BigchainDB fills a gap in the decentralization ecosystem: a decentralized database, at scale. It points to performance of 1 million writes per second throughput, storing petabytes of data, and sub-second latency. The BigchainDB design starts with a distributeddatabase (DB), and through a set of innovations adds blockchain characteristics: decentralized control, immutability, and creation & movement of digital assets. BigchainDB inherits characteristics of modern distributed databases: linear scaling in throughput and capacity with the number of nodes, a full-featured NoSQL query language, effcient querying, and permissioning. Being built on an existing distributed DB, it also inherits enterprise-hardened code for most of its codebase. Scalable capacity means that legally binding contracts and certifcates may be stored directly on the blockchain database. The permissioning system enables configurations ranging from private enterprise blockchain databases to open, public blockchain databases. BigchainDB is complementary to decentralized processing platforms like Ethereum, and decentralized file systems like InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).