Software giant Intel is looking to protect a novel way to verify transactions on a distributed ledger.
In a filing released last Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company outlines a method by which it would partition and update distributed ledgers automatically, with a processor able to independently verify that new blocks are valid and able to be attached to the ledger.
This is distinct from the conventional mining method advanced by blockchains like bitcoin, that rely on a network of competing nodes to verify and record transactions in exchange for rewards.
Notably, the application explains that some of these distributed ledger systems (DLS) could also be blockchains, but makes a distinction between the two related technologies.
According to the application, the physical computers would need to be pre-programmed with certain parameters to define how a block could be validated.
However, discussing the scalability concerns facing blockchains today, the patent application also notes that distributed ledgers may not be the most efficient form of data storage.
“Distributed ledgers have inherent scalability issues. When all of the validators in a DLS must have a copy of all transactions, all of the transactions must be broadcast to all of the validators. These broadcasted transactions create a very large number of network messages.”
Since this would create a large number of network messages, a DLS can impose “significant storage requirements” and “may not scale well,” it adds.