Chainlink announced today that it has acquired Town Crier, the first working approach for trusted execution environment (TEE)-based smart contracts, built by the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies & Contracts (IC3), which includes faculty from Cornell Tech and Cornell University. Chainlink will oversee all future development of the technology.
Town Crier is the world’s leading trusted hardware-based oracle system. Following this acquisition, Chainlink, the foremost decentralized system for providing smart contracts with external data, will integrate the Town Crier technology into their decentralized oracle network. The combination of these two leading projects creates a clear technical leader for securely providing smart contracts with the key external inputs they need to function.
Former Chief Scientist at RSA, current IC3 Co-Director, and Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute professor, Ari Juels, who is the co-inventor of Town Crier, says, “Chainlink is the most qualified team to seize the baton and bring Town Crier to the next stage of development. I’m confident that Chainlink’s leadership will result in high production quality, a raft of new features, and greatly improved usability. Integration of Town Crier into the Chainlink platform will help solve the vital problem of smart contract connectivity by bolstering both data integrity and query confidentiality.”
Town Crier is the first system to successfully use trusted execution environments (TEEs) to securely trigger smart contracts on a live/mainnet smart contract network (Ethereum). Today’s smart contract systems lack trustworthy sources of data, as currently deployed oracles provide only weak provenance and confidentiality assurances. The Town Crier system leverages trusted hardware (Intel SGX) to provide a strong guarantee that data comes from an existing, trustworthy source. It also provides confidentiality, enabling smart contracts to support confidential queries and even manage user credentials.
As the world’s leading developer of decentralized oracles, Chainlink provides reliable inputs and outputs for smart contracts on any blockchain. Smart contracts provide the ability to execute tamper-proof digital agreements, which are considered highly secure and highly reliable. In order to maintain a contract’s overall reliability, the inputs and outputs that a contract relies on also need to be secure. Chainlink provides a reliable connection to external data, allowing smart contracts to act on and generate useful events in the real world.
“We’re thrilled to take over development of Town Crier and incorporate it into Chainlink’s decentralized oracle network,” says Sergey Nazarov, CEO of Chainlink. “Working with Ari Juels and everyone at Cornell has been an immense pleasure for our entire team, and we look forward to working together with them and the rest of the academic security research community to create secure smart contracts that can meaningfully react to and affect key events outside of their own network.”