Immutable Google? Search Giant Eyes Blockchain for Audits
Google may be looking to secure audit information using blockchain tech, a patent application published on Thursday suggests.
The filing, released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and submitted in September 2017, proposes using a blockchain to create a "tamper-evident" log which can store signatures, verify that information stored by the system has not been altered, or provide a clear path to find what information was changed and when.
The application describes using two blockchains, one referred to as the "target blockchain," which contains "first signatures." A second, separate blockchain would store the data verified by the signature.
The company goes on to explain:
"The method may include, by the electronic device, adding a new block to the target blockchain, by linking the new block to both the existing block and the block of the second blockchain that is identified by generating a signature for the new block that is based on the first signature and the second signature, and associating the signature with the new block. The target blockchain and the second blockchain may be part of a block lattice."
The application noted that the blockchain could be based on multiple data storage spaces, or the entire chain could be stored on one device.
The timing of the release is notable - though likely incidental - given that Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the search engine giant is developing what the news service characterized as "a blockchain-related" platform to support its cloud business.
Citing anonymous parties, Bloomberg claimed that the tech giant was working on a distributed ledger that can store transaction histories. However, it is unclear when such a project would be launched commercially.
A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg that it is "way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans."
Separately, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's senior vice president of ads and commerce, said Wednesday hat the company has an internal team looking at applications of the tech.