Blockchain platform Factom Foundation Inc., maintainer of the Factom blockchain network and protocol, today announced the second major revision to its software that will vastly speed up transactions and confirmations.
The Factom Federation network represents the next generation of the Factom blockchain, a peer-to-peer distributed ledger that is cryptographically secured. With Factom, users can submit pieces of data or “facts” to be secured, which are cryptographically signed and added to the blockchain and can then be compared back to the blockchain to prove that they remain unchanged.
The company says the company has spent the last year perfecting this upgrade to the Factom blockchain and is now ready to release it to the world. “It has been inspiring and affirming to have a large community of like-minded individuals that supported us as we built this amazing technology,” said Paul Snow, cofounder and chief architect at the nonprofit Factom Foundation.
The new version is available as the back-end of three products released by the company: Apollo, a real-time auditing and verification engine; Iris, a true digital identity system; and Hera, a custom-built enterprise data-layer permissioned distributed ledger.
Infrastructure changes added to the Factom Federation network includes eight federated servers designed to increase censorship resistance through global distribution and eight new auditing servers to support the network. The Factom protocol will also be more resistant to denial of service attacks with an enhanced peer-to-peer network.
Confirmations will now occur in seconds instead of minutes, with an improvement of six-hundred times over the previous protocol. Transactions will also occur five times faster than before.
For developers and enterprise (documentation here), Factom has provided a new public test net and suite of testing tools. The system now also supports a wider range of cryptocurrency wallets (including BIP 44 support) and multiple blockchains including the Bitcoin and now the Ethereum network. The underlying proof of existence on the blockchain, Merkle roots, are also now easily accessible via the factomd application program interface. Management users also get a nod in the update with a graphic control panel for nodes to provide easy visualization of activity on the network.
Factom forges ahead
Factom Inc. started in 2014 with a GitHub repository and its first version released in early 2015. Since then the company has worked hard to become a name in the blockchain services industry with its open- source software. Today, the Factom network has secured more than 86 million records fit into 6 million entries across more than 68,000 anchors.
One of Factom’s first ventures was an attempted partnership with the government of Honduras in 2015 to use the blockchain network to provide security for land registry. That went very slowly, however, and little news appeared until later that year when Factom announced the project had stalled due to politics.
In 2016, things got better for the company as Factom began to get collaborations with Intrinio, putting pricing data for U.S. stocks onto the blockchain, and DataYes, which did something similar for Chinese stocks. Factom also collaborated with SmartContract, enabling developers to do “if-then” logic contracts with blockchain backing.
The company has also completed Series A funding round for $4.2 million led by Tim Draper of Draper Associates, a major investor in blockchain startups.
As a result, Factom has expanded its interests with its technology and received a grant to secure medical records from the Gates Foundation. It also was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for its blockchain identity system for Internet of Things devices.