An open letter to the FSB (Financial Stability Board) on how to secure the Blockchain.

Following up from yesterdays look at the FSB and their concerns over Blockchain technology I have come across this blog, so I will be forwarding the details to these individuals and show if any the response I get.

The Link above may not get clicked, so I thought as the internet of things allows me to copy and paste I would show the complete article here, although I have rewritten and moved the document around somewhat hope you enjoy.

The team

The Oasis team is led by CEO Dawn Song, a MacArthur Fellow, Professor of Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley, and ranked as the most cited scholar in computer security. Our founding team has founded three successful startups prior, focused on safety and deep learning. Our team includes top talent from UC Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, University of Washington, Cornell, Google and other premier institutions.

Oasis Technology

Our technology offers a set of unique capabilities:

  • Privacy-preserving smart contracts: providing codified and self-enforceable privacy protection without relying on any central party. In our platform, privacy is built into each layer of the stack, from the application all the way down to hardware.
  • High-performance for complex real-world applications. We firmly believe that scalability is more than just high payment transaction throughput: a blockchain for real-world use must scale to complex application workloads such as machine learning. Our platform achieves scalability and integrity with its novel architecture and protocol design, without relying on any trusted hardware or central party.
  • Rich programming framework support such as privacy-preserving machine learning within smart contracts on our platform.

The Oasis technology has been inspired by the team’s decades of research experience and industry collaboration, including recent work on:

  • The open source differential privacy project in cooperation with Uber to protect the privacy of sensitive data while simultaneously enabling data analytics.
  • The open source keystone project in collaboration with research groups at MIT and UC Berkeley to develop open source secure hardware.
  • The research paper on Ekiden: A Platform for Confidentiality-Preserving, Trustworthy, and Performant Smart Contract Execution.

Abstract – Ekiden: A Platform for Confidentiality-Preserving, Trustworthy, and Performant Smart Contract Execution

Smart contracts are applications that execute on blockchains. Today they manage billions of dollars in value and motivate visionary plans for pervasive blockchain deployment. While smart contracts inherit the availability and other security assurances of blockchains, however, they are impeded by blockchains’ lack of confidentiality and poor performance.

We present Ekiden, a system that addresses these critical gaps by combining blockchains with Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs). Capable of operating on any desired blockchain, Ekiden permits concurrent, off-chain execution of smart contracts within TEE-backed compute nodes, yielding high performance, low-cost, and confidentiality for sensitive data.

Ekiden enforces a robust set of security and availability properties. By maintaining on-chain state, it achieves consistency, meaning a single authoritative sequence of state transitions, and availability, meaning contracts can survive the failure of compute nodes.
Ekiden is anchored in a formal security model expressed as an ideal functionality. We prove the security of the corresponding implemented protocol in the UC framework.

Our implementation of Ekiden supports contract development in Rust and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). We present experiments for applications including machine learning models,
poker, and cryptocurrency tokens. Ekiden is designed to support multiple underlying blockchains. We have built one end-to-end instantiation of our system, Ekiden-BT, with a blockchain extending from Tendermint. Ekiden-BT achieves example performance of 600x more throughput and 400x less latency at 1000x less cost than on the Ethereum mainnet. When used with Ethereum as the backing blockchain, Ekiden still costs less than on-chain execution and supports contract confidentiality.

Ekiden uses compute nodes to perform smart contract computation over private data off chain in TEEs, then attest to their correct execution on chain. The underlying blockchain is maintained by consensus nodes, which need not use trusted hardware. Ekiden is agnostic to consensus-layer mechanics.

Oasis implemented an Ekiden prototype in 7486 lines of Rust

Future is more secure and higher performance

Ekiden can be used to implement a variety of secure decentralised applications that compute on sensitive data. In future work they plan to extend Ekiden to operate under a stronger threat model, leveraging techniques such as secure multiparty computation to protect the system’s more critical features, such as key management and coordination across compute nodes. Coordination can also facilitate parallelism in contract execution, merging parallel output from multiple enclaves to obtain still higher performance from Ekiden.

White Paper



I look forward to a positive response.

Kind regards

Luke Lamb


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