Korean researchers develop new blockchain system

Korean researchers have developed a new blockchain system, called “PureChain.” They said it will resolve major problems involving the current blockchain system and may be applicable to central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

The research team _ comprised of experts from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Kyung Hee University, security R&D company ICTK Holdings (ICTK) and blockchain and cryptocurrency service firm EpitomeCL _ held a press conference in Seoul, Thursday, to announce the new system.

The team said the current blockchain system is affected by three major problems _ consensus time delay, slow transaction speed and user verification. But the PureChain system, which utilizes physical unclonable functions (PUF), appears to have successfully resolved those problems.

“It is a realistic blockchain technology that can be applied to CBDC,” said Han Ho-hyeorn, a Kyung Hee University professor who has led the research team for the past year.

CBDC would strengthen the efficiency of the payments system as it could serve as a practically costless medium of exchange, according to Rutgers University professor of Economics Michael Bordo and Dartmouth College professor of Economics Andrew Levin. Other merits of CBDC they mentioned included “its security as a store of value and its stability as a unit of account for economic and financial transactions.”

PUF is an industry-proven technology with physical properties that are impossible to clone.

PUF features unique random values that can be compared to individual fingerprints or DNA. Because its inimitable key values cannot be leaked, PUF is trusted for internet of things (IoT) and inter-device communication security functions.

PureChain is an on-offline possible peer-to-peer (P2P) technology that is simple, safe and speedy as it completes transactions through consensus between two engaged nodes only, the Korean research team said.

This process not only allows for transactions that are free from third-party interventions, but also exponentially increases the speed of the validation process. Additionally, safety is maintained without transaction holdups or consensus delays.

PureChain maximizes PUF’s abovementioned physical property to simplify and speed up the validation process, the team said, stressing PureChain could be utilized for consensus algorithms in currently existing blockchain systems or cryptocurrencies.

“PureChain is the only PUF technology that does not require the use of error correction codes that have hindered mass production of other types of PUF,” ICTK Holdings CEO S. Sam Yu said. “As a result, the applications of PUF range far and wide from blockchain technology to IoT security, user verification and much, much more.”

ICTK, whose clients include LG and China’s Haier, also plans to introduce a secure authentication infrastructure utilizing PUF technology, Yu added.

ICTK has been developing PUF technology for nearly a decade since 2009 and plans to release a new line of products that utilize PureChain next month.

The team noted PUF technology has been highly rated by industry onlookers thanks to its safety features and flexible merits, which gives it a competitive edge in the global arena at a time when the competition to host blockchain systems is becoming increasingly fierce around the world, with NEC among many others developing technologies that employ hardware security.

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