South Korean Researchers Unveil ‘Leger-Free Blockchain’ Built for Central Banks

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A group of South Korean researchers has unveiled a “ledger-free blockchain” called “PureChain” that it says could hasten the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The research team — which includes representatives from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Kyung Hee University, tech firm ICTK Holdings, and blockchain startup EpitomeCL — announced the development of PureChain in a press conference last week.

According to the Korea Times, PureChain is a “ledger-free blockchain” constructed using physical unclonable functions (PUF), the “digital fingerprints” that are used to identify microprocessors and other semiconductor devices.

Researchers said that, by employing PUF, users could make peer-to-peer (P2P) payments “through consensus between two engaged nodes only,” netting dramatic improvements in transaction speed over Bitcoin and other conventional blockchains.

They explained that, previously, PUF technology had required the use of “error correction codes” when used as a key in cryptographic algorithms. However, they said that they had discovered a solution for this problem.

“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.”

The developers predicted this technology could hasten the introduction and adoption of central bank-governed digital currencies, which would allow nations to digitize their national currencies and capitalize on the efficiency of blockchain-related systems without relinquishing control of the money supply.

“It is a realistic blockchain technology that can be applied to CBDC,” said Han Ho-hyeorn, a Kyung Hee University professor and the leader of the PureChain research team.

Unfortunately, many questions remain about PureChain. Regional media outlets who covered the press conference did not go into detail about the structure of the network’s “ledger-free blockchain.” Nor, for that matter, did they explain how the technology avoids the use of PUF error correction codes.

However, if PureChain does prove to be as useful as researchers claim, expect central banks to begin eyeing it as a potential tool to help them transition their countries into cash-free societies.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.