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TalkingTrust Series - ConsenSys – Blockchain
00:10 Welcome everyone. This is the latest in
00:12 our TalkingTrust video series.
00:14 With me today is Arash.
00:16 Arash, I know you're calling in from a
00:19 long way away,
00:20 I believe, Canberra Australia, for this call.
00:23 I just want to say how much I
00:25 appreciate that and it's early morning
00:27 for you so I hope you've had
00:28 enough coffee to get through our webinar today.
00:33 Hey Blair, yeah morning! Thanks for
00:35 having me. I did have my cup of coffee, it
00:37 was a few hours ago.
00:38 I probably need another one, but I think
00:40 I've got just enough right to get me going
00:43 to this presentation today. So yes, thanks
00:45 for having me. It'll be a great chat.
00:47 Well good, we're looking forward to
00:49 it. As I said, this is our Talking
00:51 Trust video series and today we're
00:52 talking with ConsenSys and Arash.
00:54 I understand you've been with the
00:55 company for a few years and I just want
00:57 to make sure I have it correct but
00:59 you are the Protocol Engineering Lead
01:02 for ConsenSys.
01:04 Yes, I'm one of the Product Managers of
01:06 ConsenSys. I've been with them for
01:08 nearly about three years and I've been
01:11 in the blockchain space
01:13 for a little bit longer than that.
01:15 It's a fantastic space and you know it
01:19 moves very, very fast and has been rapidly
01:22 developing and growing and changing.
01:25 Which is very, very exciting, but you know
01:27 sometimes really hard to keep up with
01:29 and I'm sure so that you're aware
01:31 there's a lot of things going on
01:34 in the blockchain space in the
01:35 cryptocurrency market.
01:37 It's becoming it's been a big hike
01:4001:41 and continues to be. I think
01:44 as it continues to mature and grow the technology,
01:47 the cat's out of the bag so to
01:49 speak and it's not going back in.
01:50 Everyone's starting to pop their heads
01:52 up and really
01:53 take notice which is really exciting.
01:55 Well good.
01:56 I should have mentioned I run the
01:57 Business Development Blockchain
02:00 relationship with ConsenSys and I'm part
02:02 of Thales if I didn't say at the beginning.
02:05 We've been working together you and
02:07 I and our companies for the last few
02:08 months putting together what we believe
02:10 to be a pretty exciting
02:11 combination of technologies. What I
02:14 think we could do
02:15 is, no one's looking forward to about 30
02:18 or 40 slides, so we can
02:19 assure you that if you listen in, this is
02:21 only going to be a few short slides.
02:23 I'm excited because
02:24 I don't like those long type
02:28 of deep dives. So we're going to go at a
02:30 very high level, explain a little bit
02:31 about our two technologies coming together,
02:33 and again what I would like to do is
02:37 is give you the opportunity to talk
02:39 about ConsenSys,
02:40 talk about the Ethereum aspect of what
02:42 you're doing and if you could pull up
02:44 the slides we'll do so.
02:47 We'll get through the slides and then
02:48 come back at the end to do some wrap-up.
02:50 Great, sounds good. I might jump
02:54 straight in and start talking a little bit about
02:58 all the exciting work that ConsenSys and
03:00 Thales have been
03:01 doing together and but just to
03:05 kind of level set and make sure we're
03:07 all on the same page,
03:08 I find it useful to briefly touch on
03:12 what my definition of blockchain is.
03:14 And you know,
03:15 our viewers could be
03:17 someone that's very familiar with
03:18 the concepts of blockchain and
03:20 blockchain technology or
03:21 this is a little bit more new.
03:25 At a high level,
03:26 what does a blockchain mean?
03:29 There's two kind of words in
03:31 that, so there's this concept of blocks,
03:33 that I'll touch on in a second,
03:34 and these chains. You can think
03:37 of a blockchain network as
03:39 really a ledger of transactions.
03:42 Illegal transactions
03:44 of who sent what to whom,
03:47 on what date, and that might seem
03:50 like a very common concept that we're
03:52 very used to with things like databases for
03:55 example, and the distinction with
03:57 blockchain technology
03:59 is that it's distributed and
04:00 decentralized. What that means
04:02 is that everyone has a copy of the data.
04:05 So, Blair if you and I are on a
04:08 blockchain network,
04:09 we both have a copy of that
04:12 database in a traditional sense.
04:14 You might hold the copy of that database and you
04:17 gave me access and I can access your database.
04:20 But, there's no way for me to really know
04:22 if you go behind
04:23 my back and change anything on the
04:24 database, when I have a copy of that
04:27 if yours looks different to mine then
04:28 that's very clear.
04:30 And if things are distributed then we
04:34 both kind of share ownership over maintaining
04:37 that database and making sure it's
04:39 robust and secure.
