BigchainDB is a software that has blockchain properties (e.g. decentralization, immutability, owner-controlled assets) and database properties (e.g. high transaction rate, low latency, indexing & querying of structured data). It was first released — open source — in February 2016 and has been improved continuously ever since. BigchainDB version 2.0 makes significant improvements over previous versions. In particular, it is now Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT), so up to a third of the nodes can fail in any way, and the system will continue to agree on how to proceed. BigchainDB 2.0 is also production-ready for many use cases.
- Country: Germany
- Headquarter: Berlin
- Type: Infrastructure
- Round: Series A
- Cost: $3 million
- Date: 27-Sep-2016
- Investors: Earlybird Ventures, Anthemis Group, RWE Ventures, innogy SE, Digital Currency Group
BigchainDB allows developers and enterprise to deploy blockchain proof-of-concepts, platforms and applications with a scalable blockchain database. BigchainDB supports a wide range of industries and use cases from identity and intellectual property to supply chains, energy, IoT and financial ecosystems without sacrificing scale, security or performance.. With high throughput, sub-second latency and powerful crypto-condition escrow functionality to automate release-of-assets, BigchainDB looks, acts and feels like a database but has the core blockchain characteristics that enterprises want.
Large databases scale linearly, i.e. the more nodes you add, the higher the system performance, but Bitcoin scales well only to the level of 8-10 thousand nodes. In BigchainDB, replication is used more efficiently to scale: data is distributed across the network in three or fewer copies.
On top of the distributed database, BigchainDB implements nodes host, where each member votes on each transaction, and the transaction must have a certain number of votes to approve. According to Pon, a typical model can include from 5 to 60 inspection nodes.
With the ICO Series A raise, BigchainDB also cements a pivot that began shortly after it originally raised $2m in funding for an intellectual property product called Ascribe in early 2015. Since then, the company has rebranded, and though it still offers its Ascribe product for legacy users, no work is being done on the platform.
Still, Pon said Ascribe was an important stepping stone for the company, as it was its issues scaling the platform on the bitcoin blockchain that led the firm to search for a more scalable distributed ledger.
We aim to release the final, stable BigchainDB 2.0 in June of 2018. No new features will be added before then; we’re mostly doing testing (of all kinds). We’ll fix any issues that arise and report the results of performance tests once we have them. Starting with BigchainDB 2.0, there will always be tools and documentation to help with migration (including data migration) to future versions. BigchainDB 2.0 is production-ready for many uses cases. There’s an online BigchainDB Roadmap that lists our medium-term goals. It’s updated fairly often. One goal is to create some example projects illustrating how one can use BigchainDB with other decentralized systems, such as Ethereum. Longer-term, we want to make it possible to create a public BigchainDB network where anyone can add a node without getting permission.