December 3, 2020

MultiChain Architecture Explained

Okereke Innocent

The MultiChain architecture is an extended version of the Bitcoin Core; therefore, there is no distinction between them. Your ability to understand the fundamental design of MultiChain depends on how you understand the Bitcoin Core. You remember the analogy that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." That's exactly what exists between the MultiChain and the Bitcoin Core. Before we go further to explore the MultiChain architecture, let us have a look at the Blockchain technology itself. 

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that leverages cryptography and game-theoretic concepts to enable immutable transactions and automatics consensus of all parties involved in its maintenance. Over the years, Blockchain has evolved into a fast-developing technology, promising increased efficiency and security in virtually every industry, especially the use cases that primarily depend on all kinds of transactions. 

MultiChain Architecture 

Although the MultiChain architecture is akin to that of the Bitcoin Core, here is a basic architectural description of MultiChain. Also, the MultiChain has two main subsystems, which are the node and the wallet. While the node's job is to track the chain's global state, the wallet tracks transactions that are of specific interest to the node. The wallet also holds the private keys used to sign a transaction. Both the wallet and node employ different mechanisms for storing and retrieving information. 

The MultiChain is an extended version of the Bitcoin Core; therefore, there is no distinction between the two. Every node on the MultiChain platform has its API. This API can be connected to form an application. The chain also contains information permissions, assets, and streams. You can also have MultiChain connected to the same chain. The first few blocks on the MultiChain is referred to as a "setup phase". At this phase, a single administrator can bypass the voting process. The future versions of MultiChain could introduce a "super administrator" who can assign and revoke privileges without any consensus. 

Miners on the MultiChain network do not need to engage in proof-of-work. So, the MultiChain network uses a novel way to ensure miners trust decision making. This process refers to as mining diversity. It enables miners to process transactions to approve transactions in a random rotation. 

How Does MultiChain work?

The multiChain network sees miners as an identifiable set of "entities," and it introduces what refers to as mining diversity. This mining diversity binds 0≤mining diversity≤1. However, the effectiveness of a block on MultiChain can be verified through the following processes:

  1. By applying changes to a transaction and blocking permissions in the MultiChain network. Then count the total number of approved miners set in the block following the variations listed here. 
  2. Mining diversity increases the number of miners and round up to achieve left spacing—this action initiative into the effect, the round-robin schedule. The round-robin schedule is a preemptive process algorithm. Each process here has a fixed time to execute and is referred to as a quantum. Once any process is executed for a specified period, it is preempted, and other processes also execute for a given period. You can use context switching to save states of preempted processes. 
  3. In the round-robin schedule, the miners create blocks in rotation in order to generate a precise Blockchain. The criterion for mining diversity establishes the rigidity of the scheme. The "one" value ensures that each allowed miner is included in the rotation process. Meanwhile, "zero results" does not imply there is a restriction at all. 
  4. In MultiChain, the transaction fees and the block incentives are null by default. However, in the params.dat.file of the MultiChain system, you can mention this value. This file contains the whole configurations as listed below:
  • The protocol of the chain
  • The target time of the block
  • The active permission type
  • Mining diversity 
  • The mining incentive
  • The approved type of transaction
  • The maximum transaction size, and
  • The maximum metadata for each transaction.

MultiChain Fork Solutions 

Private Blockchain

It controls who connects, read, and write on the chain

Customize Mining 

It configures diversity, the size of the block, and frequency.

  • There is no mining/transaction fee due to the private Blockchain.
  • Application-specific chains ensure there are no irrelevant data.
  • Multiple asset support from currency to other financial instruments as well. 
  • The automatic exchanges prevent double-spending and one-sided transactions. 

The Pros of MultiChain Architecture 

Fault Tolerance 

The MultiChain architecture with a diversity set at zero (0) allows any miner (block-adder) to add a block to the chain. This process is very tolerant, although it increases the possibility of a small group of miners compromising the system. Meanwhile, that is an improbable task. With the diversity setting of one (1), once you add a block, you will have to wait until all other miners have added one block respectively before you can add another block. The system continues in this cycle, making it impossible for a single or group of miners to create a fork. However, if a node goes offline, no further blocks will be added while the network waits for that node to add the next block. With the diversity set, you can choose the balance between security and technical malfunction risk. 


Since each of the nodes on the MultiChain network independently processes all transactions, the supported rate of transactions per second is barely affected. More latency occurs as transactions and blocks make more hops to propagate the entire MultiChain network. 

The Configuration of Blockchain in MultiChain

In a configuration file, MultiChain allows you as a user to set all the Blockchain parameters mentioned below:

  • The type of chain protocol e.g., private Blockchain or Bitcoin-like public Blockchain.
  • The target time for blocks, i.e., the time taken to add a new block. 
  • Types of active permissions
  • The level of consensus required.
  • IP ports for peer-to-peer connection, including the JSON-RPC API
  • The mining reward


The MuliChain architecture is designed to keep the Blockchain's visibility within the chosen participants. This helps to avoid confusion and ensures stability and control over which transaction exists. MultiChain Blockchain model only transacts the accounts validated to the participants of the chain.

Also read Hyperledger Fabric Architecture: A Deep Dive

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