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South Korean Researchers Debut Ledger-Free Blockchain For Central Banks

Central banks across the globe have taken note of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that powers them. As cryptocurrencies have taken the spotlight, they have shown traditional banks that the future is in a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and that their customers are eager for them to adapt to what the market wants: to be freed of the shackles of paper currency.

Before this happens, key challenges need to be addressed. A team of researchers in South Korea claim to have taken a huge step toward providing a solution for central banks, by unveiling a “ledger-free blockchain” called PureChain. Researchers developing PureChain come from all over the technology sector in South Korea, with participants from Kyung Hee University, ICTK Holdings, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and blockchain startup EpitomeC. The team held a press conference Wednesday to make the announcement.

PureChain addresses three major concerns central banks have with current blockchain technology: user verification, slow transaction speed, and consensus time delay. PureChain utilizes physical unclonable functions (PUF). The researchers say that PUF could make peer-to-peer payments “through consensus between two engaged nodes only,” resulting in drastic performance increases in transaction speeds over currently available blockchains. PUF previously required “error correction codes”, but PureChain is a solution that omits that requirement.

Han Ho-hyeorn, a Kyung Hee University professor - one of the PureChain researchers - called PureChain “a realistic blockchain technology that can be applied to CBDC.”

There are still many unknowns about PureChain and if it could be adopted by central banks everywhere, but given the promise of the research, South Korea’s propensity for being a leader in technology and blockchain, and central banks drooling over the idea of transitioning to digital currencies, PureChain will likely be looked at with closer consideration in the coming months.