Monday, 03 July 2017 14:34

Sydney Uni’s super-fast, safe ‘red belly’ blockchain: revolutionary?

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University of Sydney researchers say they’re building a “new super-fast, safe blockchain technology that has the potential to revolutionise the global economy".

The University of Sydney’s media release starts off by explaining Blockchain.

We’re told that “blockchain is a digital public ledger where transactions are recorded and confirmed pseudonymously”, and is “best known as the technology that underpins Bitcoin and other virtual currencies".

What’s new about the “Red Belly Blockchain” being developed by the University of Sydney’s School of Information Technologies is that it promises to “allow secure and almost instantaneous digital transfer of virtual currencies across the world".

The University’s Dr Vincent Gramoli, who heads the Concurrent Systems Research Group developing the blockchain, said: “In recent testing, our blockchain achieved the best performance we have seen so far – with more than 440,000 transactions per second on 100 machines. In comparison, VISA’s network has a peak capacity of around 56,000 transactions per second and the Bitcoin network is limited to around 7 transactions per second.”

We are told that Red Belly Blockchain is “the first blockchain being built to work both in public and private contexts, meaning that it could be used by Internet users in a peer-to-peer fashion, as well as in an industrial environment restricted to certain users".

The blockchain technology is also being developed “to avoid common problems currently plaguing digital transactions".

Dr Gramoli added: “As opposed to mainstream public blockchains, ours is not subject to double spending — when an individual successfully spends their money more than once — because its chain of blocks never forks.

“A fork occurs when a bug in the system causes the blockchain to diverge into two or more potential paths forward.

“As opposed to consortium blockchains, it can treat hundreds of thousands of transactions per second coming from a potentially unbounded number of clients. It offers a performance that scales horizontally, which ensures the security of transactions,” continued the good doctor.

He added that the next stage for the Red Belly Blockchain is to “develop a recommendation system to automate the selection of the participants of a consensus instance. This consensus will ensure the security of the blockchain".

“We will soon release wallets to help the end-users issue transactions and read the balance of their account from anywhere,” Dr Gramoli said.

The Red Belly Blockchain website has more information.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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