Alibaba Blockchain Research DirectionsteemCreated with Sketch.

in blockchain •  4 months ago 

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Research Focus
Consensus Protocols
Our research in this area is primarily focused on hybrid consensus solutions, implementation of innovative consensus protocols, as well as performance enhancement.

Cryptographic Security and Privacy Protection
Research in this area is primarily focused on privacy protection, zero-knowledge proof, and homomorphic encryption algorithms.

Privacy protection with account-based model must meet the following requirements:

· Related parties and authorized members can check the information in plaintext format.

· Non-related parties can only check encrypted information on the ledger.

· Consensus nodes can verify the legality of transactions based on encrypted information and perform corresponding operations on the account.

The zero-knowledge proof without setup is an improvement on the existing zk-SNARK scheme that requires setup.

Full homomorphic encryption is based on the homomorphic encryption algorithm, means any computation can be excuted before decryption just as in plaintext format.

Blockchain Technology Combined with Trusted Execution Environment
This research is about new blockchain architecture based on trusted hardware. The basic idea is to provide a universal high-performance solution for confidential protection and computational complexity issues utilizing trusted hardware.

Cross-chain Protocol
A cross-chain protocol includes cross-chain data retrieval and asset exchange. Cross-chain data retrieval provides regulators with more powerful supervision capabilities in multi-chain scenarios, while cross-chain asset exchange refers to decentralized atomic exchange .

Smart Contract Syntax and Security Analysis
This research topic involves security scanning and analyzing on existing smart contract system, which can be implemented on our own blockchain platform. The target is to implement formal verification and security analysis on smart contract syntax and fundamentally solve security issues of smart contracts.

Blockchain and IoT
In this research, we study the benefits of combining blockchain and IoT technology to solve the problem of anchoring blockchain assets from the physical world to the digital world. With IoT technology, an asset's title, as defined by blockchain technology in the digital world, can be bridged to its physical entity.

Combining Blockchain Technology with Secure Multi-party Computation (SMC)
The goal is to create a computation and exchange platform based on personal privacy data to empower future digital services, which has already generated research output in the development of secure statistics and model training and prediction with privacy protection.

Products and Applications

Commodity Provenance
The application of blockchain provenance collects all the relevant parties’ records on a provenance trail and cross-references them on a distributed ledger. Block structure of the records forms a tamper-proof ledger. The unified traceability system also includes standards of blockchain technology platform, standards of participant integration interface, and assignment and adoption plans of product traceability ID code segments.

Mutual Insurance
Our undertakings in this category represent Alibaba’s attempt to create new insurance models for decentralized institutions. Blockchain technology was used to publicize the flow of all insurance funds and enhance trust between loosely-associated groups to better support the mutual insurance model. The shared trust between mutual-aid groups encourages individual initiative and reduces social risks by promoting the development of mutual insurance.

Our undertakings in this category represent Alibaba’s first attempt at applying blockchain technology to real-life use cases. Blockchain was used to publicize the flow of fund donation and distribution to enhance donors' confidence, strengthen the impression of figurative donations, and improve the credibility of charity organizations, thus enabling charitable causes to develop in a sustainable direction.
In the second half of 2016, Ant Financial, in collaboration with the China Red Cross Foundation and other non-profit organizations, launched a blockchain pilot project to enable donors to track the end-to-end flow of funds from donation to distribution.

In March 2017, all the charity donations via Alipay started using Ant Financial’s blockchain technology to achieve donation data transparency on the platform.
Moving forward, blockchain technology will be used to further explore projects in the domains of medical assistance, poverty alleviation, to achieve a public, transparent, and a traceable proces of end-to end fund flow.
Property Leasing
The property leasing domain is an ideal use case to represent the combination of blockchain technology and economic and social governance in a municipality. The blockchain-based house leasing platform helps promote an open, fair, and just governance model.

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