DasCoin is pleased to announce its blockchain – which can already be viewed in real time at https://dascoinexplorer.com/ – will be inspected by auditors in the near future.
The DasCoin blockchain is what is known as a permissioned blockchain. Every piece of information that is on the blockchain can be shared or queried. In order to prevent attacks, the nodes are kept in a privately stored location.
The networking configuration has a closed peer-to-peer socket which delivers operational efficiency while offering high security, preventing the “forks” that can happen on entirely open systems.
In the autumn of 2017, DasCoin commissioned a project to promote “serious thinking about the creation of an international auditing standard for Mutual Distributed Ledgers” (MDLs).
The project called on the expertise of Z/Yen, one of the City of London’s leading commercial think-tanks, to review what at that time was a limited body of literature on the topic. Four discussion papers were produced that described the issues and explored potential ways in which those issues might be addressed.
On 4 October 2017, Long Finance, a group within Z/Yen that seeks to answer the question: “When would we know our financial system is working?” held a symposium to explore those discussion papers. The 28 participants included representatives from regulators, professional associations, external audit firms, technology companies and academia.
Technology and approaches stretch back to the 1970s
Interestingly, the symposium began by proffering the view that MDLs – of which blockchains are merely a subset, albeit the most commonly understood example – featured technology and approaches that dated back to the 1970s. “Even smart contract concepts date back to LISP code, capable of writing code and then executing itself,” stated the pamphlet published afterwards.
It determined that applications using a true MDL are:
- MUTUAL – all users of the application sharing what appears to them to be one data store, even if they are working in different organisations
- DISTRIBUTED – the shared data is stored as multiple, nearly identical copies of the same files, held on different computers, with processes working to keep those copies identical except for the most recent additions
- LEDGER – it lists details of transactions, typically in chronological order, that can be added to, but not amended or deleted from retrospectively
It found that while it was still too early to consider broad standards for blockchain applications and systems, it would be “helpful” to know which features could be audited and controlled.
Among the initial suggestions were that blockchains might consider:
- Containing real-world references such as names and geographical addresses
- Providing a user interface and API for audit software
- Monitoring logging delays, soft forks, errors, size of blocks, etc
- Making those monitoring records available to auditors
- Ensuring ownership of the records lies with the appropriate legal entity
- Preventing a transaction being added without authorisation from all relevant parties
- Adoption a suitable technical security standard to safeguard against hacking
- A mechanism to allow co-operation with auditors of any party using the blockchain
DasCoin CEO Michael Mathias commented: “The audit issues around multi-site, distributed data storage and processing, controlled by sophisticated cryptographic means, are complex.
“We are pleased to share this final project report and hope you find it useful and inspiring. We intend for it to be an important contribution in an area that needs to be dealt with properly if the technology of Mutual Distributed Ledgers is to achieve its full potential.”
The principal authors of the 37-page report were Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group, and his colleague Matthew Leitch.
DasCoin was represented at the symposium by CEO Michael Mathias and Matthew Rocksborough-Smith. Others in attendance included Bob McDowall of the Cardano Foundation, Osman Gucluturk, from the Centre for Technology, Ethics, Law and Society and Marek Grabowski, of the Financial Reporting Council.