Fhenix, a possible layer-2 community that desires to convey absolutely homomorphic encryption (FHE) to good contracts, has revealed a technical white paper for the primary FHE rollup.
FHE itself is a type of encryption that ensures the confidentiality of the information even whereas it’s getting used, for instance in good contracts, as a result of knowledge can stay encrypted and processed with out ever needing to be decrypted.
This allows Ethereum and different EVM networks to course of info privately, with potential purposes associated to personal voting and confidential gaming — resembling poker, for instance.
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In contrast to zero-knowledge (ZK) know-how, FHE is totally non-public, Fhenix CEO Man Itzhaki instructed Blockworks.
“With ZK, there may be an entity referred to as a prover that truly sees the data,” Itzhaki explains, “so confidentiality arises from the truth that this prover is being positioned on the person facet, producing the ZK proofs.”
One limitation is that it precludes use instances requiring computation on knowledge that comes from a number of customers, he stated.
This isn’t the case for FHE-based methods, Itzahki stated. With FHE, knowledge and computation is finished on-chain, with out the necessity for a prover or one other entity.
“Our general imaginative and prescient at Fhenix is to create an FHE stack that may permit builders to construct purposes with knowledge confidentiality, and for customers to learn out of those purposes by growing their degree of safety and privateness,” he stated.
FHE in and of itself goes past simply safeguarding privateness, Man Zyskind, the founding father of SCRT Labs (the group behind the Secret Community) instructed Blockworks.
“This isn’t nearly defending folks’s privateness — lack of on-chain encryption is the explanation why we’re very restricted within the purposes we will construct on blockchains at the moment. For example, think about creating an on-chain poker sport. With out encryption, gamers’ fingers can be seen to all, rendering the sport unplayable,” he stated.
Zyskind notes that current privacy-focused blockchains rely closely on zero-knowledge proofs, which fall brief in relation to the combination of personal knowledge from a number of sources, resembling in an on-chain poker sport or a sealed-bid public sale contract.
“Zero-knowledge proofs are extra suited to single-user eventualities, resembling verifying age with out revealing the precise beginning date. In these instances, zk proofs are efficient however inadequate for complicated, multi-party non-public knowledge integration, the place FHE rollups grow to be important,” he stated.
Utilizing an optimistic rollup construction
The FHE rollup white paper outlines the usage of an optimistic rollup construction, a call, Itzahki notes, which can allow the rollup to be each scalable and personal.
Though utilizing a zk rollup structure just isn’t totally out of the query, Itzahki explains that it might be troublesome to create a rollup resolution that mixes two very heavy-duty cryptographic methods.
“At the moment second, the implementation of FHE by way of optimistic [rollup structures] is rather more environment friendly,” he stated.
One of many key breakthroughs for Fhenix was devising an efficient mechanism for fraud proofs when utilizing an optimistic rollup.
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Itzahki explains that the group was capable of introduce a fraud-proof mechanism utilizing internet meeting, a low-level computing language, which can allow fraud verification to be enacted in the identical approach as if the information was not encrypted.
“Quite than [running] on the native EVM itself, that mechanism allows us to test if that internet meeting code as change, and lets us know if there’s a fraudulent transaction,” he stated.
The FHE rollup might be designed modularly, which means that it’s going to draw from totally different parts to create the blockchain.
“Now we have a separation between the sequencer, validator, and the information availability layer,” Itzahki stated. “The info availability layer is often Ethereum, then we at Fhenix will deal with the sequencer and handle the execution, the validator, and the prover.”
Having a modular design will allow cryptographic improvements resembling FHE to execute extra effectively, enabling it to concentrate on its strengths the place wanted.
“We don’t essentially must have [FHE] all through the complete parts. In order that’s why we’re going with a modular design,” Itzahki provides.
Kyle Samani, managing accomplice at Multicoin Capital, an investor in Fhenix, stated the protocol’s rollup is a first-of-its-kind layer-2 that may convey FHE on-chain in a usable approach.
“The white paper is a important first step in serving to builders understand that L2’s can be utilized for extra than simply scaling. They’ll now be used to increase the performance of purposes into new design areas,” Samani stated.
Fhenix plans to launch the testnet of its first FHE rollup within the first quarter of 2024. It’s undecided whether or not the rollup stack might be constructed open-source, although testing might be accessible to any initiatives.