On May 31st, the technology behemoth, IBM, was awarded two patents for a system that verifies the integrity of a blockchain. IBM is calling this system audit-able “checkpoints.”

The main goal of these checkpoints is to allow businesses to satisfy regulations for data verification and retention when connecting to the network. IBM has heavily focused on blockchain products and services for enterprise-level businesses. The company is a noteworthy innovator in this field, especially in relation to scaling, auditing, and supply chain management.

The first of the two patents, explains how a “checkpoint” works and its anatomy. According to IBM ,the requirement is that all peers/nodes that perform validation achieve consensus about the validity of the blockchain at the time of the snapshot.

“Before a checkpoint is certified, it must be consistent, meaning that all validating peers must reach the same state (value) for the checkpoint. Preferably, the checkpoint is a compression of the current blockchain world state into a compact representation (e.g., a hash value) of the ledger that is consistent across the (validating) peers.”

The second patent, explains how the checkpoints can be audited.

“As the checkpoint has been certified, there is a new process that IBM has patented for then auditing that checkpoint. Businesses can then refer back to a certified checkpoint and reconcile data from the blockchain.” “To have a certifiably-auditable blockchain, an auditor should be able to rerun the transactions between checkpoints and then compare the value of the latter checkpoint with the value recorded in the ledger. The first step in this auditing process is to double check the hashes of all the blocks in the chain. To be thorough, the signatures on all transactions should be checked, although the hashes on all blocks ought to be sufficient.”


by Samuel Larreal


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