Oasis created the Ekiden platform. Ekiden is a system for highly performant and confidentiality-preserving smart contract execution. To the best of their knowledge, Ekiden is the first confidentiality-preserving smart
contract system that can perform thousands of transactions per second. The key to this achievement is the effective combination of blockchains and trusted hardware. Ekiden combines any desired underlying blockchain system (permissioned or permissionless) with TEE-based execution. Anchored in a formal security model that is
expressed as a cryptographic ideal functionality, its principled design supports rigorous analysis of its security properties.
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.
Ekiden includes several performance optimizations that minimize use of the blockchain, which is a bottleneck. Their optimizations do not degrade security: They show that they realize the same ℱEkiden functionality as the unoptimized protocol. They evaluate their individual and cumulative impact, showing speed, throughput, and on-chain storage 2–4 orders of magnitude better than baseline on-chain Ethereum execution.
The Oasis implementation of Ekiden supports contract development in Rust and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). They presented experiments for applications including machine learning models, poker, and cryptocurrency tokens. Ekiden is designed to support multiple underlying blockchains. They have built one end-to-end instantiation of their 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.
Improved Cryptokitties as a demonstration
They created an implementation of Cryptokitties to demonstrate that Ekiden can execute an Ethereum contract even when source code is not available. They also provided enhanced privacy and security.
More Robust Poker implementation demonstrated on Oasis Platform
Oasis implemented a poker contract, where users take turns submitting their actions to the contract, and the smart contract contains all of the game logic for shuffling and (selectively) revealing cards. Poker is a common benchmark application for blockchain systems and secure multi-party computation called mental poker. Ekiden is significantly more robust than these prior implementations in how it handles player aborts. In
most mental poker, if a party aborts, its secret hand cannot be reconstructed by others, so the game aborts. Handling faults in secure multi-party computation requires application-specific changes to the cryptographic protocol.
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