A Deep Dive into the Oasis Network

Markets Nov 02, 2020

CoinList is incredibly excited to be partnering with the Oasis Network to not only raise awareness of their privacy-enabled and scalable blockchain, but also to be hosting the Oasis ROSE Garden on CoinList, a novel mechanism that rewards the community with ROSE tokens. We had the opportunity to chat with the Oasis team and discuss what they are building:

1. What is Oasis and why are you building it?

Oasis is a privacy-enabled, scalable blockchain built for decentralized finance and a responsible, user-owned data economy.

With its high scalability and privacy-preserving architecture, the Oasis Network aims to power private, scalable Decentralized Finance (DeFi) — expanding beyond traders and early adopters to a mass market. The Oasis Network’s privacy features can also create a new type of digital asset called Tokenized Data that allows users to take control of their data and earn rewards for staking it. The network uses the novel ParaTime Architecture that separates consensus (Consensus Layer) from computation (ParaTime Layer), which allows it to have greater scalability and support diverse specialized computation needs.

2. What does a responsible data economy mean? What is tokenized data and what role does it play in a responsible data economy?

The Oasis Network’s combination of confidential computing and blockchain enables a new paradigm called Tokenized Data. Blockchain allows for logging and enforcement of usage policies with high integrity and auditability. Confidential computing ensures that data remains private during computation and cannot be reused without permission. This capsule of data + policies creates a new kind of digital asset that can be consumed along specific guidelines for a specific fee or exchange of value.

With Tokenized Data, the Oasis Network can power the next generation of privacy-first applications and unlock a new responsible data society. Data providers on the Oasis Network can put their Tokenized Data to use. They can earn rewards by staking their data with apps that want to analyze it or control how their most sensitive information is consumed by the services they use.

3. Why did the Oasis team decide on using a ParaTime architecture? How does it work, and what are its costs and benefits?

The Oasis Network is a Layer 1 decentralized blockchain network designed to be scalable, privacy-first and versatile. The novel ParaTime Architecture separates consensus from compute, containing two main architectural components, the Consensus Layer and the ParaTime Layer:

  • The Consensus Layer is a scalable, high-throughput, secure, proof-of-stake consensus protocol run by a decentralized set of validator nodes.
  • The ParaTime Layer hosts many parallel runtimes (ParaTimes), each representing a replicated compute environment with shared state.

A few key benefits of the Oasis ParaTime layer include:

  • Separation of consensus and execution allows many ParaTimes to process transactions in parallel, meaning complex workloads processed on one ParaTime won’t slow down faster, simpler transactions on another.
  • The ParaTime Layer is entirely decentralized, allowing anyone to develop and build their own ParaTime. Each ParaTime can be developed separately to meet the needs of a specific application, such as confidential compute, open or closed committees, and more.
  • The network’s verifiable computing method with discrepancy detection makes Oasis ParaTime architecture particularly efficient, requiring a smaller replication factor than sharding and parachains for the same level of security.
  • The network has broad support for confidential computing technology. The Oasis Eth/WASI Runtime is an open source example of a confidential ParaTime that uses secure enclaves to keep data private while being processed.

4. How is privacy brought on to the Oasis Network? Why is it important to enable privacy on a public blockchain?

The Oasis Network designed the first ever confidential ParaTime with support for confidential smart contracts. In a confidential ParaTime, nodes are required to use a type of secure computing technology called a TEE (Trusted Execution Environment.) TEEs act as a hypothetical black box for smart contract execution in a confidential ParaTime. Encrypted data goes into the black box along with the smart contract, data is decrypted, processed by the smart contract, and then encrypted before it is sent out of the TEE. This process ensures that data remains confidential and is never leaked to the node operator or application developer.

The Oasis Eth/WASI Runtime is an open source example of a confidential ParaTime that uses Intel SGX. Other secure compute technology, such as ZKP, HE, or other secure enclaves, can also be used. In the future we hope to support additional computation techniques such as secure multi-party compute, federated learning and more.

