Researchers behind the \u2018fork-free\u2019 Red Belly Blockchain have validated their work on a global scale, by deploying it on 1,000 virtual machines across 14 of Amazon Web Services\u2019 18 geographic regions.\nThe blockchain system \u2013 developed by CSIRO\u2019s Data61, and the Concurrent Systems Research Group at the University of Sydney \u2013 removes the risks of double spending and is much faster than existing systems such as Bitcoin, researchers say. It is also far more energy efficient than comparable systems.\n \nBlockchain systems are distributed chains of blocks. Each node in the system can create a new block of transactions and append the block to its view of the chain. Since the system is distributed, multiple nodes may add different blocks at the same point in the chain, before learning of the presence of other blocks.\n \nThis results in a forked chain or tree. For nodes to then agree on a single, true state of the system, different strategies are applied. Bitcoin, for example, selects the longest branch and 'wastes' all blocks not present in it.\nThe Red Belly Blockchain by comparison \u201cenforces integrity initially rather than recovering from inconsistencies\u201d said University of Sydney researcher Dr Gramoli.\nThe double spend risk is one that has \u201cplagued previous generations of blockchain systems\u201d he added.\n \nThe compute needed to solve crypto-puzzles fast enough in other systems typically slows down the creation of blocks and requires massive amounts of energy.\nRed Belly Blockchain \u2013 the mechanics of which are outlined in the paper(Leader, Randomization, Signature)-free Byzantine Consensus for Consortium Blockchains \u2013 differs from these blockchains as it is underpinned by a unique algorithm and offers performance that scales without an equivalent increase in electricity consumption.\nThat was put to the test with its deployment on 1,000 virtual machines in different AWS regions, including North America, South America, Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Europe.\nThe experiment saw 30,000 transactions per second sent from different geographic regions, with an average transaction latency \u2013 or delay \u2013 of three seconds with 1,000 replicas (a machine that maintains a copy of the current state of the Blockchain and the balance of all accounts).\nThe performance matched a 2017 experiment with only 260 replicas located in a single region.\n \u201cIn comparison, mainstream blockchain technologies need minutes, with other technologies typically processing less than 20 transactions per second,\u201d Gramoli said.\nThe demonstration highlights Red Belly\u2019s scalability \u201cmaking it ideal for faster processing of financial transactions and microgrids that use peer-to-peer trading to transform the energy sector\u201d Gramoli added.\nEarlier this monthData61, together with law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM, formed a consortium to build a blockchain-based smart contracts platform dubbed the Australian National Blockchain (ANB).\nUsing the ANB, businesses of all kinds and sizes will be able to use digitised contracts, exchange data and confirmthe authenticity and status of legal contracts, the consortium said.\nData61last yearlaunched a comprehensive review of blockchain and smart contract technology. The review includedtwo reports\u2013Distributed Ledgers: Scenarios for the Australian economy over the coming decadesandRisks and opportunities for systems using blockchain and smart contractsfor Treasury on how the technologies could be adopted across government and industry.\nThen Treasurer Scott Morrison said at the time that blockchain would have a \u201cprofound impact\u201d on the economy.\n\u201cOur reports identified distributed ledger technology as a significant opportunity for Australia to create productivity benefits and drive local innovation,\u201d said Dr Mark Staples, senior research scientist at Data61.