Flowchain Foundation Releases Video about its Distributed Leger Technology
Flowchain is a distributed ledger technology for IoT devices and p2p networks. The Flowchain+IPFS implementation is an essential use case of Flowchain distributed ledger technology.
Introducing Flowchain Distributed Ledger Technology
Disruptive technologies are changing our lives including the blockchains. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also report that blockchain technology has entered the top strategic priorities of the CEOs of the Fortune 1000 . Moreover, the IDC report mentions that 30% of the global data will be in real-time in 2025. These facts lead Flowchain to put its priorities on real-time blockchain technology.
Accordingly, as a notable success story of blockchains, Bitcoin is a popular decentralized system, but not fully distributed. Flowchain’s vision is to design and implement a distributed ledger technology (aka Blockchain) for peer-to-peer IoT networks and real-time data transactions.
To achieve the vision, Flowchain has proposed emerging technologies such as Flowchain Ledger, Virtual Blocks, Devify OS, Mining-based PoS, Hybrid Blockchain, Hybrid Consensus, Pseudonymous Authentication over PPKI, etc.
One of Flowchain’s emerging technologies is the hybrid blockchain architecture which allows you to integrate your business into a private blockchain. The Flowchain hybrid architecture comprises of private blockchains and a public blockchain.
To learn Flowchain’s blockchain technologies, please continue to watch the video.
Flowchain Ledgers with IPFS
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) technology is also a remarkable story regarding a distributed system. IPFS is the distributed web and ususally used as distributed network storage. Flowchain can integrate IPFS and secure the data in IPFS utilizing its capability of real-time data transactions.
The idea of Flowchain+IPFS is to provide a more secure distributed storage network. The design principle is to use IPFS as the down layer of Flowchain. In short, Flowchain can store transactional data in the IPFS distributed storage in a real-time manner by implementing Flowc hain hybrid blockchain architecture.
Flowchain PPKI: Public Keys for Data Security
The distributed computing uses the full authentication technique such as the Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) to control access to their networks. Also, most existing blockchains use such PKI technique to authenticate users, secure the communications and verify transactions by multi-party signatures.
However, such a PKI technique cannot enable fast data communication. Specifically, the IoT blockchain needs to authenticate nodes with quick; as such, Flowchain proposed the pseudonymous authentication technique to address such technical challenge. The pseudonymous authentication uses the method of computational puzzles solving to replace the PKI to enable fast authentication.
Flowchain Block Producers
There are three types of block producers (aka miners) in Flowchain blockchain networks which receive block rewards by validating Virtual Blocks (as described in the next section).
Flowchain block producers comprise of three different types of nodes : the hybrid node, IPFS node, and the AI node. The hybrid node generates public keys of the PPKI network.
Why’s the purpose of PPKI? In the private blockchain, IoT device needs to send chunked data and store their transactions in Virtual Blocks before submitting transactions to public blockchain for verification. The PPKI can authenticate the IoT device; thus the data from the IoT device can be trust. The other reason is that IoT devices are resource-constraints, they have less memory size and computation power, so PKI is not suitable for such devices.
Let’s go more in-depth about PPKI. The PPKI system generates a pair of two random numbers: lambda and puzzle. The lambda is used as a public key to authenticate IoT device; the answer to a puzzle is used as a private key to sign transactions.
So, the IoT device can use the lambda as its public key together with the puzzle answers as to its signature. Because the puzzle and lambda are theoretically random, the PPKI system is very secure.
Public Blockchain continuously generates the lambda value, all past lambda values can be recorded in the public blockchain and can be verified by the miners in the public blockchain. Therefore, different private blockchains can exchange their data in secure over the PPKI system.
Public Blockchain continuously generates the lambda value; all past lambda values can be recorded in the public blockchain and can be verified by the miners in the public blockchain. Therefore, different private blockchains can exchange their data in secure over the PPKI system.
Also, Flowchain is the first blockchain to remove PKI. In short, it doesn’t use PKI technology to authenticate IoT device or sign transactions to submit. Flowchain uses Pseudonymous Authentication technique to authenticate IoT device,s also called PPKI. Hybrid node is the node to receive PPKI from the public blockchain.
Real-Time Data Transactions
Virtual Block of Flowchain is the key to real-time transactions. For example, five IoT devices are labeled N1 to N5, and each device is a “node” in a Flowchain private blockchain. The following gives an example:
- All nodes are mining blocks that use the same genesis block
- In other words, each node creates a new “branch” for mining
- Every block in each branch is called a Virtual Block
- Virtual Blocks can be labeled as valid or invalid
- Only valid blocks are available to record transactions
Then, IPFS cuts a file into pieces of data, call chunks. For example, a file has 4 chunks in total. In Flowchain networks:
- D1 selects N6 as its successor node to submit itself to a virtual block.
- The D2, D3, and D4 do the same things as well in sequence.
- The selection is based on the Chord p2p algorithm, and the selection is random.
- The successor node of D3 if N5.
Then, N5 submits the transaction of D3 to its virtual blocks. The data structure of virtual blocks is very different from existing blockchains. N5 filled lambda and puzzle solutions to the block. As previously mentioned, lambda is used as a public key, and puzzle solutions are used as signatures.
This is the process real-time data transactions over the Flowchain+IPFS blockchain network. The public blockchain will be verifying virtual blocks, the following diagram shows the process of virtual blocks verifications.
After transactions of Virtual Blocks were verified, the IPFS chunks together with their transactions will be sent to IPFS node. We will show the detailed sequence in another article.
We have already published the hybrid node at Github, you can download the software at https://github.com/flowchain/flowchain-hybrid.
Product Launch Soon !
Open source is nature if we want to build decentralized systems. And, decentralized is impossible if we have to use trusted thirty parties to exchange private data. The blockchain is a fantastic technology to build such a decentralized system.
Flowchain will launch the dev kit for Proof-of-Concept in early July 2019. The dev kit recaps Flowchain technologies, for future information please visit https://flowchain.co/products.html.