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Project Database
Project Reference: ITP/005/22LP
Project Title: Secure Enclave Assisted & Reliable Agreement in Distributed System
Hosting Institution: LSCM R&D Centre (LSCM)
Abstract: On early October 2021, Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a technical
whitepaper on e-HKD, which is a retail or general-purpose Central Bank Digital Currency
(CBDC) digitalizing Hong Kong Dollar. According to the whitepaper, two-tier rCBDC
distribution model, featuring a wholesale interbank system and a retail user wallet
system, is preferred because this sets a clear boundary on the roles and responsibilities
of the central bank and private sector intermediaries in issuance and distribution of CBDC.
In the whitepaper, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is one among the various
technologies applicable to e-HKD system. At the core of DLT, consensus protocol plays
an important role which ensures data is replicated in the distributed network. There are
different consensus protocols, assuming different threat models, which have trade-off
among performance, security, resilience, and scalability. This echoes one of the seven
problem statements in the whitepaper.
In response to the problem statement in the whitepaper, we propose Secure Enclave
Assisted & Reliable Agreement in Distributed System. In this project, a consensus
protocol utilizing trusted execution environment (TEE) will be designed. Cryptography will
also be introduced to the protocol. By leveraging TEE to perform cryptography and
execute part of the consensus logic, the designed protocol would have a higher security
guarantee with minimal sacrifice on the performance. This would enable use-cases in
DLT and blockchain which performance and security are equally valued.
Project Coordinator: Dr Chung-Dak SHUM
Approved Funding Amount: HK$ 2.78 M
Project Period: 28 Mar 2022 - 27 Sep 2023
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