The blockchain trilemma, which consists of scalability, security, and decentralization, has long been the foundation of most blockchain designs. However, Acurast, a decentralized platform, has identified a fourth dimension that is crucial for enhancing the efficiency of blockchain utilization.
Dr. Christian Killer, Head of Research at Acurast Association, recently discussed the concept of ‘Zero Trust Universal Interoperability’ during a presentation at the Sub0 2023 event hosted by Polkadot. He emphasized that while decentralization, security, and scalability are important, effective computation and confidentiality on the execution layer are equally vital, especially when dealing with private data.
Acurast aims to address the problem of infrastructure centralization, which is currently seen in cloud providers being the backbone of many applications. This centralization poses both censorship and centralization risks. To combat this, Acurast has developed a Layer 1 solution that offers a fully decentralized alternative.
Confidential computing is a core aspect of Acurast’s approach. The Confidential Execution Layer ensures that data remains secure throughout computation. Unlike other solutions that rely on virtualized trust execution environments, Acurast’s approach is based on external security chips, making it highly resistant to breaches.
A major focus of Acurast’s strategy is minimizing trust assumptions across every layer of the system. This is in line with their “Zero Trust” philosophy, where trust is constantly verified rather than assumed. They also aim to achieve “Universal Interoperability,” going beyond connecting different blockchain chains and bridging the gap between Web3 and Web2. This has the potential to create decentralized applications that seamlessly interact with traditional web applications, extending the benefits to areas such as IoT and supply chain tracking.
Acurast’s architecture emphasizes the separation of the consensus, settlement, and execution layers. The permissionless consensus layer orchestrates computational resources, matching consumers with processors. Developers can deploy on Acurast’s secure hardware runtime, which provides a decentralized network of secure hardware co-processors. This flexibility allows for various permissions and decentralized use cases.
Looking towards the future, Acurast aims to expand its use cases beyond price feeds to include confidential computing, zero-knowledge execution services, privacy mixing, and more. Dr. Killer believes that mobile devices are the future of decentralized computation, envisioning a wide range of potential hardware options to participate in the network.
Acurast’s approach to blockchain design offers a holistic solution that addresses not only the traditional trilemma but also the need for effective computation, confidentiality, and universal interoperability. With its focus on decentralization and security, Acurast has the potential to revolutionize blockchain utilization and unlock new opportunities for decentralized applications in various domains.