04:41 These concept of blocks
04:44 is what you can imagine is a blockchain
04:47 is a set of transactions that take place
04:49 on the network. I send you
04:51 five dollars on a particular date
04:53 and all these transactions that take
04:55 place get put into a box
04:57 and these boxes get sent around the network.
05:01 They stack up on top of each other, so
05:04 block one, then two, then three, then four, in
05:08 sequential order and that's what forms
05:09 this chain concept.
05:11 The key differentiator
05:14 and the value add that blockchain networks provide
05:16 is to be able to guarantee the
05:18 authenticity of who produced these blocks.
05:21 What we're going to talk a little
05:22 bit more about here today, are these
05:25 cryptographic keys. We use these keys
05:28 to sign our transactions and sign our blocks
05:31 to validate that this block was produced by me.
05:34 I am sending you this block
05:36 and I own it. These keys are what
05:39 we want to really secure
05:40 and make sure there's control over
05:44 because losing our keys and losing our identity
05:47 essentially is what compromises the network.
05:50 We'll talk about that a little bit more.
05:53 The main thing that we want to do with these
05:58 cryptographic keys is make sure that
06:00 they are robust and safely secured because if
06:04 someone gets access to their keys
06:06 then they can imitate us on our network
06:08 and they can pretend
06:09 pretend to be me on the network so
06:11 although blockchain technology itself is
06:14 tamper proof, losing your keys
06:19 is where trouble comes in. I
06:20 was listening to a podcast the other day
06:23 about a heist on the most secure vault
06:28 in the world. I think it was back in the
06:31 90s. The vault
06:34 had all the security measures in place
06:36 that it needed.
06:37 One of the security measures was
06:38 this two-key system so
06:40 that you actually needed two physical
06:42 keys that could be detached
06:44 and stored separately to access the vault but
06:47 what the burglars realize is
06:50 that the security guards just
06:53 kept those two keys together
06:56 in the room right next door to the vault.
06:58 You can produce the more secure vault,
07:01 but if you don't keep
07:02 your keys secure, locked away somewhere,
07:05 then it's very easy to hack into.
07:07 Lots of lessons learned over the years.
07:12 I don't think that they
07:14 were too clever about their separation
07:16 of duties in that
07:17 example. We'll talk as well
07:18 on the HSM side how we could make
07:20 that problem go away quite easily.
07:24 We've talked about what is a
07:27 blockchain network. The
07:29 next question that we usually get asked is,
07:32 why is this important? How big
07:34 is this space? If we're talking about
07:37 hundreds of dollars being
07:39 run on the blockchain network or
07:40 even potentially thousands, and the
07:42 remote possibility of a hack,
07:44 how big of an impact can it really be?
07:46 What I wanted to bring to everyone's attention
07:50 is really how big this market is and how rapidly it's
07:54 growing and what I want to talk about is
07:57 just very briefly the growth of the
07:59 enterprise market.
08:01 When we're talking about the
08:04 Ethereum, let's just take
08:05 one blockchain example. At ConsenSys
08:08 we believe in the value of Ethereum as
08:11 the kind of biggest blockchain network,
08:12 with the most number of active users and developers in
08:15 the space, and excluding the
08:20 mainnet network, which is the
08:22 permissionless network that anybody
08:24 can join and transact on.
08:26 There's billions of dollars
08:28 secured on that at the moment
08:30 but even putting that aside and
08:32 looking just for growth of
08:33 enterprise adoption,
08:34 there's nearly seven billion dollars in
08:36 value that they're projecting to be used in the system
08:40 within 2021 and the growth of
08:43 Fortune 500 companies coming
08:47 into space and moving their projects from
08:50 what they term, proof of concept
08:52 and R&D projects that
08:54 started a number of years ago
08:56 to real production, value ads with end
08:59 user access, is really rapidly increasing.
09:02 You can see this across
09:06 and we talked a bit about this
09:08 previous to the call today but it's really
09:11 an element of the maturity of
09:13 blockchain, so what you're saying
09:16 is that a great deal of fine
09:19 the transactional value of seven billion
09:22 pales in comparison to the
09:24 to the traditional markets. You're
09:26 seeing an emerging technology. The
09:28 trust and integrity is becoming
09:30 an issue and with what you're just
09:33 just describing today
09:34 is if people trust, it they will use it.
09:37 Is a that a fair statement?
09:38 Trust and integrity of a blockchain network is
09:44 very paramount and as
09:46 one of the one of the fundamental
09:48 elements that blockchain
09:50 tries to bring in is this concept of
09:53 distributed trust. It's a
09:54 trustless technology because you can
09:56 trust in the protocol in the system,
09:58 rather than necessarily trusting
10:00 the person that you're interacting with.
