A patent for a system that would allow to modify the blockchain Protocol without the consensus of all members of the network, was filed by CME Group in December 2017, and last Thursday the Office for patents and trademarks USA (USPTO) published it.
In most networks based on the blockchain such as Bitcoin to change the Protocol currently requires the consensus, making the system more sustainable. But often consensus is impossible to achieve, and it makes upgrades of the network a non-trivial task.
Update Segregated Witness (SegWit), originally developed for a single vulnerability, currently rather solves the problem of scalability of the Bitcoin network. In order to make this update required the consent of 95% of the network participants, and this, in turn, demanded several months.
CME refers to a possible case of the use of the blockchain airlines, to demonstrate the potential problems of the blockchain, which is difficult to make changes.
If the airlines would need to increase transaction fees for transferring miles or add a program identification KYC/AML, then for each such change will require an update of software. If the majority of such changes will not agree, then there is the threat of the fork, which can lead to unpredictable consequences.
In his patent, CME proposes to use “method changes the rules of the system, which uses transactions in the blockchain system.” After verification the proposed changes, the transaction is generated in a new block that contains information about modifying the rules of the blockchain.
These data will then be transferred to other systems, and all subsequent transactions after the block containing the changes will work in accordance with the new rules.
CME Group has already demonstrated its willingness to work with new technology and cryptocurrency, becoming the second (after CBOE) exchange, which launched a bitcoin futures.