Blockless Progress Update — July 26th, 2023

Blockless
4 min readJul 27, 2023

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Discover how Blockless is providing the building blocks for the next generation of decentralized protocols.

As we reach new frontiers in enabling full stack decentralization, Here is a quick recap of the major events from the past month:

  • Multiple keynotes delivered at ETHCC on Blockless’ innovations
  • Hashivault integration for better secret management
  • Testing pBFT and RAFT consensus module for Blockless Functions

Blockless at ETHCC

Our Co-founder, Butian Li, delivered multiple keynote speeches at ETHCC featuring Blockless’ protocol innovation as well as our vision and roadmap to in making fullstack decentralization a viable option to builders.

Butian’s speech was on “Decentralizing Dynamism & Simple Complexity”, where she discusses the history of the web up to today and how Blockless makes building complex decentralized systems feel like a breeze.

Building a community-operated, decentralized p2p network is no small feat. There are tricky architectural decisions and engineering processes involved. Here are just a few:

  • What hardware spec do we need for our network nodes?
  • How can the nodes securely handle private information?
  • How do we design failover mechanisms to ensure decent application user experience even when things go wrong in the underlying node network?
  • What verification mechanism shall we incorporate to ensure computation correctness in a trustless network, while maintaining optimal perfomance?

The issue is complex, and often takes teams months of development and ongoing maintenence efforts. During her keynotes, Butian ran through some demostrations of how developers can quickly launch their own decentralized protocol and application using the Blockless Dashboard and CLI, freeing up their time and energy. Used hand-in-hand with the Blockless product suite and tech stack, we’re making the complex simple.

Sound simple enough?

The team also connected with some of our favorite builders from the Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems to expand the service scope of web3 and how we could work together.

HashiCorp Vault Integration

Onto the technical side of things — the team has completed the integration with HashiCorp Vault in the past month. Now, developers on Blockless can securely have private information and secrets stored via HashiCorp Vault, instead of having them directly accessible by individual execution nodes in the network.

With this integration, Execution nodes would under no condition have access to private information of applications, and all access would be granted via the Vault system.

Using RAFT and pBFT consensus in Blockless Functions

As Blockless enables Web3 teams and developers to launch perfomant yet secure decentralized protocols with ease, a major component in our work was to allow pluggable & dynamic consensus mechanisms. The objective is for teams to construct decentralized networks for specific applications while achiving both optimal security and performance.

In our roadmap, Blockless plans to implement 4 types of consensus and compute verification methods:

  1. Data Aggregation: if your code is supposed to return results in numbers, the multiple machines involved in your code execution will do an averaging of their results to ensure data quality.
  2. RAFT: if your code is supposed to return results in boolean value (yes/no), the multiple machines would come together, elect a leader that broadcasts its result which passes with a 50% majority vote. This mechanism specializes in keeping the services availability for applications.
  3. pBFT: if your code is supposed to return results in boolean value (yes/no), the multiple machines would come together, learn results from each other, and vote on the final results with a required 2/3 threshold for the result to pass. This mechanism specialized in keeping fault tolerance for applications, and ensures result soundness even if malicious players exist.
  4. Zero-Knowledge Proof: The above three consensus mechanisms address the soundness of results in a trustless environment. However, if you wish to know whether your code is indeed executed correctly by community nodes, Blockless allows you to easily verify this via zk-snarks.

We’ve made a few new friends and we have some exciting partnerships to announce over the next few months… if you’d like to stay in the loop (or get on the loop in the first place) then join us below.

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