10:02 Having that trust in
10:05 integrity of the solution is paramount,
10:07 because if you don't have that
10:09 then what else is there?
10:12 It's really the market,
10:16 it’s rapidly growing and
10:18 it's moving from a stage of a number of
10:23 technologists really using these solutions to
10:26 mainstream adoption.
10:27 We're really seeing that pick up
10:29 over the last few years. Today we'd like to talk
10:33 about that in the application side,
10:35 moving from theory to
10:37 practice. Maybe you could talk a
10:38 little bit about how ConsenSys Quorum
10:42 is a product that is
10:46 unique but also adopting and
10:48 adapting, and providing those
10:50 those trust elements that you described
10:52 in your previous slide. I'll
10:53 let you walk through this slide for us a little bit.
10:56 at a high level touching on what ConsenSys Quorum is.
11:01 ConsenSys Quorum is an open source
11:04 blockchain platform that you can use
11:06 for a permissioned or permissionless
11:09 network. It supports a
11:11 permissionless network, a public
11:13 chain that anybody can use.
11:15 What we've also seen is a wide range
11:17 of adoptions across different use cases for
11:20 permission chains so consortium chains
11:22 that are coming together to
11:24 transact and have for some particular
11:28 use case. We've seen this from
11:30 financial use case predominantly
11:32 to reduce the cost of operation
11:35 in supply chain for tracking food for example.
11:38 You can kind of build any sort of platform
11:42 that you want on top of that.
11:44 ConsenSys Quorum so consistently
11:46 provides that base layer application,
11:49 which is the trust of the distributed
11:50 technology and running the blockchain
11:52 network for you.
11:54 There's a number of features and things
11:57 that it brings to place both in permission network,
12:01 where you know things like private
12:02 transactions and privacy
12:04 and security is quite paramount. You
12:07 might have a number of organizations that are
12:10 transacting with each other on the network,
12:12 but some of those transactions need to
12:14 be private, so it supports that as well, allowing
12:19 permission access so you know who is
12:21 joining your network and what kind of
12:22 transactions are taking place.
12:24 This kind of starting capability,
12:29 which we're going to dig into a little
12:30 bit more, about providing
12:32 keys and securely storing those keys
12:36 separately to your application layer.
12:39 You can provide that
12:41 differentiation but ConsenSys Quorum
12:43 is a really customizable solution
12:46 that you can pick up as an open source tool
12:49 and start developing your application on
12:50 it straight away.
12:53 I think that's a great segue into
12:55 the next slide. We're going to talk a
12:56 little bit about the key security
12:58 elemental to the integrity of the entire blockchain.
13:03 As we put the slide up here and
13:05 to the right we show
13:06 a typical HSM. Maybe you could talk a
13:09 little bit about your perspective on the attack
13:13 vectors and what that could mean to
13:15 a blockchain environment and why it's
13:17 important to protect that infrastructure.
13:20 I guess as I keep talking about these keys, one
13:24 of the paramount things that we
13:27 identified while we're building
13:28 solutions for our customers
13:30 is how do you store these keys? Where
13:32 do you put these keys to provide a level
13:34 of integrity and access that's required
13:37 but also make sure they are in a tamper-proof,
13:40 sealed environment that can't be accessed?
13:44 The integration that we did
13:48 with Thales was essentially an
13:50 integration with ConsenSys Quorum
13:52 and a Luna Network HSM module which
13:55 allows for these keys to be stored
13:57 securely in a separate device, an off-chain device.
14:00 That integration allows ConsenSys Quorum
14:04 to communicate with a HSM module for
14:07 any transactions and processes
14:10 that need access to the HSM. The keys never
14:14 leave the HSM application. I'll
14:16 talk a little in a second on the next slide about
14:18 what you do with these keys?
14:22 But as I said paramount to this, is being able to
14:26 differentiate and securely keep your
14:28 keys away from your
14:30 server layer, where your application resides.
14:34 In the event that somebody gets access to your server environment,
14:40 where your application logic is, at least
14:42 if your keys are separate
14:45 they can't get even though.
14:47 They might get access to the data,
14:49 they can't imitate you on the network
14:52 and pretend to be you,
14:53 and therefore access your funds. So
14:56 digging in a little bit about
14:58 how we utilize our integration
15:01 with the Luna HSM module.
15:03 It's really about improving your
15:05 identity on your network and an Ethereum blockchain network.
15:08 Your identity allows you to do a number
15:10 of things, so when you peer with
15:12 others as I said it's a distributed
15:14 technology, where we communicate and
15:16 shake hands when we
15:17 you know with each other, we identify
15:19 who we are. So just in real life when we
15:21 meet one another I say hi.
