In the face of the increasingly severe digital hosting security situation, PlatON released the world's first digital asset custody service based on secure multi-party computing (MPC) technology – KeyShard, which has received wide attention from all walks of life.
On April 18th, Dr. Xie Xiang, a scientist of PlatON, was invited to be a guest at the ChainNode live broadcast room to explain the technical characteristics and application prospects of KeyShard and answer the hot issues in the field of digital asset security. Sixty-eight million fans watched the live broadcast and actively participated in the discussion, and the response was enthusiastic.
The following content is taken from the live chat, and more content can be viewed live video.
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Origin of KeyShard : Solving the pain points of corporate customers
Moderator: From the technical background point of view, PlatON experienced the process of moving from the alliance chain to the public chain. Why is this change?
Xie Xiang: PlatON has been working on blockchain technology since 2016. It has built a network of privacy calculations from cryptography and is constantly advancing in the process of exploration. Moving from the alliance chain to the public chain is to find a platform that is more suitable for building the entire computing network. At present, the alliance chain and the public chain are synchronized.
Moderator: PlatON turned to the public chain because it saw the pain point of the industry at the time, and this is the alliance chain can not solve?
Xie Xiang: The alliance chain is more to serve the customers of the enterprise, and the public chain is to let more people participate and build the entire network. Because the network structure of the public chain itself is very large enough to support a more complex technology ecology, it is hoped that in this way, more good developers or others will be attracted to jointly build the entire ecosystem.
Moderator: How did the matrix element at that time attract you to join this team?
Xie Xiang: This is a short story: I am a cryptography major. After I graduated from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, I joined the cryptography research conducted by Huawei Shanghai Research. In 2017, I found that Sun was leading the team in the exploration and engineering practice of blockchain and privacy computing. I felt that the whole concept and background of this team matched me very well, so I became interested in it and joined this. The team is to explore and implement cryptographic algorithms.
Moderator: KeyShard as a digital currency-hosted product, what is the original intention?
Xie Xiang: From the beginning of 2017, the entire Platon team is determined to go deep into the direction of cryptography research including MPC. This is because we have seen that data privacy has become a serious problem in both corporate and personal applications. In 2018, the introduction of GDPR in the EU indicates that global attention to data privacy is growing, and the corresponding technology in cryptography. It is one of the best implementations of data privacy protection. The threshold of cryptography is very high. Even senior engineers are not very familiar with it. Therefore, we spent a lot of time, stepped on a lot of “pits”, and finally built related technology platforms to realize the engineering application of MPC.
In addition, in the field of digital currency, private keys and money are equally important. Using traditional hosting methods, copying the private key, or buying a hardware key to keep it safe, these methods are more or less problematic. For enterprise customers, once they have problems with the storage of their money or digital assets, it is undoubtedly fatal.
Starting from the actual demand of digital currency asset custody, we found that MPC technology can better solve this demand pain point, and based on this, KeyShard was developed to provide users with a unique way to keep private keys.
KeyShard brings new technology solutions
Moderator: Just talked about KeyShard's unique way of helping you keep your private key. Can you elaborate? Which group of specific audiences is To B or To C?
Xie Xiang: In the traditional way, no matter whether it is written or written on the exchange, the key always exists in a certain place, there is a risk of being stolen and lost, and the security cannot be completely guaranteed. KeyShard is based on MPC's threshold of thousands of technologies. The private key is split into different pieces and distributed among the users, the custodian and other parties. From any single shard, the real information of the private key cannot be known. The parties jointly control. When the private key needs to be invoked, it is not necessary to combine the private key fragments. When the number of participants exceeds the threshold, a signature is issued through the MPC for authorization.
Throughout the life cycle, the real private key never appears, thereby fundamentally preventing the risk of the private key being stolen or misused, greatly improving the user's control over the private key and the security of the digital asset.
Because of the multi-person custody and authorization, the management is more refined, analogous to the current financial management, only after the end of the authorization chain, the money can be transferred out, which is more suitable for the B-end customers of the enterprise. The C-end customers are mainly divided into two categories, one is the technical geek, they prefer to copy the auxiliary words, and the other is the customers who want to trade quickly, which do not need to use the KeyShard function.
Moderator: Traditional B-end users, what is the traditional method of keeping private keys, mainly in the form of cold wallets and multi-signatures?
