Global professional services group Accenture has announced a prototype that they call an “editable blockchain.” The firm says the concept addresses immutability concerns and the right to be forgotten laws.
Also read: Accenture Exec Says Bitcoin Immutability Is a Flaw, Not a Virtue
Accenture Editable Blockchains Preferred By Banks
Last week, an executive from Accenture described Bitcoin’s immutability as a weakness. Now, the company has designed a distributed ledger platform to address this alleged fault. Accenture says data can be edited on this blockchain, but only under “extraordinary circumstances.”
The prototype according to Accenture is immutable to its user base but, if necessary, designated administrators can “edit, rewrite, and remove blocks of information.” The company says it enables this feature with a new function called “chameleon.”
The hash function recreates algorithms that link blocks together with private keys. The new feature was created by Dr. Giuseppe Ateniese. Accenture’s Richard Lumb explains their motivation to create the editable blockchain, stating:
For financial services institutions faced with a myriad of risk and regulatory requirements, absolute immutability is a potential roadblock.
Accenture plans on showcasing the invention at Sibos 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
No More Than A Traditional Database?
Last week Accenture’s Richard Lumb gave Ethereum developers credit for being able to reverse the DAO attack. Accenture details that the prototype uses a permissioned blockchain protocol which many of its clients prefer.
Dr. Giuseppe Ateniese, a professor of computer science at The Stevens Institute of Technology says the strength of the blockchain can be preserved but at the same time, it is more useful.
Not everyone agrees with Accenture as they believe the prototype is no more than a database. The Bitcoin community, for example, takes pride in immutability as one of Bitcoin’s main strengths. Entries on the Bitcoin blockchain cannot be erased under any circumstances, not even to reverse attacks or hacks.
Gary Nuttall, the founder of the blockchain consultancy Dislytics, told Reuters:
An editable blockchain is just a database. The whole thing about blockchain is that it’s immutable, so this just defeats the object.
What Will Blockchains Look Like in the Future?
As time moves forward and blockchains become more prevalent in society, Accenture thinks an editable version is the right path. David Treat of Accenture’s capital markets blockchain practice believes the company’s prototype will be more practical for “enterprise systems and accelerate adoption.” Furthermore, Dr. Giuseppe Ateniese believes his work is more than just a database, stating:
“Unlike a traditional database, our solution is compatible with current blockchain frameworks and works in a decentralized and accountable environment,” Ateniese said.
More services continue emerging, attempting to solve perceived flaws in the Bitcoin blockchain. However, now close to eight years old, Bitcoin continues to be well-known for its reliability and powerful, immutable digital ledger.
What do you think about Accenture debuting its “editable” blockchain prototype? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Accenture, and Reuters
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Accenture Newsroom
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