Formalizing Distributed Ledger Objects
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In his PODC’2017 keynote address, Maurice Herlihy pointed out that despite the hype about blockchains and distributed ledgers, no formal abstraction of these objects has been proposed. To face this issue, in this paper we provide a proper formulation of a distributed ledger object. In brief, we define a ledger object as a sequence of records, and we provide the operations and the properties that such an object should support. We then provide a variation of the ledger – the validated ledger – which requires that each record in the ledger satisfies a particular validation rule. A (validated) ledger is distributed if it is implemented on top of multiple (possibly geographically dispersed) computing devices.