Professional services firm Accenture has filed a patent which seeks to enhance the speed and security of transactions on blockchains using patented hardware.
Besides accelerating the software processes the technology described in the patent titled ‘Hardware Blockchain Acceleration’ will also improve the security of the applications supporting the transaction chains.
Per Accenture, the need for the technology is driven by the fact that there have been rapid advances in both the communication and electronic technologies and this has resulted in new security threats.
According to the patent application which was filed on August 2, 2018, the various entities that require secure and efficient execution of complex transactions include not only software processes and hardware systems but also individuals.
Shared Responsibilities of Hardware and Software
In the patent application, Accenture argues that the enhanced security and scalability brought about by the invention results from the fact that encrypting and decrypting of data are conducted by both the hardware device as well as the software implementation and are thus not limited to one or the other.
“As a result, the implementation shown … has increased security and scalability as compared to, for example, software only based security systems,” the patent application notes.
The blockchain patent filed by Accenture also observes that the invention described may be implemented in a variety of ways using different combinations of software and hardware.
“For example, all or parts of the implementations may be circuitry that includes an instruction processor, such as a Central Processing Unit (CPU), microcontroller, or a microprocessor; or as an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), Programmable Logic Device (PLD), or Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA); or as circuitry that includes discrete logic or other circuit components, including analog circuit components, digital circuit components or both; or any combination thereof,” reads the patent application.
Variety of storage mediums
Additionally, the instructions for execution may be stored in various mediums other than transitory signals and this may include flash memory and magnetic or optical disks such as hard disk drive, CDROM, Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory, Read Only Memory and Random Access Memory.
Accenture’s ‘Hardware Blockchain Acceleration’ patent comes in the wake of the global management consulting firm filing a patent meant to track shipments using blockchain technology. And as reported by CCN two years ago, the professional services firm caused an uproar after developing a blockchain prototype which allows administrators to edit, rewrite and delete blocks from permissioned blockchains. At the time, an Accenture executive Richard Lumb argued that absolute immutability for financial institutions was negative for banks.
“For decentralized cryptocurrency systems, such permanent accounting has been crucial in building trust and faith among participants. But for financial services institutions faced with a myriad of risk and regulatory requirements, absolute immutability is a potential roadblock,” said Lumb.