15:23 A layer of trust and you just trust me
15:25 that's my name that's my identity,
15:27 and in a blockchain network you use
15:29 these keys to identify who you are,
15:31 when you meet other people on the network.
15:34 One of the other things you do
15:36 once you peer with other people,
15:38 when you do these transactions and
15:39 create these blocks
15:41 and find your name on the block and send
15:43 them across is you create these blocks,
15:46 you sign your name on it, using your key. You sign
15:50 the block that says, hey I produced this
15:52 block. Here's my copy of it. You validate
15:54 it against blocks that you have and make
15:57 sure they're identical that that we're
15:59 both speaking the same language. That
16:02 again is a critical component,
16:04 maintaining the governance of the
16:05 network is also important. In a permission chain,
16:09 these nodes which are
16:12 essentially the computers on the network
16:15 that run this application and maintain the network,
16:19 get to also say who is and isn't in a
16:22 permission network. If you and I
16:23 control the network
16:25 and somebody else wants to join, I have
16:27 to say yes, they can join it. You have to
16:29 say yes, they can join.
16:30 You can imagine what happened if
16:32 someone was imitating my identity,
16:34 they could obviously let others join the network
16:37 where we don't necessarily want them to.
16:40 All these kind of controls that are
16:43 in place you can see how
16:44 important it is to make sure your
16:46 cryptographic keys are securely stored away.
16:48 The value that we have with the Luna HSM
16:52 is that we can create the keys in the
16:53 HSM. They can stay in there and
16:55 they don't ever have to leave
16:57 the HSM. When we want to create
16:59 a block we go and talk to the HSM and say hey,
17:02 I want to create a block. Use my
17:04 key to find this for me.
17:06 Then the HSM does that
17:08 and sends the signature back. We know
17:10 that the keys never
17:11 leave the module itself and any
17:13 communication we need to do, we do
17:15 directly and then send back.
17:17 I think the key here is that it's
17:19 not optional, it's not an exception, it's a rule.
17:22 What you've built here is the
17:24 integrity of that design and it
17:26 mandates that every single
17:28 transaction described has
17:30 a root of trust in that cryptographic
17:32 module. I think that's a key element
17:34 no pun intended,
17:36 that we find ourselves in, is this transparent operation
17:40 from a usability point of view.
17:43 One of the the value benefits is that this is all
17:46 running in the background, this
17:47 plumbing and wiring,
17:48 and the performance is not affected in
17:51 any shape or form. We're really glad
17:53 that we're working with you to make this
17:56 truly a win-win win situation
17:59 by using the elements within ConsenSys
18:01 and the value proposition of HSM technologies.
18:04 We've got a few couple more slides
18:06 here. Did you want to
18:08 walk us through some of
18:10 the resources that are available
18:12 to our listeners today and what they
18:15 could learn by going to your website or
18:17 some of the documents?
18:22 There's obviously tons of
18:23 material available out there if you want
18:25 to learn more about both Thales and
18:27 ConsenSys Quorum,
18:28 and what we do and our integration with
18:31 the Luna HSM. Reach out, our
18:34 contact details are there, if you want to
18:36 talk a little bit more
18:37 and dig into some of the more
18:38 technicalities. We're more than happy to
18:41 do that, but as I said we found that
18:43 this is a key component for networks
18:46 that are moving into production.
18:47 While we're in kind of POC and
18:49 testing phase, those kind of security elements don't
18:52 necessarily come into where they're
18:54 they're not top of mind and
18:55 the application logic seems to be top of
18:57 mind for most of our customers.
18:59 As projects move through
19:00 pre-production and getting into production,
19:02 the Luna HSM requirements are paramount.
19:08 It is definitely a hard requirement. Any customer that we
19:12 speak to definitely has those requirements and
19:15 this is part of the the fact that we've worked together.
19:20 Please reach out if you
19:22 have any questions and happy to talk a
19:24 little bit more about this.
19:26 We've got the the data sheet elements available
19:30 and from a resource point of view on
19:32 on the slide, there you can reach
19:33 you can reach out to myself or Arash if
19:35 you have any questions.
19:36 I'm just going to end the slides here
19:38 and put our talking heads back up on the
19:40 screen if people forgotten what we might look like
19:42 or sound like.
19:44 Arash, I just wanted to say thanks very
19:46 much. We're very excited to be working with ConsenSys,
19:48 and appreciate you walking us
19:50 through the technology stack.
19:52 If there's anything that you'd like to
19:56 add at a later date by all means.
19:59 We're looking forward to working with
20:00 you and evolving as your technology evolves with us.
20:04 Thanks again for all of your input
20:06 and working with us on the
20:08 TalkingTrust Webinar Series and again,
20:11 we look forward to working with
20:12 you it's been fun. Thanks Blair.
20:14 Thanks for having me.
20:15 You're welcome.