Ascribe has announced the release of BigchainDB, a scalable blockchain database that can process 1 mln writes per second. Their first licensed user is Everledger, a diamond industry ledger.
In their press release, BigchainDB is described as a ledger which can “achieve one million writes per second with sub-second latency and petabytes of capacity in a federated blockchain database”.
The platform will also allow “developers and enterprises to deploy blockchain applications and platforms at scale, formerly a limiting factor in getting sandbox proof-of-concepts into production systems”.
Why a scalable blockchain?
CTO and BigchainDB project lead, Trent McConaghy, answered:
“In conversations with the community, the emphasis seemed to be on scaling up blockchains. We came to realize that a distributed database perspective brought a lot to the table, not only for scalability but also for other key database functionality like a flexible query language, efficient querying, and a permissioning system. Our approach was to "blockchain-ify" a scalable distributed database.”
BigchainDB is similar to the bitcoin blockchain
Bruce Pon, co-founder of Ascribe commented:
“Bitcoin was a technical breakthrough that allowed completely trustless asset transfers over a network. By design it was meant to be paranoid and be able to defend against attacks and protect assets. But with 7 transactions per second as the maximum throughput, it doesn't scale for many use cases”, he said.
“BigchainDB tries to take certain characteristics of blockchains - immutability, no central authority, and no central control of assets - and simplifies the design space by enabling a system of federated nodes to manage a network. This design forces participants to trust permissioned nodes but with the advantage that it can scale. We took inspiration for the federation design from the DNS. Then, we built BigchainDB on top of an existing big data database that gives it extremely high throughput, low latency, and queryability to name a few”, he continued.
Diamond industry ledger
The diamond identification ledger Everledger is the first BigchainDB customer. With more than one million diamonds trafficked in 2016, Everledger aims at fighting fraud within the diamond industry.
“We had a missing jigsaw piece within our technology stack and this became evident when we road mapped our 2016 objectives”, said Leanne Kemp, CEO and founder of Everledger on the reason for their collaboration with Bigchain DB.