Q4: Why does VIA have its own blockchain?
There are as many as 1,000 blockchains in the world today. A very reasonable question to ask is why create another one?
While VIA does connect to public blockchains if financial transitions are required, our motivation stems from customer requirements to control permission and analysis of off-chain datasets.
Read more below on the key reasons that drove VIA to create VIAsecurechain.
Data – Many blockchains are focused on financial transactions and not on data. At VIA, we are using blockchain to enable the secure verification, integration, and analysis of data. More specifically, we’re focused on large, decentralized datasets that need to be kept private and confidential. We accomplish this by storing hashes of individual digital assets (e.g., datasets) and making them searchable through an off-chain database. This private data use case considerably narrowed the set of available blockchains.
Cost – Many blockchains today require a token system for consensus and key functionality. While there are benefits to a token, gas fees can add up quickly. A voting-based consensus mechanism (like Tendermint) can provide security without the expense of a token. The customer requirement for low cost combined with a data-centric blockchain led VIA in 2018 to build upon BigchainDB and Tendermint as core components.
Cybersecurity – All customers, like those in critical infrastructure such as energy and transportation care about cybersecurity standards. This is particularly true for VIA’s defense customers. This requirement was not something that we found anywhere else.The result is that VIA forked code from BigchainDB and Tendermint and invested to meet the U.S. TOP SECRET level cybersecurity standards (e.g., zero-trust architecture, hardened containers) for the blockchain, consensus mechanism, and the hash storage database (MongoDB). The combination of these three elements are the core of VIAsecurechain. The result is that VIAsecurechain is the U.S. Department of Defense’s first and only cybersecurity accredited blockchain.