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Rethinking Distributed Ledger Technology



David R. Kuhn, Dylan J. Yaga, Jeffrey M. Voas


Blockchains were designed to solve the problem of double-spending in cryptocurrencies, and the success of the Bitcoin design has generated vastly more interest than previous proposals for digital currencies. Blockchains are being used in other areas as well, but the design choices that made blockchains effective for cryptocurrencies often do not fit well with other applications. In this paper we review the properties of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for use in typical data management applications and show how two recently developed distributed ledger ideas can be used to retain the valuable aspects of blockchain while simplifying design and adding new but often necessary capabilities to permissioned distributed ledger applications. In particular, we are interested in the ability to delete or modify blocks, and the ability to provide a timestamping mechanism to provide a highly accurate time for applications that are time order dependent.
Computer (IEEE Computer)


blockchain, data structures, distributed ledger, distributed systems
Created March 20, 2019, Updated April 30, 2019