Not all Blockchains are created equal: the Factom difference

Blockchain | July 18, 2018
Home » Company » Blog » Not all Blockchains are created equal: the Factom difference

At Factom, we are passionate about applying blockchain technology to real world problems through practical business applications. We value honesty and transparency and strive to change the future through the software we build. Our mission is to become the industry leading provider of blockchain data provenance solutions at all levels.

So what makes Factom and our protocol different than other blockchain-based solutions? To start, Factom is built for data and ready for Enterprise business. We have our own blockchain that was built to solve for problems other blockchains don’t, which allows us to run more efficiently and proactively. Our blockchain is not a fork or copy of Bitcoin’s or Ethereum’s blockchains. We seek to prove the existence of data, not necessarily store the data itself.

In particular, there are a few main things that makes our technology unique:

  • Scalability: We are not limited by a certain number of transactions per second. Our blockchain is built to handle high transaction volumes with ease.
  • Predictable cost: Our two token system means the transaction cost to write entries to the blockchain is fixed. In other words, Factoids do not buy entries into the blockchain as they would in typical cryptocurrency models. Rather, Factoids are burned to create Entry Credits, which purchase fixed amounts of data in Factom. The price of Entry Credits are fixed, so the cost of entry is predictable and not dependent on the fluctuating price of a coin.
    • Unlike a cryptocurrency, Entry Credits are non-transferable, and can be treated as a product instead of a currency. This is great for institutions who choose not to use cryptocurrency. The cost to use the system is based on usage, independent of the Factoid exchange rate.
  • Speed and complexity: Our blockchain is built to handle data in complex formats. Through the use of chain IDs and the ability to create highly organized public, private or hybrid blockchains, our blockchain can fit your data – your data doesn’t have to exist in a certain format to be benefitted by our blockchain solution. Another way we do this is by publishing just the hash of a particular data set (along with its corresponding metadata), proving only its complete existence at a specific time. In doing this, we don’t add extra unnecessary data to clog up the blockchain, which in turn allows the network to run faster.
    • Specifically with those wishing to do large volumes of transactions, Factom also has a theme tracking capability called Chain IDs. Linking related pieces of a data together allows you to chain together data you care about and forget the rest of the data set, no matter when the distributed data was entered. Unlike the Bitcoin Blockchain that requires you to download all of the data you entered over time to prove any of the data, Factom allows you to prove your data set without needing every one of your data entries in Factom. You can simply recall the data you want with a Chain ID.
  • Factom is a public blockchain, you do not need any permission to write data to the public Factom Blockchain. If you are worried about private data being private, Factom Harmony can provide a private blockchain that then anchors into the public Factom Blockchain, for true decentralization. The information anchored in public view is done so with a hash that only the key holders know how to read. Because of these unique attributes, the Factom Blockchain Solution supports the real world in that business conditions are never static.

Understanding the governance of the Factom Blockchain and how we achieved decentralization can be found here.

Sidenote: A traditional private blockchain solution as we see it currently in 2018, are often set up as consortiums. The consortium group that makes sense today may not make sense tomorrow. Using the Factom approach as new consortium partners are identified, added or removed, new players can smoothly join the consortium with full trust of past data

  • A private solution would look similar to a database, where all users must have special access to the network.
  • A Factom solution would be any combination of partially public and partially permissioned.
  • Factom has identity management built into the core of the blockchain code allowing users to define cryptographic identities for people, documents, resources and nearly anything else. Managing identity on the Factom Blockchain creates identities with a verifiable history. Every change to the identity is permanently written to the Factom Blockchain creating an audit trail. Hierarchical identity keys allows for easy management of identities in the real world as when low level keys are compromised externally or rotated due to internal processes, the keys can be revoked and replaced with higher level keys. Identity management facilitates many key Factom use cases such as:
    • IoT – Identity can be assigned to IoT devices and sensors insuring trust in the data being reported.
    • Smart Contracts –  A key stumbling block in many smart contract implementations has been the lack of identity management built in at the protocol level in most blockchain implementations. Building contracts without robust identity management is complex at best.

In short, we’re out to become the industry leading provider of blockchain data provenance solutions at all levels. We specialize in scalable blockchain solutions with a predictable cost model to handle enterprise data and volume. With clients such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Factom is the recognized leader in providing blockchain solutions in order to preserve, ensure and validate digital assets.

POSTED: July 18, 2018 BY Courtney Casto IN Blockchain

Beginning her career in the Texas State Legislature as a policy analyst and communications manager, Courtney has always been interested in communicating complex, ever-changing subjects to large groups of interested parties. Combining her love of people and words, she enjoys the challenge of educating others about blockchain.