Zengo ♥ MPC
Zengo is built on Multiparty computation (MPC) technology. At its core, the technology enables computing in a trustless and private manner which turns out to be a great fit for the blockchain space and particularly for key management security. Our code is open source, maintained by talented contributors and used by several projects in the industry. We see ourselves as practitioners of threshold cryptography and researchers of how MPC can be applied in the consumer landscape.
MPC is hard
MPC is a well studied topic in cryptography within academia, started almost 40 years ago. However, only recently MPC gained massive interest from the industry which opens up to new challenges. At first, while MPC provides unmatched benefits in real world systems, the stakes are also high: new security assumptions might need to be introduced, protocol for computing simple functions become complex and modern cryptographic primitives are occasionally used. Second, in our realm of consumer devices which may be bounded by bandwidth or computing power, there is always a race to improve efficiency and security which are crucial for the user experience. We are constantly required to track the latest developments in the academic field. To give a sense of what it means, 9 threshold ECDSA papers were published in the past two years (and we know of two more in the pipeline).
Implementing MPC is also hard. These are distributed, multi-round protocols with advanced cryptography. Without proper audit and battle-testing, MPC code is prone to errors.
The birth of the MPC-Alliance
Being part of the MPC playground for a few years now, we have witnessed the technology making steady progress towards adoption. We believe that MPC tech should be a tool in any developer toolbox. This is part of the reason our open source code is built for general MPC use cases and not just for our own needs. We noticed two trends: early adopters of our product had a hard time understanding MPC and other industry players started to practice and develop MPC with common errors, potentially misusing the technology or repeating mistakes we already made and learned from. At that point we reached out to our colleagues at Unbound Technologies which is a leading innovator company in MPC. Our initial goal was to find ways to collaborate on market education, standardization (led by NIST) and even joint research. We sensed that if our view of the market is correct we should have a mutual interest in pushing MPC to mainstream. As it turned out, Sepior, which is another leading company in the space, and Unbound were discussing a similar framework. From there it was an easy decision to join forces and form an alliance.
The MPC Alliance logo
Zengo led the design of the MPC Alliance logo. A big shout out for Uri Kelman, our Director of Design. The logo hides the letter “M” which stands for MPC and the letter “A” which stands for Alliance. There are connected arrows pointing left and right to symbol the distributed nature of MPC computation and the communication required. The logo can be separated to two completing parts in several ways, demonstrating the joint computation. Another aspect of joint computation is that the shape can be interpreted as two entangled rectangles. Finally the inner triangles symbols the interaction between parties while the outer elements are the secrets held by each party.
The MPC-Alliance is still in its early days but the expectations are high. If you are a company that want to apply MPC in your solutions please contact us. When you see the MPC Alliance logo at conferences don’t hesitate to approach, we would be happy to tell you all about the technology and provide you with the resources that you need. We at Zengo are maintaining a telegram group where you can meet our researchers and many more MPC practitioners and discuss latest breakthroughs in the field.
We envision the MPC alliance in the near future as a self governed organization with strong footprint in multiple industries, handling thought leadership, education, standardization and becoming a platform for different companies to share ideas and address potential barriers together.