Japan-based Fujitsu Laboratories and Fujitsu Laboratories of America are reportedly developing blockchain-based technology that will produce a tech-savvy method of safely and securely handling confidential data between multiple organisations.
Announced on 19 October and expected to become a commercial realty by 2017, Fujitsu said in a release that it is currently designing two new types of blockchain-based systems – dubbed "transaction restriction technology" and "document encryption technology."
The major use of transaction restriction technology, the firm said, will be to limit users to specific "stores" when making payments or sending money transfers. This allegedly ensures transactions which violate pre-defined policy requirements are prohibited from getting added to the blockchain.
Meanwhile, for its document encryption tech, Fujitsu Laboratories claims to have applied a "secret sharing-based key management system" that ensures different portions of a cryptographic key are held by multiple users at once.
According to Fujitsu Laboratories, this enabled it to develop a blockchain technology to control who can read the specific documents, while ensuring that confidential portions of the files are not visible to all users. Encrypted documents can only be read when the parties involved, who each hold portions of the key, work together, the firm said.
Storing documents in a blockchain can guarantee that the original state of the document will be preserved, but because the content is public to blockchain users, this method is typically not appropriate to store documents which contain confidential information.
"A major characteristic of blockchain is that it offers high reliability and transparency by continually preserving records of all past transactions by multiple computers participating in a network to mutually verify and record data, making it virtually impossible to alter," Fujitsu said in a statement.
"It does so without any specified trusted organisation or central server. This is why it has been spotlighted as a new architecture for information systems, and is expected to be applicable in a variety of fields, such as finance, logistics, supply chain, and official document management."
"Blockchain-based document encryption technology through secret sharing-based key management makes it possible to collaborate to find solutions to lost keys, or to create a workflow that requires acknowledgement from multiple managers when making collective decisions involving large transaction amounts."