While proponents might tussle on the most effective way to scale blockchain use – with proponents of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and Bitcoin Cash all too readily coming to the fore – the state-run Bank of China has now patented its own solution to the scaling debate.
Revealed through local news outlet tech.ifeng, patent filed within the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office, documents reveal that the Bank originally applied for a patent on the 28th of September in 2017 – but has only officially been granted its desires on February 23rd this year.
In the patent, authored by one Zhao Shuxiang, the Bank principally describes a scaling solution which would involve the compression of data stored within a blockchain – a proposal that could effectively offer a way to scale blockchains to multitudes of users or data inputs.
Scale by compression
The patent outlines a system wherein a full-size node, upon receiving a compression request from a client, would compress transaction data stemming from multiple different blocks into a new ‘data block’, which could then be temporarily hosted on a different storage system.
Following that, the data would then be run through a hash function with the hash value of the data block, and the subsequent compression transaction would record the relation of the compressed block, the data block, and the compression event within the blockchain.
The process could effectively downsize data stored within the blockchain, and might accommodate more space wherein further transactions could be recorded.
The proposal aims to effectively scale blockchain use without compromising its traceability and immutability, though the integrity of the proposed temporary storage solution remains up for discussion.
The patent is a surprising revelation from the state-owned bank, given that Chinese regulators have in recent months clamped down on the trade of cryptocurrencies, access to offshore exchanges, and participation in new Initial Coin Offerings.
It further remains unclear as to what plans the Bank may have in store for its scaling solution. Chinese officials have remained mum on the subject of a national cryptocurrency or another intended use for the blockchain.