Final yr Japan’s largest bank card supplier, JCB, partnered with startup LayerX for blockchain options for B2B payments. Right now they collectively revealed a paper on blockchain privateness and confidentiality.
The main target is on confidential computing, which allows firms to share knowledge privately to make calculations. This lets firms share calculation outcomes on underlying knowledge they will’t see. The info sharing is finished off-chain, however blockchain is likely to be used for logging.
One of the frequent examples of confidential computing is to evaluate creditworthiness, the place somebody may permit their transaction knowledge for use. This permits calculations to evaluate the power to pay with out sharing the transactions themselves. That approach, the credit score assessor can’t truly see who’s being paid.
An attention-grabbing potential utility recognized by LayerX is anti cash laundering (AML) procedures. A key drawback of typical funds in comparison with blockchain native funds is that banks can solely see the transaction they’re concerned with. They’ll’t see the place the cash has come from. Presently, banks are likely to share blacklisted accounts. However confidential computing might maintain some promise.
The use instances highlighted within the paper are transaction monitoring, AML, utilizing fee historical past from a number of firms, and programmable cash. Within the latter case, the instance given was telematics, during which the insured’s driving habits determines the dimensions of the premium to be paid. Safer driving makes for cheaper insurance coverage. Telematics might be considerably invasive, logging in every single place somebody goes. As an alternative of sharing the individual’s journey particulars, it will be doable to calculate a driver security rating through the use of confidential computing.
LayerX has its Anonify know-how, which makes use of Intel’s SGX chips as a safe enclave. The enclave is a Trusted Execution Surroundings (TEE), the place calculations are run inside a black box-like surroundings. The TEE is ringfenced from the remainder of the working system. Information that goes into the black field is encrypted, and it’s solely briefly decrypted for the calculations.
When JCB and LayerX first introduced their collaboration final yr, the goal was to net bilateral payments for SMEs. This was not talked about within the whitepaper. A month in the past, a Singapore startup OneHypernet introduced a cross border netting resolution for funds that additionally makes use of confidential computing. The multilateral netting mission combines two applied sciences from R3, its Corda enterprise blockchain and Conclave confidential computing providing.
There have been numerous initiatives seeking to mix confidential computing and blockchain. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance issued some Trusted Compute Specifications, Hyperledger Avalon goals to implement a few of these specs, and Visa additionally has its LucidiTEE resolution.