Selection of validators for IOTA Secure Multi-party Computation Platform

Dear IOTA community,

It is great to see the IOTA SMPC (Secure Multi-party Computation Platform) got lots of attention and interests in the IOTA community since my last thread below. It is your support that really encourages us as builders.

The MPC platform enables many important utilities like Bridge, Oracle and Custody as I introduced in the last thread. Since Shimmer EVM is around the corner, we should get ready and have these utilities being tested on the testnet and at the same time having the MPC platform governance framework refined. In order to achieve this, today we will move on to select the validators to start on the testnet. Since all of these start on the testnet, the validator selection process will be relatively simple so that we could move on fast.

Validator framework

It is essential that validators are trusted by the community and the validators should also have some technical capacity. Because of these requirement, instead of a large number of unverified validators, a smaller number of validators that would not verify malicious or false transactions will be a better choice for MPC validators.

Normally the verification threshold is 2/3 of the validators. If there are a total number of 9 validators, at least 6 of the validators will be needed to verify each transaction.

Since we would suggest to have this MPC running on the upcoming Shimmer EVM beta to test things out. Therefore, I would suggest we start with 6 validators to test out the product and procedure.

Along the testing process, the validator framework will be refined so that before the Shimmer EVM mainnet, we could have a ready framework to start. By then, the community could decide if the framework can be passed and if there is the need to add another 3 validators and when.

I would suggest that we can reserve 1 validator for Shimmer Governance for a more stable board of validators to start with. Therefore we have another 5 spots to be voted.

Testnet validator selection process

Time: 9:00 A.M CET, Jan 18th - 9:00 A.M CET, Jan 24th

Please check the validator responsibilities below. If you are capable and willing to become one of the initial validators, you can reply to the thread to apply. Please introduce you or your team and suggest why you will be capable to become a validator of the IOTA MPC platform.

Time: 9:00 A.M CET, Jan 25th - 9:00 A.M CET, Feb 1st

Voting process will be also on the Governance forum. The top 5 applicants will be chosen to start running as the testnet validators.

Validator responsibilities

Setting up:

Validators need to be able to set up the node according to the instruction on Github.

Auditing:

Since the validators will run the MPC platform, the validators should be responsible to audit code even though there will be 3rd party auditing firms involved.

Maintenance:

If a number of nodes are offline frequently, the whole platform will be dysfunctional. Therefore the node should maintain a certain online rate.

Execution led by the community:

Validators should follow the decision of the community. Shimmer Governance will lead the voting process. For example, if the community voted to expand the validator board or replace a certain validator, the validators should verify accordingly.

Validator addition and replacement

Validators can be added as the ecosystem expand. There will be the community voting decision led by the Shimmer Governance.

Also, in the following situations, a validator should be replaced immediately,

  • If a validator ever verifies a malicious or false transaction.
  • If a validator is offline often significantly. Validators should guarantee 99% availability/up time, which means in a year time, a validator cannot be offline for more than 3 days.

What’s next?

Once the testnet validators are chosen, we are ready to launch the MPC platform and the bridge on Shimmer EVM official beta first. There will be four main things we will do in parallel in the short term before Shimmer EVM,

  1. Testing the MPC platform and the Bridge functionality on Shimmmer EVM beta
  2. Refine the MPC governance framework
  3. Do more security check including third party audits and probably a bug bounty program.
  4. Continue developing of the Oracle functionality

Regarding to the security check, please also check out the code of the MPC platform and the Bridge below. We will refine it by adding more doc and notes onto the Github by next week and once that is ready, we will invite the community to check and probably hold a bug bounty program.

It is really exciting to see the progress of the MPC platform and its potential utilities on the upcoming Shimmer EVM. 2023 is already looking promising.

22 Likes

Hi Garret,

I would like to apply for MPC validator. I am a one man team with 20 years of developer and network experience. Also have a network of co-workers with lots of knowledge on the development, hardware, software and network side.
I am already running an IOTA and Shimmer node from my own homelab equipped with 500/500 MBit fiberoptic internet, easily upgradable to 1000/1000 MBit when needed.
I am in the IOTA community for 2 years and have developped multiple small tools and apps mainly for my own use of which some are open-source.
I am an active community member giving regularly feedback, for example bughunting and testing mostly on GoShimmer channel.
I am willing to KYC if needed.

