IBM Patents Technology That Constructs Audited Blockchain ‘Checkpoints’
On May 31st, IBM was approved two patents for a system that verifies the integrity of a blockchain, certifying that it has passed certain audit requirements at particular periods in time.
The primary goal of the checkpoints is to allow businesses to meet regulations for data verification and retention when connecting to the network.
The first patent explains the single point of a checkpoint and what exactly constitutes a checkpoint.
“Before a checkpoint is certified, it must be consistent, meaning that all validating peers must reach the same state (value) for the checkpoint. Preferably, the checkpoint is a compression of the current blockchain world state into a compact representation (e.g., a hash value) of the ledger that is consistent across the (validating) peers.”
The second patent builds on the first but with the description of how the checkpoints can be audited.
“To have a certifiably-auditable blockchain, an auditor should be able to rerun the transactions between checkpoints and then compare the value of the latter checkpoint with the value recorded in the ledger. The first step in this auditing process is to double check the hashes of all the blocks in the chain. To be thorough, the signatures on all transactions should be checked, although the hashes on all blocks ought to be sufficient.”