Confidentiality unlocks a range of new use cases on blockchain by allowing personal or sensitive data—such as social security numbers, bank statements and health information—to be used by apps on the Oasis Network, something incredibly risky on other Layer 1 networks.

5. What is the Oasis team’s strategy with regards to DeFi?

The promise of DeFi is to create an open financial system that makes money accessible with little more than just a smartphone, an internet connection, and the adherence to transparent rules. Yet due to limitations of DeFi today — specifically in terms of scalability and privacy, while self-motivated traders and miners have leveraged Ethereum’s unprotected data and slow throughput to gain benefit in DeFi today, this model is unsustainable.

We believe DeFi is facing its first defining moment: while there has been tremendous growth in DeFi over the past year, the DeFi ecosystem must overcome its performance challenges and capacity for manipulation in order to capture a mainstream market.

6. How does Oasis use privacy and scalability to overcome DeFi’s obstacles?

Oasis Network has been designed to broaden and deepen DeFi opportunities for players large and small by breaking through the obstacles currently inhibiting the space. The Oasis Network provides critical advantages that will allow it to support the next generation of DeFi:

  • Private smart contracts, which enable the creation of a new generation of decentralized applications born that see privacy as an incentive to create trust with their users
  • Private state and transaction details, which prevent malicious players from gaming the system in order to realize higher profits while limiting the participation of smaller DeFi users
  • The flexibility to keep data public or confidential, which allows DeFi Dapps to comply with regulations while ensuring protection of commercial interests and participation of financial institutions in the system
  • High throughput, which reduces/eliminates the transaction fees that disincentivize any but the already-wealthy to participate in DeFi
  • Multiple customizable runtimes, which allows DeFi developers to meet the needs of their applications and implement the set of incentives that best suits that application
  • The ability to tokenize data, which brings reputation & records (such as a credit score) to DeFi by encapsulating and protecting user’s information and allowing the creation of ad-hoc scoring models
  • Secure computing, which paves the way for the creation of data lending, where the underlying data, not just tokens, are the object of lend-borrow transactions

7. What is the rationale behind the Oasis ROSE Garden?

The Oasis ROSE Garden, a novel mechanism to reward ROSE tokens to the community, while also making the Oasis Network stronger and safer.

By first ‘farming’ ROSE with USDC or USDT and then ‘cultivating’ (aka, staking) ROSE, community members can help contribute to the network’s longevity and support the growth of the Oasis Network while earning rewards in the form of ROSE tokens.

The Oasis ROSE Garden will not only support the Oasis Network, but will also help grow the community by giving folks an opportunity to earn ROSE before Mainnet launch.

8. What are some of the Oasis use cases that you are most excited about?

What makes the Oasis Network so exciting is that with its unique combination of blockchain and confidential compute technologies, the Network can enable use cases that otherwise would not be possible. Many of these uniquely allow users to control their data and for companies to run analysis or share data freely without the risk of data leakage or privacy issues. To name a few:

Crypto theft and attacks are on the rise, and exchanges need a platform to identify and ban bad actors. Building on top of the Oasis’ technology, the CryptoSafe platform enables exchanges to share threat intelligence data. Because of the Oasis Network’s support for confidential computation, exchange data is kept confidential even while it's being compared.

Nebula Genomics wanted to differentiate their product from other competitors by giving their users control of their genetic data. Using Oasis’ framework, customers can retain ownership of their genomic data and Nebula Genomics can run analyses on the data without seeing the customer’s raw information. This product is already available today in Beta to Nebula customers.

  • Fortune 500 Healthcare Provider

A Fortune 500 healthcare provider wanted to share data with external parties while retaining control of the data and protecting the confidentiality of patient data. Using an Oasis Labs-built API, this leading healthcare company is able to track, trace, and control data usage even when shared with third parties.

9. Looking forward, what’s coming up next for the Oasis Network?

Lots of exciting things are in the works, including new use cases and apps, hackathons, and much more! But the most important thing of course is launching the Oasis Mainnet. Expect this to come very soon.

Learn more about Oasis » | Register for the Oasis ROSE Garden »

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