Xie Xiang: In order to solve the problem, a mixed solution is generally adopted. For example, mnemonics, use complex word lists to restore wallets; cold wallets use offline devices to store private keys, and then connect to the network when signing transactions; multi-signatures rely heavily on smart contracts, different public chains need to deploy different smart contracts, so compatibility Weak, risk factor and maintenance cost are high. The difference between KeyShard and the traditional mode is that the authorization mode on the chain does not require a contract. It is managed offline by the algorithm, which is convenient and safe to use.
Moderator: After the private key is fragmented, the users have their own private keys on a certain slice. Is there a lot of combination possibilities?
Xie Xiang: In theory, the combination method is similar to the authorization method. There are many possibilities, but there is only one transaction method, that is, the user generates a signature through the platform and then outputs it. Of course, the more slices are divided, the more types of authorization methods are available, which can meet the authorization requirements of different enterprise types.
Moderator: In the field of digital asset custody, what are the advantages of KeyShard compared to other competitors?
Xie Xiang: KeyShard is a service under the Platon framework. It is more cryptographic and more technically safe. Our advantage is that Platon has done a little earlier in the field of cryptography. When 2017 was not very familiar with the MPC concept, PlatON has already attached importance to and applied this technology. Now we have cooperation with famous universities and research institutes related to cryptography at home and abroad, and we hope to apply the research-level knowledge to the product level.
Moderator: What cooperation or achievements did KeyShard achieve now?
Xie Xiang: In addition to the management of assets, KeyShard also has a service for hosting the verification nodes of the POS public chain, because they are very concerned about the security of the private key.
There is now a mechanism called slash, which means that if the verification order is not out of the rules, it may be punished. In order to ensure that the money pledge is not lost, customers will always attach great importance to the protection of private key security. So we will work with some verification nodes to help them manage the private key.
PlatON&KeyShard : Future Planning and Hot Topics
Moderator: Can you talk about the planning of PlatON in 2019?
Xie Xiang: At present, PlatON's test network is online. You can go to the official website. It is expected that the main online line will be in September, and the workload is very large. Because the entire chain itself and the cryptographic algorithm are more difficult to upgrade, PlatON has been pushing forward in the direction of public chain and cryptography. In addition to KeyShard, mainly the improvement of the underlying functions and products, the iteration and evolution of the version, new services and features will be introduced.
In addition, we are also doing AI, internally called PAI (Privacy AI), which combines machine learning algorithms with privacy protection to both machine learning and privacy. At present, it is cooperating with foreign universities, the algorithm is basically formed, and the internal verification and implementation of the engineering is further completed. Perhaps there will be a trial demo for everyone to experience.
Moderator: At present, privacy computing has great potential. Before I saw the advertisement of iPhone, I also introduced the concept of privacy. How does the Internet giant intervention like Facebook affect the industry?
Xie Xiang: The Internet industry has its own history. In the early days, it relied on low-cost methods to obtain large amounts of data and earn profits for large customers. But the point that may make users feel uncomfortable is that data is collected at low cost. With the popularization of relevant laws and regulations, everyone began to think that privacy is a part of sovereignty, forcing Internet companies to solve this problem. Among many solutions, cryptography is an important part of it.
Moderator: If I have autonomy over data, can it be applied to other levels?
Xie Xiang: Privacy computing is about making data available, but it doesn't have to be disclosed. In addition, it gives data pricing methods, that is, in the framework of privacy computing, if more data about individuals is used, the more valuable the data, the higher the pricing. The current data is actually not knowing how to price. For example, if my mobile phone number is to sell one piece or sell one hair, it is actually unknown and I don’t know how to price it. In the future, there may be a special network to price data. For example, it may be that A's mobile phone number is more expensive than B's mobile phone number, because A may have more resources.
Moderator: Now the blockchain security incident occurs. For example, if the exchange is stolen, can you give the ordinary investors and institutions the attention of the popular science blockchain?
Xie Xiang: Security and cryptography are not a concept. Security is engineering, cryptography is an algorithm, and products are synchronized. Now that exchanges are the primary target of attack, they will spend a lot of money on security protection, relying on strict mechanisms, technologies and even rules and regulations to ensure the security of the entire asset. For the individual, the most extreme way is to take the money and let it "never move." The trading method is balanced with convenience and security with good products and ideas. At present, KeyShard's final service is at the security level, allowing users to experience the safe and secure use of data assets.
Moderator: Which application scenarios are you optimistic about?
Xie Xiang: From the background of privacy, the medical industry will have a big outbreak. Other applications such as IoT, finance, and transportation will have new applications. This is the area we are trying to explore.