Blockchain refers to a technical concept combining individual data records (e.g., transactions) into blocks and cryptographic procedures to ensure data integrity. To safeguard both the time sequence and data integrity of the entire dataset, blocks are sequentially linked. Manipulation of a data record would thus be detectable. With a blockchain, new data is combined into a new block and appended to the existing blockchain.
Researchers believe blockchain will revolutionize our economic system to create a robust trust system for decentralized cooperation. Brokers become superfluous. Assets that were blocked can now be traded. New services offered in public blockchain networks allow for greater efficiencies and added value.
A lot of research and work is still required to make blockchain valuable on various applications. The fields of application are manifold. A distributed ledger can show an account balance, the status of a contract (Smart Contracts), or ownership or origin relationships. All are not in a single central database, but many copies are distributed all over the world.
Cryptologic algorithms are the central element of blockchain technology. Interacting with a blockchain requires the generation of a cryptographic key pair. This pair consists of a public key that serves as an address and a private key that allows full access to this address.
One of our functional extensions of Securosys CloudsHSM solves the problems concerning digital signatures: It ensuresthat not just a single authorized person alone will use the private key relating to Distrubted Ledger Technology (DLT). Multi-signature is made possible by a particular procedure requiring at least two concurrent authorizations for each action out of a whole group. Successful implementations of these functional extensions have already taken place with R3 (Corda), Ledger and more technology partners.