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    What if blockchain protocols or their second layers could use something like this to offload some processing? Blockchain users could vote on which one of these Vitra hosts to use and switch them out if a Vitra host is cheating. Also oracles are already integrated into some chains. They inject side effects like real world data for smart contract use. For certain cases, oracles can use Vitra or something under the hood for more transparency.

    Already there are second layer chains that trade off some security for speed. The state is reconciled to the slower chain. Reduces resource consumption and increases throughput.

    Any layer or oracle could use Vitra if it made sense in some spots possibly. Thinking out loud here.

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      It’s difficult to talk about blockchains in the same way that it’s difficult to talk about containers: both terms describe systems that use some subset of a large set of a bundle of technologies. In the case of blockchains, I think the list is:

      • An append-only ledger in the form of a flattened Merkel tree (always add nodes by adding a parent node and a new direct child of that parent).
      • Some contract mechanism (with varying levels of programmability) that defines how a new entry should be added to the ledger.
      • A consensus algorithm that determines when the result of a contract should be globally viewed as having actually been added to the ledger.
      • A consortium mechanism that defines who is allowed to participate in the consensus.

      The Confidential Consortium Framework, for example, provides these things in a way that is very different from something like Etherium or BitCoin. It depends on attestations from confidential computing environments to prove that each participant in the consensus is running code that the consortium policy says to trust, rather than relying on proof of work or proof of stake. The contracts can be written in a variety of different languages (including C++ code compiled into a particular consortium’s implementation). But the set of things that you can do with it is quite similar: it provides an API to consumers that runs small programs that update a private key-value store accessible only to consortium members and provides a public tamper-proof ledger for auditing. You can write a consortium policy that lets anyone with SGX or similar hardware spin up nodes in your consensus, or you can restrict it to specifically authorised entities.

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        That makes sense. You’re very knowledgeable on the subject. I was just talking about blockchains with smart contracts in the typical mainstream sense. Public proof-of-work or proof-of-stake networks, like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Get what you’re saying though.

        Never heard of that specific open-source project by Microsoft. Found it interesting because a NY startup I’m at (sorry for secrecy at the moment) considered moving some things off a smart contract into a trusted environment to reduce friction and lower cost. But ditched the idea without looking into it at all. We found a balance that let’s us just use a public PoS network.

        Our smart contract is really just an implementation detail and not the headline at all. Purely to defeat cheating and not some hodl thing. We think some will not even realize or forget that some of the features are implemented with a smart contract.

        We’re building a platform that will assist open-source development. It’s like an extension to git that can be used alongside code hosting services. Not a replacement. We of course use git and Github.

        There are a couple of products (open-source) I want to pitch my startup on launching on the platform. Some places it makes since to bootstrap with a conventional database. However, Vitra or that Microsoft project is an interesting solution to dig into to think more about consortium models. Sorta has my gears turning.

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          You’re very knowledgeable on the subject.

          Not really, but I work in a group with folks that are and occasionally pay attention to what they say (CCF is developed by other folks in my group).

          Never heard of that specific open-source project by Microsoft

          I’m not sure if any of the users are public yet, but there are several internal and external downstream consumers building systems on top of it so expect to see more things appearing that use this kind of model.