Secret Network Development Update: May 2020
Learn about the latest progress towards privacy-preserving Secret Apps and the next exciting milestone: the launch of a public incentivized testnet for "secret contracts" in July.
[You can also read this announcement on the Enigma blog.]
Hello to the community! What follows is a recap of important updates from the past month, including our progress towards “secret contracts” and new documentation of encryption specs. This post expands upon Enigma's regular updates on the Secret Forum and includes ways for developers, validators, and other community members to get more involved with the project!
In May, the Enigma team made significant progress toward achieving milestone 3 of 3 on the path to enabling secret contracts on Secret Network, which means compiling and running a full node with wasmi inside SGX with encryption abilities. All basic functionality for executing CosmWasm contracts in a secure enclave is now implemented and continues to be tested! You can follow our progress by reviewing our dev sprints on these GitHub project boards.
What does this mean? We now expect to have the first public testnet for secret contracts live in the month of July, coinciding with the start of the Secret Games. We’ll continue to share regular updates on development progress on the Secret Network forum - and we have more info about this testnet later in this post. Keep reading for all the details!
Protocol Development: Enabling Secret Contracts
Since our community launched the Secret Network in February of this year, we have been focused on building the necessary components for private computation inside Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs), namely Intel SGX. This work, led by Guy, Assaf, Tom, Reuven and Itzik, comprises many specific tasks, organized into these project milestones on GitHub:
- Milestone 1 — Integrating Smart Contracts into the Enigma Blockchain (complete!)
- Milestone 2 — Executing CosmWasm Smart Contracts in SGX (complete!)
- Milestone 3 — Adding Encryption for Secret Contracts Running in SGX
Lately, our team has been focused on WIP documentation for the cryptography elements of the secret protocol. This means encrypted inputs, outputs and state. Read more about Milestone 3 on GitHub: CosmWasm Inside SGX With Encryption. We’d appreciate any feedback on our new documentation of Enigma’s cryptography specifications!
What does this mean for developers?
Developers will soon have the ability to deploy secret contracts on the Secret Testnet, maintained by Chain of Secrets. Our `compute` module for the Cosmos SDK gives the ability to run CosmWasm inside trusted execution environments (TEEs) maintained by node operators (secret nodes). As our dev team continues to make progress towards enabling secret contracts, we are focused on improving our developer onboarding process and looking for help. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for Rust developers to build and deploy contracts. Please let us know if you have any feedback on our current documentation:
What does this mean for node runners?
Building toward this new milestone has been exciting, and it means we’re one step closer to proposing secret contract functionality to the Secret Network. From that point forward, validators will need to use SGX-enabled hardware to participate as “secret nodes” in the network.
If you want to launch a node and become a mainnet validator today, here are the instructions:
As mentioned previously, we are currently planning an incentivized testnet program, called the Secret Games, that will allow developers and testnet validators to receive Secret (SCRT) while helping us test secret contract functionality! If you’re interested in being notified when we share updates, please fill out this form:
Recently, we have been collaborating with the CosmWasm team, which is building a smart contracting platform for the Cosmos ecosystem. The Cosmos SDK, Tendermint and the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol are designed to enable scalable, interoperable application-specific blockchains. Enigma’s dev team is excited to contribute alongside Ethan Frey and Simon Warta to develop modules for WASM computation. They have invited Reuven to be a core contributor of the CosmWasm project, following some updates made in coordination with releasing version 0.8 of CosmWasm. Stay tuned for a detailed post on the x/compute module.
We’ve also written about how the Secret Network fits into the growing Cosmos ecosystem. Our privacy solutions can help many zones and other hubs with interoperable trusted computation services for any blockchain. Secret Hub facilitates adoption of application-specific networks, which are greater than the sum of their parts!
SafeTrace: Privacy-Preserving Contact Tracing API
The Enigma team also continues to develop privacy-first standalone applications that help solve real-world problems. Since our April Development Update on SafeTrace, we have been focused on connecting with app developers and other collaborators. We are continuing to build relationships as a member of the TCN Coalition. We also hosted a webinar with Outlier Ventures to explore capabilities of SafeTrace. For more info, you can review the documentation in our open source code base.
We will have another exciting announcement shortly about the future of SafeTrace, so stay tuned to the Enigma blog! Here is the most recent update:
Overall, we’re thrilled to keep building toward the vision of privacy-preserving Secret Apps. We’re continuing research into various use cases, including secret voting, access control, and more! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team and the Secret community with any ideas or questions. You can find us on RocketChat, Discord, and the Secret Forum.
Stay tuned for our weekly community updates and governance meetings. Our next open discussion is planned for this Friday at 2:00pm EDT. Here is the link to join: https://meet.scrt.network/discussion
Thank you for being a part of our mission to bring essential privacy solutions to the blockchain space — and to make privacy a public good! We are deeply grateful for your support.