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Tech giant Intel has unveiled a new experimental distributed ledger platform dubbed "Sawtooth Lake".

Code for proposed contribution to the open-source Hyperledger blockchain project was posted to GitHub today, along with an in-depth informational release that outlines the major planks of the initiative and offers a tutorial for implementing the code. The code was presented at today's Hyperledger technical steering committee meeting.

Intel described Sawtooth Lake as "a highly modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers".

According to the company, what is currently available are the elements needed to construct a “fully functional” digital asset exchange – a possible allusion to an earlier project unveiled by Intel in February.

At the time, Intel demonstrated a fantasy sports marketplace game built using a blockchain during a Hyperledger meeting. Under that project, users would exchange digitized shares in sports teams and seek to accrue the highest amount of a virtual currency called “mikkels”.

The company explained:

"In Sawtooth Lake, the data model and transaction language are implemented in a ‘transaction family’. While we expect users to build custom transaction families that reflect the unique requirements of their ledgers, we provide three transaction families that are sufficient for building, testing and deploying a marketplace for digital assets."

Prior to its participation in the Hyperledger project, Intel notably worked on bitcoin mining chips developed for Silicon Valley bitcoin startup 21 Inc.

Twin consensus algorithms

Intel says that its proposed platform uses two methods of establishing consensus – one inspired by bitcoin, and the other related to the methods by which the Ripple and Stellar networks operate.

The company explained:

"The first, called PoET for 'Proof of Elapsed Time', is a lottery protocol that builds on trusted execution environments (TEEs) provided by Intel’s [Secure Guard Extensions] to address the needs of large populations of participants. The second, Quorum Voting, is an adaptation of the Ripple and Stellar consensus protocols and serves to address the needs of applications that require immediate transaction finality.”

The firm indicated that, according to its data, the system is capable of scaling "to thousands of participants".

However, Intel warned prospective testers that the platform, as it exists today, remains experimental. As such, Intel cautioned users against launching sensitive applications on the technology.

The proposal adds to the growing body of contributions made thus far by Hyperledger participants. Code IBM, Digital Asset Holdings and Blockstream, as well as a proposal from JPMorgan Chase, have been presented in recent weeks.

To date, 40 members have joined the ranks of the project.

Intel declined to provide further comment on the proposal.

Image credit: StockStudio / Shutterstock.com

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