The Blockchain technology is perceived as a disruption in the financial technology (fintech) arena. Put simply, a blockchain stores a sequence of transactions, serving as an authoritative source on the transaction history, serving for settlement purposes, and serving for archival and auditing purposes. Today's fintech world is based on regulation-driven System-of-Records (SoR), which are reconciled by arcane technology and rely on centralized authority. Blockchain holds the potential for enabling direct and efficient business-to-business transactions.
Driving the Blockchain technology is a core mechanism for consistently and irrevocably storing a sequence of blocks, without which the entire approach collapses.
Today, as serious institutions in the financial world enter the Blockchain technology arena, there is a clear departure from the BitCoin blockchain.
Enter VMware: VMware is actively participating in advancing the infrastructure underlying the Blockchain technology in order to provide the most secure, reliable, and scalable Blockchain platforms.
Our team members are recognized experts in distributed computing, consensus, Byzantine resilience, and applied security, with over fifty combined years of sustained leadership in this space. On the righthand sidebar is a selected list of recent blockchain-related publications. Team members deliver keynotes, and participate in the organization of, key blockchain events.
Announcing: Decentralized Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains 2018
Ittai Abraham (VMware), Eli Ben-Sasson (Technion), Alessandro Chiesa (UC Berkeley), and Dahlia Malkhi (VMware) jointly organize the first Decentralized Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains event
. The event
is affiliated with Crypto 2018
, and will feature Mic Bowman (Intel),
Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum),
Silvio Micali (MIT), and others.
- The Blockchain Consensus Layer and BFT. A tutorial, by
Ittai Abraham and Dahlia Malkhi.
It turns out that view-change, at the core of Fast Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance, may be
trickier than it seems!. A recent discovery by Ittai Abraham, Guy Gueta, Dahlia Malkhi; with Lorenzo Alvisi, Rama Kotla, Jean-Philippe Martin.
In follow up, we sketch our approach to correct, optimistically fast BFT protocols: Thelma, Velma and Zelma. By Ittai Abraham, Guy Gueta, Dahlia Malkhi, Jean-Philippe Martin.
Additional selected activities:
- Dahlia Malkhi, keynote speaker (coming), BITCOIN '18, The 5th Workshop on Bitcoin and Blockchain Research.
- Ittai Abraham, invited presentation, "Blockchain and BFT" at
2017 Shenzhen Winter School on Blockchain.
- Dahlia Malkhi, invited presentation, "Nakamoto Consensus in the lens of Byzantine Fault Tolerance" at
2017 Shenzhen Winter School on Blockchain.
- Ittai Abraham, keynote speaker, "Blockchain/BFT in the lens of Distributed Computing, BTT, Workshop on Blockchain Technology and Theory, 2017.
- Ittai Abraham, invited presentation, "Blockchain and BFT" at the Swiss Blockchain Summer School 2017.
- Dahlia Malkhi, invited presentation, "BFT Reconfiguration" at the Swiss Blockchain Summer School 2017.
- Dahlia Malkhi serves on the program committee of SERIAL 2017, Workshop on Scalable and Resilient Infrastructures for Distributed Ledgers
- Ittai Abraham serves on the program committee of the IEEE 2018 Crypto Valley Conference on Blockchain Technology.
In order to remove existing barriers for adoption, there is a clear need for building robust and secure high-throughput, high capacity distributed ledger technologies that rely on careful distributed-system design and strong engineering.
Our unique vision centers around five points:
permission, private distributed ledgers, not Proof-of-Work.
- high-throughput data replication, not quorum-based.
- a world of many ledgers , not a global database.
- seamless core cross-ledger transaction support, no escrow required
- built-in reconfiguration capability and membership, not just authX/authZ
Atop a distributed ledger, which is the "ground truth" from which information is drawn, the fintech disruption occurs at two additional levels: Contracts, and Services.
- Contracts: Broadly speaking, Contracts are formats for expressing secure business transactions. Contracts leverage the underlying ledger and anchor within ledger blocks. There is a growing interest in utilizing the protocol framework for a variety of use-cases. One is carrying direct business-to-business deals without involving a trusted third party. Another is to assume there is a settlement agency involved, and use Contracts to facilitate a fast turnaround and versatility in expressing transactions.
- Services: Having a Blockchain of transactions opens access to data which was not accessible before. There are a lot of potential services and applications that can be built to make use of the data: Business analytics, prediction tools, personal management apps, identities, and many many more.