Blockchain technology is a perfect fit for creating digital ledgers because it can create an immutable history of data. When leveraged correctly, as with ULedger, blockchain offers a secure, private, and tamper-proof record of data at a single point in time.
Existing blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum create a globally and transparently shared database of unidirectionally related transactions and blocks. Anyone with the complete data of the blockchain can verify that a particular piece of data is included in the data of the blockchain.
But because of the shared nature of all the data, the total amount of absolute timestamps which can be made within any time period this way is limited. Furthermore, because which transactions are included in what order in what block is at the full discretion of the block creators (i.e., miners) data cannot be granularly timestamped.
So unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other public Blockchain implementations, ULedger uses an advanced cryptographically-secure distributed Time Protocol for independent secure timestamping of any data, signed and stored on any mobile device or server. This is important to the provable relative order of events, because it doesn’t require trusting other systems’ internal clocks, and removes the issues of network outages/disruptions, and malicious clock changes or transaction withholding.
ULedger’s blockchain technology utilizes multiple time-keeping methods as each block is added to a blockchain data structure to maintain a relative order of events, without maintaining a global state at each blockchain node.
We make the timestamps, together with the data, independently verifiable by generating what we call Cross-Merkelized Vector Clocks.
What is Cross-Merkelization?
Cross-Merkelization is the process by which multiple chains can mutually Merge Mine (aka Auxiliary Proof of Work – AuxPoW) one another, effectively increasing the security and immutability of both chains. It is a proprietary ULedger method by which every State Machine keeps track of its own internal events, interactions with other state machines via the respective EventChains, as well as the passage of time via the inclusion of GHOST AuxPoW.
Why is Cross-Merkelization Important?
Existing blockchains use only a single result of proof of work. For example, Bitcoin uses a single previous block hash on top of which nodes immediately start mining. If the network was split and multiple such hashes were mined, the nodes continue to mine on the longest chain, which has the most proof of work and still fulfills the Bitcoin Client validity rules. This means that the PoW that went into orphaned blocks is simply discarded, making the network overall less secure and immutable. This also represents a limitation as to how fast block creation can be set due to network connectivity limitations.
Prior to ULedger, while it was possible to prove the integrity of a datagram by using hashing, and even proving its integrity in time and relative order as compared to other datagrams, there was no good way of verifying that the hash calendar presented to a third party was the only one generated.
What about TTPs?
Trusted Third Parties (TTPs) for Timestamping (such as Hash Calendars as implemented in Guardtime) do not work if you don’t trust the TTP. TTPs are censorable. Furthermore, alternative orders of events can be generated and shown to different parties or even the same party in different interactions. This is like a company keeping two or more different accounting books which it selectively shows to different parties.
ULedger includes a form of AuxPoW with Multiple Parent hashes. Instead of only referencing a single previous parent block hash ULedger blocks reference multiple parent hashes. Due to the nature of one-way hashing, it becomes possible for each chain owner to know the relative order of blocks with which its chain interacted.
Our goal is to do for Time what IPFS is doing for State. We believe humanity has the potential of becoming an interplanetary species. This step requires new technological approaches that consider relativistic space-time and the bottleneck that is the speed of light.
Current time and networking systems used in our planetary network (the Internet) do not take these crucial requirements into account. That said, even before we reach for the stars, very similar requirements exist even locally on earth.
How ULedger Can Be Used Right Now
- Edge computing where devices have inconsistent network connectivity and have a strong requirement for synchronization and event ordering
- IoT, again for the same reasons as Edge Computing
- Data Integrity systems
- Internet of Agreements / Smart Contracts
- Integrated business databases and API economy
- Deferred supermassive cloud computing (e.g. BOINC, Extremely Large Telescope, etc)
- Provable centralized Oracles/data feeds for other linked timestamps and Blockchains