These days, everyone is talking about blockchain. While companies are quick to announce that they are using blockchain, the key question to be answered in any new project is:
“Why does it require a blockchain?”
Many claim they need a blockchain because of their extraordinarily unique use-case. In a number of cases, however, the venture does not create a new blockchain and endevours only to issues a new token for use on their own platform. Whether that justifies the use of blockchain remains up for debate, however the technology is fast evolving and each new project has its own ambitions.
What I strongly believe is that it is imperative to leverage on the blockchain’s core characteristics to achieve broad adoption of the infrastructure and realise the full benefit of any resulting new token.
Limitations Of Traditional Data Architecture
In a traditional approach independent of blockchain, a service provider is the owner and custodian of data on behalf of its clients (and/or users and stakeholders). For example, a insurance company keeps an internal database on issued policies, while a credit bureau collects data on individuals and businesses. These companies publish interfaces (such as a web portal or APIs) for consumers to interact with their services.
The information (be it insurance policies, or data about businesses) is kept in central databases and often also replicated across geographies. Because this data is always owned and controlled by a single enterprise, we also implicitly trust these service providers to ensure that their data is always correct, valid and intact.
Before blockchain, it was not possible to have an open, cross-organisation decentralized data architecture. We could only trust data to the extent of being able to trust the service provider, based on their reputation and track record. If these enterprises were to to be merge, get bought out, go out-of- business, or get hacked (as is also often reported), the subscribing ecosystem is adversely affected.
The Use Of Blockchain
Only by design of the blockchain with its blocks, hashing and signatures does the network create distributed trust. Adopters of blockchain already know that the Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) provides the necessary integrity, decentralization, and ledger resiliance.
Decentralized, distributed, consensus, trust and a single-version-of-the-truth.
Early designs of blockchains were distributed ledgers tracking units of account, such as monetary value: I send a Bitcoin, she receives a Bitcoin, and the ledger keeps track for me (and everyone) of our balances. Ethereum takes this one step further with its VM, and projects like Zilliqa improve on scalability and throughput.
Blockchains, however, are not well suited for replicating of data since they also generally lack the interfaces for broad searching of the ledger. This make current blockchain technology inadequate for managing large datasets. A number of projects adopt hashes and pointers (for example, by using IPFS) with indexes stored in centralised databases, or launch private blockchains with information stored in flat files. In these models, the architecture is not truly decentralized.
How Credible Changes The Game
Credible is building a blockchain for data, and decentralized by design.
Each organization participating in the Credible network operates a node (referred to as a Trusted Escrow Agent, abbreviated to TEA). These TEAs capture, store and verify data independently, and immediately replicate to all other nodes in the network. We believe this is a game-changer in our novel use of blockchain.
All participating TEAs are assured that their data is replicated across all nodes in a consistent manner. To give an example, inserting a record at one insurance company immediately replicates that data to a bank, to a micro-lending institution, and a participating vehicle financing company.
By Credible adopting mongoDB, each node can hold up to 48 TB of data and be assured of the data’s integrity with a 2/3 majority consensus. Operating a TEA also gives node operators greater control over the availability of data, as well as earn transaction fees from providing services — for themselves and other third parties.
On launch of mainnet, the ecosystem of TEAs will create a stable and always available data repository for business credit records.
Credible’s Novel Blockchain Approach
Credible is built on distributed database architecture using a blockchain mechanism that allows a large quantity of data to be cryptographically-secured while being replicated to distributed network participants.
It is a permissioned blockchain network, with a requirement for data to be replicated across multiple independent nodes. Our design ensures the data is also immutable, encrypted, and available to users to query for anytime access.
As Credible operates in an environment without central control, we adopt Tendermint to coordinate data replication between nodes while ensuring 1–3 second finality for consensus. By adopting this Proof-of-Stake consensus, the underlying consensus is Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT) across the entire network. Tendermint can confirm blocks at thousands of transactions per second. This networking and consensus mechanism also prevents malicious interference by any one (or even multiple) nodes modifying the data.
Over time, we envisage Credible growing to operate across many TEAs around the world. In a nutshell, that’s Credible. And by design, it will only get more robust over time.
For a comprehensive writeup on Credible blockchain, download our White Paper. Questions? Comments? Do reach out to us out on our other channels.
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