Intel is doing work with blockchain new venture Enigma to help safeguard its privacy-enhancing smart contracts.
As earlier revealed by CoinDesk, secret contracts are a sort of smart contract intended for public blockchains which make use of cryptographic techniques to preserve transaction information concealed from view. Enigma – a new company which developed out of initiatives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the objective of developing a more personal platform for decentralized applications – would like to enhance their privacy by integrating Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX), a move scheduled for the second half of 2018.
An Enigma representative told CoinDesk:
“Privacy is at the moment the most significant hindrance to smart contract admission. Blockchains are fine at correctness, but poor at privacy by design. Smart contracts and decentralized applications will have to be capable of utilizing personal and sensitive data to see global adoption.”
Enigma is trying to work with Intel and other industry partners to create applications which support the protocol and SGX, introducing a proof-of-concept which displays the possibilities of merging the two technologies towards the end of this year.
The two groups are likewise carrying out R&D into trusted execution environments (TEEs), that is an important component of Intel’s SGX technology which securitizes information and code. Specifically, TEEs relate to space on a device’s primary processor which is different from its operating system and is accountable for keeping and safeguarding data in a secure environment. In this respect, Intel and Enigma’s objective is to develop a “production-level software that can be used at scale.”
The cooperation is a well-timed one, due to the fact that high-stakes attacks have previously occurred. The most notable of these is probably the DAO hack in 2016, in which 3.6 million ether, valued at around $50 million at that time, had been stolen from the decentralized and independent venture capital fund because of weaknesses in a smart contract.