building blocks

how connected blockchains raise the bar for data integrity

by Jem Shaw

Next-generation blockchain technology has been at the core of our international payments platform since we first partnered with InterlockLedger in 2020. What began as an easily accessible but highly secured source of immutable truth has become the foundation stone of making trade payments safer, cheaper and easier.

We have strong business relationships with China, and have for some time been in conversation with our great friend, Professor Wei-Tek Tsai. The Prof has been instrumental in the development of an alternative next-generation system in the form of the Tiande Block Chain. Like InterlockLedger, it's an enhanced-security, energy-optimised solution, but it uses quite different technology. Professor Tsai's particular interest is in blockchain interconnectivity, and here we saw an immediate application.

Jurisdiction can be a key consideration for personal information. We understood this from the initial design of our ledger system, and laid plans for separated nodes that could be located in regions requiring in-country data storage. However, China's government already had a preferred blockchain technology in Tiande. Fortunately, we knew the Tiande chain already, thanks to a longstanding friendship with one of its key figures, Professor Wei-Tek Tsai. Like InterlockLedger, Tiande uses new encryption and security technologies, albeit using different - but equally effective - methods to achieve immutability.

Here was an opportunity to link two blockchains intelligently so that transactions could take place with complete transparency while respecting the confidentiality policies of concerned governments. That's an exciting proposition, but there's more good stuff in the link-up. While the two blockchains use differing technology, they share a common attribute in that the integrity of the data can be verified without revealing the data itself. This verification can be mutually shared between the two chains and continually checked. This means that, should an attacker manage to penetrate one of the chains - in itself an exceptionally difficult task ,given that each carries security measures far beyond those of the main crypto systems, the other will immediately detect a change and lock any further activity. A would-be hacker therefore has to penetrate two next-level blockchains within the same millisecond.

But it doesn't stop there. The model we're evolving effectively makes our systems blockchain-agnostic; any chain can be connected. In a similar way that Microsoft's ADO interface allowed database agnostoicism, our link-up allows any data handler to plug in and gain additional data security, while at the same time improving the security of other connected chains.

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