Accenture has been awarded a patent tied to its work on an "editable blockchain."
First unveiled last year, the professional services firm sought to create a permissioned blockchain that would allow parties to alter data in the event of errors or fraud. It was a move that stoked criticism from some observers, including some who questioned why a distributed database would be needed if not for its tamper-resistant characteristics.
However, the full patent filing details how the system might work in practice. Depending on the circumstances, a secret that controls the key may be held by one or many parties. In some cases, multiple individuals could possess parts of a secret, meaning the whole group would have to sanction any access to the ledger.
When contacted for comment, David Treat, managing director in Accenture's blockchain practice, said that the firm's work as it relates to the editable blockchain concept has "[focused] on the challenge of how to 'fix things when they go wrong'," in order to help mature the technology.
He told CoinDesk:
"This invention adds to that set of options, particularly for on-chain data structures, and we're excited about the patent approval. Our overall goal is to leverage DLT innovations to make the technology viable for enterprise IT use."
Treat said that the company is still in the development face, explaining that work continues to "enhance the prototype." He also floated the possibility of the company ultimately making the tech open-source.
"We have had strong industry interest and have had several requests to open-source the capability which we're considering," he said.
Stamp image via Shutterstock