Management consultancy Accenture has developed and tested 2 technology solutions that enable 2 or more blockchain enabled ecosystems to integrate, which holds the potential to solve the critical challenge of broader adoption of blockchain technology.
The Accenture solutions show that the popular blockchain platforms Digital Asset (DA Platform), R3 (R3 Corda), Hyperledger Fabric , and JP Morgan’s Quorum are capable of integrating to actively share data and information, proving that integration is possible across the growing number of blockchain and distributed ledger platforms in the market.
How does blockchain interoperability work?
For different distributed ledger technologies, or DLTs, to integrate, they must preserve the ability to audit, trace and verify data elements with complete security and integrity.
Accenture’s technology solves this challenge with an interoperability node that resides, and provides the lines of communication, between 2 or more DLT platforms. The interoperability node includes embedded business logic that contains the business standards, policies and guidelines by which the different blockchain platforms have agreed to work together.
The solution enables integration between the different blockchain platforms by either allowing for the transfer of a tokenised asset on two blockchain platforms, or allowing mapping of data to the different blocks that exist in two different blockchain platforms at the same time, with the reference data kept in constant sync. With the solution, there is no need for ongoing messaging between the different platforms. Rather, it becomes possible to transfer and maintain an “active state” between the nodes of the separate blockchain platforms, keeping them synchronised.
Emmanuel Viale, managing director, Accenture Labs, explains why this is important: “Business is conducted across multiple ecosystems and, in many instances, we’re seeing these ecosystems align to “fit-for-purpose” platforms. But for blockchain to achieve its full potential these different platforms must interact seamlessly with each other, and our technology solutions show that this is possible — while still delivering the security and transparency benefits that blockchain offers.
“This is a crucial step to ensure that growth and innovation continue with this dynamic technology.”
Shaul Kfir, chief technology officer, head of technology architecture and innovation at Digital Asset added: “It’s important for our customers to know that not only does the Digital Asset Platform seamlessly integrate with their existing systems, but also has the possibility to integrate with other DLT platforms,” said. “Accenture has demonstrated a useful approach which addresses many practical enterprise business needs.”
Accenture will continue to test its technology solutions with ecosystem partners to establish integration effectiveness between other leading DLT platforms. The company has filed two patent applications for key elements of the underlying technology used in the integration technology solution and expects to file additional patent applications in the near future.
What is the benefit to real estate companies of blockchain interoperability?
Interoperability has emerged as a hot topic among blockchain industry analysts and enterprise technology professionals. As yet, there is no one blockchain platform that is the market leader for real estate transactions. With interoperability, concern about picking the ‘wrong system’ is minimised.
“This is a game-changer that can help accelerate adoption of blockchain technology. The key challenge was to develop the ability to integrate without introducing ‘operational messaging’ between distributed ledger technology platforms in order to stay true to the principles and benefits of blockchain technology,” said David Treat, managing director and global blockchain lead, Accenture. “Applying this capability with our clients is already unlocking new opportunities to bring ecosystems together, mitigating key concerns about picking the ‘wrong’ platform or having to re-build if one partner uses something different.”
The R3 Corda platform is currently being used by HM Land Registry for its Digital Street project. Interoperability has potential to encourage the adoption of smart contracts, such as those being trialled in the project. It also means that in future agents could buy and sell property via blockchain on each of their preferred platforms, meaning property sales and auctions using this technology could become commonplace.