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A distributed ledger is a type of database that is shared, replicated, and synchronized among the members of a network. The distributed ledger records the transactions, such as information about aircraft’s repairs or a component’s life limit, among the participants in the network. Participants in the network govern and agree by consensus on the updates to the records in the ledger. No central, third-party mediator, such as a financial institution or clearinghouse, is involved. Every record in the distributed ledger has a timestamp and unique cryptographic signature, thus making the ledger an auditable history of all transactions regarding the aircraft and its components in the network.
The decentralized peer-to-peer blockchain network prevents any single participant or group of participants from controlling the underlying infrastructure or undermining the entire system. Participants in the network are all equal, adhering to the same protocols. They can be airlines, leasing companies, MROs, aviation authorities and passengers.