What’s Automata (II): Protocol Overview & Witness
This is the second part of our introductory series exploring the design of Automata Network. You can read the rest of the posts here: Part 1
Our academic interest on privacy, especially as a pillar of the decentralised web, dates back to 2016 with the presentation of OblivP2P at USENIX Security Symposium. Three years later, we would built upon those findings — a privacy-preserving solution on hiding data access patterns for peer-to-peer storage — and thus was Advanca born. This was soon rebranded to Automata to better reflect and align with our mission of making Web 3.0 a reality.
Let’s get into it.
Automata Validator ☁️
Automata works by having two types of nodes, and here we are going to introduce the first: Automata Validator. Validators become so by staking tokens and provides a reliable state for participants under Proof-of-Stake consensus.
Validators are responsible for any number of control plane related tasks, including managing 1) the registration of both staking and hosting nodes 2) the distribution of work tasks and rewards 3) the marketplace for selling and buying computing power.
Automata Geode 🪨
This brings us to the second type of nodes, known as Automata Geode. With Automata Geode, we employ a number of cutting-edge technologies, including Oblivious RAM, to successfully create an isolated and shielded environment to conceal data access patterns, hidden even from the Geode Provider.
Matter of fact: Geode can already be deployed on the cloud and existing technical infrastructure. Hosting the computing node is simply as easy as running a validator node on the blockchain.
Automata Planes 🎈
Automata Validators and Automata Geodes interact with each other across 3 planes: Control, compute and service. Each plane serves a distinct and important function.
- The control plane is the coordinator. The validator maintains a copy of the protocol state so that Geode can receive new tasks and report their status.
- The compute plane is the executor. This is where Geodes can complete scheduled tasks and submit proof of execution.
- The service place is user-facing. Vendors can develop and run applications in Geode without actually hosting the Geode itself.
👉🏻 Introducing: Witness ︎👈🏻
Powered by Geode, Witness is an off-chain anonymous voting service which allows users to hide their identity and preference. When users can create proposals and submit votes without having to grapple with the ramifications of exposed privacy or identity leaks, the project benefits from having more input and representation from its community.
In the long run, the governance of any blockchain project centres on the idea of consensus as a basis for decision-making. Defining and putting in place processes early on will prove to be crucial to making decentralised groups a viable reality. With Witness, users participate in governance without having to give away their anonymity, and this freedom is exactly what Web3 is all about — a fairer space where users regain control of their own data, identity and destiny.
Automata at a glance 👀
We know that might be a lot of information to take in, so here’s a refresher on the various roles in Automata and their behaviour.
- Validator: Runs the protocol, housekeeps the control plane
- Geode: Computing nodes, accepts and executes work tasks
- Geode Provider: The physical host (i.e. machine) that runs Geode
- Geode Attestor: Runs remote attestation protocol to verify Geode
Now that you’ve read so much about Geode, we hope you are as excited as us to find out more about this industry-first development. Click the follow button to read the latest next week ✨