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Building a Blockchain POC for a major financial institution: the capabilities and limitations of existing technologies

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Bitcoin and Blockchain Technologies Workshop, The University of Stirling

Published in: Engineering
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Building a Blockchain POC for a major financial institution: the capabilities and limitations of existing technologies

  1. 1. BRIEF • ``To design and build a distributed ledger POC system to process and store proprietary messages for inter- subsidiary forex transactions internal to a major Fortune 500 financial institution’’ • Why? Intermediate message processors add time and money. Cynically: get in bed with the technology that may one day supplant them. • Requirements? Throughput and decentralisation. www.kwori.co.uk www.kingsoftheblock.com
  2. 2. TECHNOLOGY • Conflicting metrics: transaction throughput vs. decentralisation • ≈ BigChainDB vs. ErisDB (Permissioned chains based on Ethereum / EVM) + Tendermint (PoS; faster) • ErisDB brings smart contract technology in the form of Solidity. • Both would be employed along with Meteor (novel client-server communication) and other popular frameworks such as NodeJS. • Client selected ErisDB.
  3. 3. PROBLEMS • End product? 4 weeks + N system revisions + 1 proprietary load balancer = 20 Tx/s. Still several known issues based on Eris bugs. • Solidity/EVM memory provisioning • EVM stack depth limits function implementation. • Solidity/EVM memory management • Memory provisioning not sufficient for basic data structure operations (e.g. adding items to an array). • Poor documentation and error messages exacerbate everything • Result = no smart contracts • Instead, multiple blockchains, application-based filtering and direct transactions. • Question the role of smart contracts overall in data processing applications (i.e. processing on the blockchain), at this stage.

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