Looking at the kind of fan following Blockchain can gather, innumerable organizations and companies across the globe are switching on to the Blockchain Platform. One such renowned multinational financial company MasterCard that announced its first-ever Blockchain API in October 2017 has now filed another patent.
According to the patent filed by MasterCard, it refers to a system that can fasten up new node activation. This Blockchain patent has been filed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
“A method for generating a blockchain configured for fast navigation includes: storing a blockchain comprised of a plurality of blocks, each block including a header comprised of a fast track flag, fast track reference, timestamp, and hash value, where the plurality of blocks includes standard blocks having a deactivated fast track flag and fast track blocks having an activated fast track flag; identifying a most recent fast track block based on the timestamp in the fast track blocks; identifying a most recent overall block based on the timestamp included in the plurality of blocks; generating a fast track hash value via hashing the most recent fast track block; generating a chain hash value via hashing the most recent overall block; and writing a new block to the blockchain including a block header comprised of a timestamp, activated fast track flag, the fast track hash value, and the chain hash value.”
Nodes, What Are They?
Any computer that is connected to the blockchain network and stores a copy of it. These computers are called nodes and require individual verification of enormous data to get activated.
What MasterCard Came up with the Patent?
Every blockchain node is required to verify a vast number of data records in different blocks. This entire process gets slow over the period, posing difficulties in adding new nodes.
MasterCard came up with its first patent in the year 2016 that summarized the problems faced while creating new nodes.
At the time it was proposed in 2016, the patent had the title “METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR FAST TRACKING NAVIGATION OF BLOCKCHAINS VIA DATA MANIPULATION,” and now has finally been published on 26th April 2018 by USPTO.
As per the new patent, each new node should verify “thousands, millions, or even billions of transaction records […] in a vast number of different blocks”, and hence adding new nodes is a time-consuming process.
As mentioned in the patent:
“The verification of such a large number of blocks may take a significant amount of time, during which new blocks may be added to the blockchain, further delaying the ability for the new node to participate.
Thus, there is a need for a technical solution to increase the speed at which a blockchain may be navigated for verification thereof, which can thereby reduce the time required for a new node to begin participating in the blockchain. “
The latest patent by MasterCard has now proposed a solution to this problem that will be able to fasten the time taken in downloading blockchain. MasterCard has now proposed to include “fast track flags” in the block headers. These “Fast track flags” will help nodes to examine and authenticate blockchain at a faster speed.
As written in the patent:
“The fast track reference and an activated fast track flag may both be included in the block header for fast track blocks to facilitate the fast navigation of the blockchain. A node in the blockchain network, or any computing device verifying the blockchain or data included therein, may quickly navigate the blockchain by identifying blocks that have activated fast track flags. For verification, the node may identify the earlier fast track block (e.g., based on timestamp) and hash that block using the predetermined hashing algorithm(s), and then verify that the fast track reference in the more recent fast track block is the same as the hash of the earlier fast track block.”
To make the entire system even more effective, MasterCard has also proposed a software meant to do all the hashing, queuing, and other operations.
Till date, MasterCard has filed almost 30 patents that are related to the blockchain technology. Some of them are the patents regarding the MasterCard Blockchain API, tamper-proof distributed storage to fight identity fraud.
Overall, amongst the innovators in blockchain technology, MasterCard stands high.