A Developer Guide to Enhance Blockchain Scalability with TEE:

Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V1.0

As the chair of the Trusted Compute Working Group of EEA (Enterprise Ethereum Alliance), iExec is proud to relay the news of EEA’s announcement of releasing the official EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V1.0 at Consensus 2019, the annual gathering of the blockchain technology world.

Along with other EEA members, iExec, Intel and Consensys are the principal contributors to the Trusted Compute Specification 1.0. The effort has been launched since 2018 to support Blockchain based trusted computing and privacy preserving.

Blockchain scalability powered by TEE (Trusted Execution Environment)

Today, Ethereum could be made more scalable because every full-node stores all the state data while processing transactions which include smart contact code, account balances, and storage. This ensures a high level of security at the cost scalability. Furthermore, duplicate execution of computationally heavy tasks by a smart contract on the chain not only creates scalability challenges but also exposes confidential business data to unauthorized parties representing significant privacy challenges. Regulations such as GDPR place significant requirements and penalties on companies that control or process personally identifiable information. Off-chain storage and privacy-preserving compute solutions that provide data sovereignty to users could be instrumental in achieving compliance.

With decentralized cloud computing backed by TEE, a smart contract on main-net can offload its compute-intensive workloads to off-chain networking without compromising user experience and security.

Trusted Compute Specification API

This TC API specification is right here to help developers address how TEE , combined with Blockchain, allows providing a high level of trust for Off-chain computing/data proceeding on decentralized nodes, and establishes a seamless and trusted liaison between on-chain and off-chain networks. This specification allows:

  1. Offload the computation of some compute intensive function, to other trusted or untrusted clients
  2. Offload the handling of private data to some form of privacy-preserving compute in support of GDPR compliance
  3. Bridge the gap with the real world such as: a) bring in real-world trusted data such as commodity prices from oracles, sensor data in support of supply chain use-cases, etc. b) leverage trusted identities of users and devices to enable permission at scale.
  4. Support state channels for enterprise deployment allowing blockchain operations to be conducted off-chain, while retaining or even improving the underlying security guarantees that a on-chain networks offer.
  5. Security improvements on Blockchain based orders (i.e. work order integrity and data protection)

Especially, this specification indicates us how Blockchain is able to work with TEE to:

  • Provide E2E privacy preserving for Blockchain based computing.
  • Provide trusted execution attestation for Blockchain based computing.

iExec’s Dapps based on Trusted Compute Specification

Applications for the TC API are numerous. Indeed, cooperating with our partners like Intel, IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, etc., iExec has already deployed Trusted Worker-pools based on TC API specification v0.5 for real use cases like 3D rendering data protection, medical dataset Monetizing, IoT base use cases.

Especially, at MWC 2019, inside the Intel booth, iExec showed how to leverage Intel® SGX to preserve data and to allow proof of authority for a Blockchain-Controlled Robot use case. At RSA 2019, iExec has leveraged Intel® SGX to manage data ownership and privacy while training an AI model on medical data. iExec has implemented a TEE stack based on the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification v0.5, and iExec will soon make the stack compatible with specification 1.0.

More than applying the spec, iExec is very active in EEA and IEEE working groups. As the chair of TEE Trusted computing working group, iExec organizes weekly discussion meetings and coordinates the actions/working tasks for member companies from all over the world. iExec is one of the main editors of the specification.

In the specification V1.0, we have added the support of multi-party computing. The security has been enhanced thanks to improvements on work order integrity and signature. Furthermore, more trusted compute frameworks (e.g. Zero-Knowledge Proofs, MPC, and attested Oracles) are supported.

The next steps are focused on communicating broadly about the strengths of TEE based decentralized architectures to implement in production the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification. From there iExec and other members of EEA will define the next features to be added.

The release of the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V1.0 is concomitant with the iExec V3 release. A major milestone has been made and iExec is proud to lead, with professionalism, the trends needed by industries facing shifts in their business landscape.

Get Started today

Developers can learn more about TC API and download the EEA Off-Chain Trusted Compute Specification V1.0 at the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance documents site.

Related Content

(Intel) Ecosystem Support for EEA Trusted Compute Specification v1.0 Improves Blockchain Privacy and Scalability
Software developers can use the TC API to build a common method for a smart contract to off-load computation for scalability and/or stricter handling of private data, and for comprehending attested oracles, to extend the benefits of blockchain computational trust with off-chain data, sensors, and compute capacity, helping to usher in the new Web 3.0 era.

On EEA blog:

(Intel) Can a Blockchain-Controlled Robot Change the Future? :

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