As an open source reference implementation of the Trusted Compute API Specification, the Trusted Compute Framework (TCF) can help blockchain developers deliver the next wave of confidential computing applications. With TCF, developers can utilize Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) to access off-chain transaction resources and deliver confidential loan systems, trusted tokens, attested oracles, and more. Devcon 5* offers the first hands-on experience with TCF in a developer workshop.
Originated as open source software in Intel Labs, TCF code was contributed to Hyperledger earlier this year, first in Labs and most recently announced as a new project. Now known as Hyperledger Avalon, the concept of trusted compute has gained participation from more than a dozen developers including Alibaba*, Baidu*, BGI*, Chainlink*, ConsenSys*, Espeo*, iExec*, IBM*, Kaleido*, Microsoft*, Banco Santander*, and WiPro*.
TCF uses the Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification defined in an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)* working group to help developers gain the benefits of computational trust and to mitigate its drawbacks. The off-chain execution enabled by the EEA Trusted Compute Specification allows a developer to perform complex transactions on-premise or in cloud-based virtual machines (VMs), off the shared ledger. Once complete, the results of these transactions can be posted back to the shared ledger. This approach helps improve transaction throughput and privacy while lessening the data load on the shared ledger.
Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) like Intel SGX play a key role in off-chain execution. By using a TEE, a developer can help improve the integrity of the link between off-chain and on-chain execution. Intel SGX capabilities such as code verification, execution isolation, and attestation verification can help provide a reliable link between main chain and off-chain compute resources.
At Devcon 5, the EEA Trusted Reward Token application is featured as a way to improve member-led team productivity, and also to help organizations around the world harness the power of collaboration. EEA members ConsenSys, iExec, Intel, Kaleido and Microsoft have teamed up to provide developers with their first TCF hands-on experience. The workshop also highlights case studies from Banco Santander, of an AML-inspired use case protecting data confidentiality, and Chainlink using TCF to improve the integrity of off-chain oracles.
Contributors to the workshop include iExec who provides an implementation of the proxy model for the EEA Off-chain Trusted Compute Specification. This capability enables off-chain trusted execution for various usages including the trusted token application mentioned above. In addition, Kaleido provides Hyperledger Besu* enterprise Ethereum instances. Microsoft provides the Testnet compute infrastructure. Envision Blockchain Solutions provides the UX for EEA Trusted Token, and ConsenSys built the identity, claims and tokens management smart contract infrastructure for the EEA Trusted Reward Token.
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Learn more about using the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Spec to extend blockchain computational trust at: Ecosystem Support for EEA* Trusted Compute Specification v1.0 Improves Blockchain Privacy and Scalability.
Explore and download the Hyperledger Avalon project.
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) News Release: announcing the Trusted Compute Framework at Devcon 5.
Driving Demand for Enterprise Smart Contracts: using the Trusted Computation Framework and attested oracles via Chainlink.
iExec Demonstrates Confidential Computing Application at Devcon5 with EEA, Intel, ConsenSys & Microsoft: Blockchains deliver computational trust via massive replication. By adding trusted off-chain execution to a blockchain, the performance areas can be greatly improved.
Hyperledger Avalon Wiki: a ledger-independent implementation of the Trusted Compute Specifications published by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
Trusted Compute API Specification: Download the Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V1.1and other EEA specifications and architecture stack information.
Michael J Reed is a senior director of Intel’s Blockchain Program Office, where he manages a team responsible for delivering new blockchain ledgers and applications that utilize unique elements of Intel® architecture. Mike has more than 20 years’ experience funding and driving technology ventures related to blockchain, crypto-currency, online payments, RFID, Internet of Things, cloud computing and consumer electronics. He is a member of the EEA and the EEA Trusted Execution Task Force as well as a board member on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project. Follow Michael on Twitter* and LinkedIn*
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