When historians set out to chronicle the development of cryptocurrency, one of the first chapters will profile DigiCash, the early digital currency startup which, decades before Bitcoin, almost fulfilled the dream of giving the internet a native currency. However, that project’s inventor, cryptography pioneer David Chaum, wants his name to appear in the book’s subsequent chapters as well.
Chaum, now 63, is launching a new cryptocurrency project called Elixxir, which he claims has achieved the holy grail of network decentralization, blockchain security, and transaction speed.
In a Wall Street Journal interview published earlier this year, Chaum alleged that the technological innovations in Elixxir are game changers for blockchain adoption. “These breakthroughs I’ve made change the whole game,” he told the publication. “We can actually meet the requirements to go to consumer scale.”
Specifically, Elixxir implements an inversion of the traditional blockchain model, wherein transactions are aggregated into blocks and then processed by validating nodes. Chaum said that blocks will instead be produced prior to transaction batching, allowing the network to process payments quickly, even at scale.
It remains to be seen whether the production blockchain will meet Chaum’s lofty expectations while also achieving sufficient decentralization. In the meantime, Elixxir has announced that the project has received a strategic investment from Chris Larsen, the co-founder of blockchain startup Ripple and, by virtue of his Ripple equity and remaining XRP holdings, one of the wealthiest persons in cryptocurrency.
Commenting on the project, Larsen said that he was optimistic about Elixxir’s potential as a consumer-facing network. He said, “David Chaum has been a defender of privacy in the digital world for almost forty years. I am proud to be an early backer of Elixxir and look forward to seeing this consumer-facing blockchain open the door to secure use by millions of individuals in their daily lives.”
Also providing seed funding was H&D Company Pte Ltd., an investment firm based out of Singapore.
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