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Architecture of the Hyperledger Blockchain Fabric

Published: 2016-01-01

Organization: IBM Research

Overview: A blockchain is best understood in the model of state-machine replication [8], where a service maintains some state and clients invoke operations that transform the state and generate outputs. A blockchain emulates a “trusted” computing service through a distributed protocol, run by nodes connected over the Internet. The service represents or creates an asset, in which all nodes have some stake. The nodes share the common goal of running the service but do not necessarily trust each other for more. In a “permissionless” blockchain such as the one underlying the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, anyone can operate a node and participate through spending CPU cycles and demonstrating a “proof-of-work.” On the other hand, blockchains in the “permissioned” model control who participates in validation and in the protocol; these nodes typically have established identities and form a consortium.

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