June 27, 2018

nChain Receives Second Patent for Digital Security Invention and Expands Technical Support for Enterprise Blockchain


We are pleased to receive nChain’s second patent grant by the European Patent Office.  This patent, issued on June 20, 2018, is for a Deterministic Key Generation invention to improve security of wallets for cryptocurrency and other digital assets, and help prevent hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges.  More broadly, the invention can secure any digital data, asset, communication or controlled resource.

European Patent 3268914 is entitled “Determining a common secret for the secure exchange of information and hierarchical deterministic cryptographic keys.”  This Deterministic Key Generation technique provides for improved secure communication between a pair of nodes or parties on a network, while being able to keep their private keys secret.   By using a deterministic key, the parties can determine a common (shared) secret.  That common secret can then be used as the basis for secure communication between the parties – without either party needing to store the common secret, because the common secret can be separately determined by each party as required.  For cryptocurrency business operators, this means it is no longer necessary to store user private keys or other data which can be obtained by hackers to steal coins and assets.   A more detailed description is provided in one of our prior blog posts.

This Deterministic Key Generation invention will help prevent Mt. Gox-type hacks of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets.  But its potential use cases are far greater as the digital world grows with increased digitisation of assets, cloud storage of data, newer methods of digital communication, and the anticipated explosion of Internet of Things devices.  The invention can provide significant security benefits for any situation in which sensitive data, assets, communications or controlled resources need to be secured.

Our team has developed some powerful new inventions.  Now it’s time to implement those techniques with business partners and realize their full potential.  Therefore, we are expanding nChain’s ability to provide technical support for enterprise blockchain strategy.  We will work with select partners on projects to produce maximum benefit for the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.

For example, we are already implementing this Deterministic Key Generation technique as part of our work with SBI BITS in Japan to develop a next-generation advanced secure cryptocurrency wallet system.  More broadly, we also want to help the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community put these security benefits to practice, through our Nakasendo™ software development kit for blockchain application developers.  Version 1.0 of the SDK provides a cryptographic library that includes the patented Deterministic Key Generation technique.   It is now publicly available on GitHub at https://github.com/nakasendo/.

Although nChain’s inventions apply to any blockchain, we are committed to providing use of our work to grow Bitcoin Cash, which fulfills the true vision of Bitcoin.  That is why we have made the Nakasendo™ SDK available for free usage for products and applications that operate only on the BCH blockchain – through our new nChain Open Bitcoin Cash License.  This will give Bitcoin Cash significant advantages over other blockchains, and will incentivize businesses to operate on BCH.

Already, early users of the Nakasendo™ SDK are excited about the benefits offered by nChain’s work, and are finding innovative ways to incorporate the Deterministic Key Generation technique into their own product.   HandCash, the exciting new Bitcoin Cash wallet that uses near-field communication technology (http://handcash.io/), was one of the early testers of our SDK.  Its CTO Rafa Jiménez was impressed, leading HandCash to comment on Twitter that:


At nChain, we too are impressed with HandCash, and were honored to invest in the venture through our nChain Reaction investment entity.  We look forward to working with HandCash, other BCH businesses, and global enterprises to implement nChain’s innovations such as the Deterministic Key Generation technique.   By sharing our innovations and working together, we can create a stronger Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.

Whether you are a Bitcoin Cash-specific product or a major enterprise wanting to improve digital security, you can benefit from nChain’s work.  Feel free to reach out by email at contact@nchain.com


nChain’s European Patent for the Deterministic Key Generation technique is available here – ep3268914b1