Welcome to the #28 edition of Rust in Blockchain, the monthly newsletter about Rust, distributed systems, cryptography, and other industry topics. Previous: #27.
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at Polkadot / Substrate, but their ambitious plan to create an ecosystem of interoperating blockchains (called “parachains” in Polkadot) is moving faster every month. A few interesting Substrate projects have come to our attention lately, so let’s do a tiny survey of fun Substrate networks.
Pontem — From the lack of news, one might occasionally forget about Diem, Facebook’s nascent blockchain network, but it is still in active development, along with its VM and language, Move. Pontem is not Diem, but is a network running the Move VM, built on Substrate. It seems that the Move VM and language has some momentum on its own merits, independent of Diem; and this sharing of tech between Rust blockchain projects is always encouraging to see.
Subspace — This is one of the new proof of capacity chains, ala Chia. In their whitepaper they claim to solve what they call the farmers dilemma, by which PoC “farmers” are misincentivised to discard the actual state of the chain and instead spend that space farming for rewards. To this end, Subspace consensus is based on proofs of replicated storage of the chain state itself.
Crust Network — A distributed and encrypted IPFS pinning service that relies on Trusted Execution Environments to verify that userspace is performing its calculation and storage duties under their “Meaningful Proof of Work” consensus algorithm.
With the diversity of capabilities on display in the Polkadot ecosystem, their big bet on turning Polkadot into a highly general blockchain construction framework in Substrate looks like it is resulting in a flourishing ecosystem, despite the complexity of the endeavor.
RiB needs help to keep up with Rust blockchain projects. If you follow a particular project, or otherwise find information that is beneficial to the Rust & blockchain community, please contribute to the next issue by submitting a PR to the next draft.
Each month we like to shine a light on a notable Rust blockchain project. This month that project is…
These two projects are unrelated, but we’re fans of both and have wanted to spotlight them for a while. While not blockchain projects, they are both interesting and potentially important cryptographic projects.
Arti is an official rewrite of Tor in Rust, first announced in July. Tor is a critical piece of distributed infrastructure, but it has historically been difficult to use for application specific purposes. If we could all just embed Tor in our applications, we could trivially add its unique security properties to our networks. This project promises to make that possible, especially for Rust applications. As important as Tor is, it needs more developers, and this could be a great project to contribute to.
OpenMLS is a Rust implementation of the Messaging Layer Security protocol, an in-progress standard being developed by the IETF MLS Working Group. This protocol is intended to solve a still-common problem in secure messaging: that while it is now possible to have strong end-to-end encryption for two-party conversations, there are few good solutions for end-to-end encrypted group communication. From the draft abstract, MLS specifies “a key establishment protocol that provides efficient asynchronous group key establishment with forward secrecy and post-compromise security for groups in size ranging from two to thousands”.
Both of these projects could become important advantages for Rust developers building permissionless distributed systems.
- GitHub Advisory Database now supports Rust
crypto-bigintv0.2.6 adds support for natively encoding/decoding
UInttypes using Ethereum’s Recursive Length Prefix (RLP) encoding.
- Bitcoin Core 22.0 released.
- Ethereum 2.0 Altair Mainnet Announcement. The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade will go live at epoch 74240, on October 27.
- Blockchain Bridges: Building Networks of Cryptonetworks
- Summarizing 12 months of reading papers (2021)
- On the security of ECDSA with additive key derivation and presignatures
- Blockchain-based Privacy-preserving Fair Data Trading Protocol
- Efficient Perfectly Secure Computation with Optimal Resilience
- fflonk: a Fast-Fourier inspired verifier efficient version of PlonK
- Bandersnatch: a fast elliptic curve built over the BLS12-381 scalar field
- SewUp. A library to help you build your Ethereum WebAssembly contract with Rust and just like develop in a common backend.
Most Active in September
- The DFINITY Canister Smart Contract SDK Is Now Open Source
- The Internet Computer’s NNS Front-End Dapp Is Now Open Source
- The Internet Computer Community Adopts Threshold ECDSA Signatures Motion Proposal
0 merged PRs, 2 closed issues (1), 0 open issues
- IOTA 2.0: Details on Current Status and Next Steps. IOTA 2.0 is written in Rust.
- New release: Birdperson
- XCM: The Cross-Consensus Message Format
- XCM Part II: Versioning and Compatibility
- XCM Part III: Execution and Error Management
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- Rust Core Developer - Substrate SDK
- Rust Core Developer - Parachain Engineering (Polkadot)
- Rust Core Developer - Parachain Protocol (Polkadot R&D)
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