Taxa Network: Architecture Walk-through

Previously, we shared Taxa’s vision as a layer 2 infrastructure that brings performance, privacy and usability to blockchains and DApps. You can read it here if you haven’t.

Now, let’s take a closer look at Taxa’s technical architecture: Taxa Network (U.S. Patent 62/627672 “A Decentralized Computing Network and A Consensus Engine for Hardware-based Trusted Computing”, and U.S. Patent 62/627675 “A Decentralized Trusted Execution Cloud”, filed in Feb 2018).

What is Taxa Network

Taxa Network is a smart contract platform powered by state-of-the-art trusted computing technology. Taxa Network enables data-rich, computation-intensive, privacy-preserving, highly developable smart contracts named Hyper Smart Contracts for any blockchain and DApp.
As a Layer 2 network, Taxa Network enables input/output with most decentralized infrastructures such as Ethereum and IPFS (or from direct client input). Taxa aims at becoming the standard of blockchain business logic, and enable real-world deployment to develop and thrive.
— Taxa Network: A Universal Logic Layer for Blockchain, Whitepaper v0.77

Taxa Network’s Layered Design

Taxa Network’s Layered Technical Architecture

As depicted above, Taxa Network consists of three layers:

  • Client Layer: Users can embed the Taxa SDK into DApps, or launch Taxa client to invoke Taxa-enabled Hyper Smart Contracts.
  • Public Blockchain Layer: Taxa will deploy a series of smart contracts on the public blockchains to process Taxa Network-related tasks, such as payment settlement, status change, etc. Hyper Smart Contract could also be invoked from the public chain smart contract or directly from the users of Taxa Network.
  • Trusted Execution Layer: Taxa Trusted Execution Layer is a decentralized network consisting of TEE-enabled computing nodes, responsible for executing high-performance, privacy-preserving smart contracts and feeding results and states. This layer will respond to and pick up the tasks from the Public Blockchain Layer, attest and establish secured connections with users, and receive secret data directly from users. The execution result will be feed back to the Public Blockchain Layer.

Taxa Network’s TEE-enabled Computing Nodes

From the hardware perspective, each Taxa Node includes at least one hardware-based trusted execution environment (TEE).

Taxa Network’s TEE-enabled Computing Node

From the software perspective, each Taxa Node consists of an application layer and an enclave layer as shown in the figure below.

The following chart summarizes why Taxa’s TEE-enabled computing nodes are better than other computing approaches or environments.

Hardware-based TEE vs. SMPC vs. Docker

Taxa Network’s PBFT-derived PoS Consensus

Integrity of Taxa Network does not solely rely on trusted hardware. On top of the TEE, we has implemented a PBFT (Practical Byzantine fault tolerance)-derived PoS consensus mechanism to: 1) ensure Taxa Network’s availability, 2) mitigate the adversary party risk if any, 3) reinforce the consistency of the results in a more robust way, 4) minimize redundant computations.

Taxa Network’s PBFT-derived PoS Consensus

Upon the generation of a new computing task, a subgroup of Taxa Network would start to include a minimum viable number of Taxa Network’s TEE-enabled Computing Nodes. Within that subgroup, if any inconsistency in the computing results showed up, the subgroup will expand to include more Taxa Network’s TEE-enabled Computing Nodes to run the computation until a consensus is achieved, or until the number of Taxa Network’s TEE-enabled Computing Nodes included reaches a certain threshold.

By utilizing such a mechanism, Taxa Network can reach a reliable consensus by only involving a minimal number of Taxa Network’s TEE-enabled Computing Nodes. Every node involved is able to identify any faulty nodes with reliable proof such that Economical punishment or reputation adjustment can be executed without involving a centralized agent.

The advantages of this consensus mechanism include:

  • Low latency — No confirmation is needed.
  • Faulty nodes leave crypto proofs.
  • Taxa Network is load-scalable — Scalability increases as more nodes join in.

DApps Empowered by Taxa

With Taxa, developers are able to unlock whole new use cases, especially in privacy-centric and performance-centric scenarios, to enable significant, real-world deployment!

Public blockchains, DApps, and other ecosystem members can now request early access and full support of Taxa via the Launch Partner program.

R&D Roadmap

Currently the Taxa team is busy with testnet R&D.

Takeaways:

In this blog, we took a closer look at Taxa Network’s technical architecture and roadmap.

  • Taxa Network enables data-rich, computation-intensive, privacy-preserving, highly developable Hyper Smart Contracts, which empowers public blockchains and dapps to unlock whole new use cases.
  • Taxa Network implemented a layered structure to communicate with public blockchains and DApp clients.
  • Each Taxa Node includes at least one hardware-based trusted execution environment.
  • A PBFT (Practical Byzantine fault tolerance)-derived PoS consensus mechanism is applied to ensure Taxa Network’s availability and reliability while minimizing redundant computations.

In the upcoming blogs, we will introduce Taxa’s trusted computing technologies, minimal viable product (MVP), crypto economics, and beyond.

Stay tuned!

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AngelList: https://angel.co/taxanetwork

Medium: https://medium.com/@taxanetwork