Scratch Accounts Simplified 

Written by Drew Mailen

On July 14, 2022

Students often use scratch paper in math class to organize their work and show the steps to solve math problems. The scratch paper was sometimes graded alongside math exams so the instructor could evaluate if the work was done correctly. Similarly, Scratch Accounts in Accumulate reduce the cost of consensus building by providing proof of validation and process without overburdening the blockchain.

These accounts are not permanent, hence using the term “scratch”. Scratch accounts have limited data availability, and any transaction using a scratch account becomes unavailable after two weeks. After the two-week period, the account is compressed and a proof of the transactions is created.

Scratch accounts are compressed, logical proofs of validation that show the truth of operation on-chain. The proof of operations and validation gets compressed into a logical proof. This proof or argument contains less data than the Scratch Account it is representing. The newly created scratch accounts also takes up less space than a traditional Accumulate ADI. 

Why Use a Scratch Account? 

A user could opt for scratch accounts for several reasons. 

Scratch accounts:  

  • Integrate cryptographic proof of validation into different processes without overburdening the blockchain.
  • Reduce the cost of using a blockchain for consensus building. Lower costs can expand available use cases for enterprises that use blockchain.
  • Delivers less of a burden to the blockchain’s bandwidth.  

A scratch account can break down an operation on the blockchain into a logical proof. Yes, similar to a proof you may remember from logic class or geometry. 

Examples of Real World Uses for Scratch Accounts

There are many exciting use cases for scratch accounts for enterprises and businesses of all sizes. Below are three examples that are also highlighted in the Accumulate whitepaper

  • IoT: IoT devices can use scratch accounts to promote important events onto the main chain for a fraction of the cost and data. 
  • Oracle Data: Miners can use scratch accounts to submit records of pricing information from public pricing feeds. 
  • Proving Exchange Transactions: Exchanges could use scratch accounts to provide cryptographic proof of every transaction, which would ordinarily be expensive. 

In Conclusion 

Scratch Accounts reduce the cost of writing data to Accumulate, which opens up a number of use cases for Accumulate. By reducing the burden on the blockchain, Scratch Accounts help make Accumulate a fast blockchain with a high transaction throughput. This innovation is one of many that makes Accumulate a suitable blockchain for integration with enterprises.

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