Lake” as an open source project to evaluate the performance characteristics of large-scale blockchain deployments. Originating in 2014, this modular platform was put into operation in Python with C/C++ crypto acceleration. It was aimed at building, deploying and running distributed ledgers.
As the blog mentions, “the platform is modular and extensible, supporting a range of plug-and-play components enabling organizations to rapidly prototype and experiment with various forms of blockchain deployments.”
Intel has moved beyond traditional norms and has provided two distinct consensus algorithms to choose from within Sawtooth Lake. For the distributed consensus, they have employed a Proof-of-Elapsed-Time (PoET) algorithm. This algorithm uses a trusted execution environment to generate fair and efficient leader election. It results in a reduced computation and energy cost along with delivering a fair distributed consensus.
According to the post, “banking consortium R3 announced that eight of their member banks had successfully tested a bond-trading system, based on Intel’s blockchain platform. Together we (Intel) demonstrated how you could effectively trade, match, and redeem government and corporate bonds at a throughput of more than 100,000 transactions per day. We are excited about our collaboration with R3.”
Speaking of the consumer side of digital transactions, Intel has recently been working with BitPay on enhancing the security of the wallets that protect people’s digital assets. BitPay, the world’s largest Bitcoin processor, is now functioning on Intel® Software Guard Extensions (SGX) that are built into Intel’s seventh-generation Core processors. This technology boosts the computer security to such a level that sensitive information like a users private keys is not exposed to codes like those of malwares. The major impact that Intel hopes for is an increasing trust factor over decentralized asset exchanges over the Internet.
That’s not all. Another interesting community that Intel is supporting is the Open Music Initiative – an open-source protocol for the identification of music rights holders and creators. Open Music Initiative is leveraging the blockchain technology in order to simplify and enhance the way that musicians and related businesses are identified and compensated. It has named Sawtooth Lake as the reference platform for its project.
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