20 Likes

We as DLT.GREEN,
active community member since February 19, 2022, passive community member since 2017 would support tanglepay in its vision as a validator if the community wants this.

What is DLT.GREEN?
Our goal is to run a decentralized node pool for iota/shimmer (with valuation). We will also implement other additional nodes over time. we are concentrating on the infrastructure side here and have our own installer (GPLv3) and are already a partner of tanglepay and tanglepay uses e.g. our API for healthy node data.

Why trust DLT.GREEN? (some words to me)
I have actually been following IOTA for years as a passive follower and investor, and I myself come from the critical infrastructure sector. I was fascinated by IOTA’s vision right from the start, and it was clear to me that the road would be a long one, because if you come from this sector, you know what it means to set new standards. And then Corona came, I was in quarantine myself,and then i thought i have to change something with the nodes because the static access points in the wallet just annoyed me, that was the starting signal and DLT.GREEN was born. we are now a small but excellent team with very competent people, each in their own field. and I’m happy to be part of a vision. Our motto is: Everything is possible, and it gets interesting for us when someone says that none of this can be done.

46 Likes

we can confirm this post from @Janneman_IOTABot_76, he helped us already with testing over time.

10 Likes

The TangleSwap team is excited to submit our application to operate a validator node for the upcoming IOTA SMPC (Secure Multi-party Computation Platform) community platform brought about by @garrettjin and team.

Enter the Void

1. What is TangleSwap?

Tangleswap is a suite of 7 non-custodial, multi-chain Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications built on top of the IOTA and Shimmer networks. As of today, the TangleSwap protocol has seen >1.5 years of continuous development & involvement in various aspects of the ecosystem, having established a widely recognized presence in the community which we believe constitutes an excellent basis to participate as validators of this community-led SMPC solution.

2. Relevant TangleSwap Links

3. Relevant team members for SMPC solution

Pilot Hercules
Lead Smart Contracts Developer

10+ years of Blockchain Development experience, including: DEX, DAO, DeFi tokenization, stablecoin, smart contracts, Go, Rust, C, C++, Solidity, Substrate, Polkadot, Ethereum (ERC20, ERC721), Solana, Binance Smart Chain, security audits contractor, DAG DLT, PoW, PoS, ZK-SNARKS, Hyperledger Fabric, BFT consensus protocols, quantum resistant cryptographic signatures, USPTO software patents…

World-class technical know-how, extensive experience developing & auditing smart contracts in 5 different blockchain networks and multiple programming languages.


Pilot Tangular
Lead DevOps & Cybersecurity Engineer

Full-stack Developer with 5+ years of experience in cybersecurity, API development, system design and cloud solutions. Penetration testing and security assurance for 2 of the biggest IT & cybersecurity multinational firms in the UK.


Pilot Sevane
Executive/Operational Officer

Background in Engineering, Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, Business and Software Development

7+ years of experience in Engineering, Neuroscience, AI, Business and Software Development, including 2 software startups, 2 multinationals (Fortune 10 company) and 1 renowned research lab. 3x startup founder, extensive network in industry and academia across the globe.


For a complete overview of the core team, please visit: The Crew | TangleSwap Docs


4. Our motivation

As long-standing active members of the community, it is our desire to always contribute to a thriving ecosystem and provide support in any capacity. We recognize that by sharing our resources, skills, and expertise, we are able to effect a positive impact and contribute to the development of a more functional, robust, performant, and secure ecosystem for the benefit of everyone.

In short: we truly believe that community-led efforts to bring value & utility to the network in a decentralized fashion are the single best approach to move forward as a tight-knit ecosystem.

Very much looking forward to the SMPC launch in conjunction with the ShimmerEVM Mainnet! :handshake: :globe_with_meridians:

41 Likes

Dear @garrettjin, the ShimmerSea Team is happy to apply to operate as validator for the upcoming IOTA SMPC (Secure Multi-party Computation Platform) platform.

What is ShimmerSea?
The ShimmerSea DEX is built by the TangleSea Core Team and will be one of the first decentralized exchanges on the Shimmer EVM. As part of the Automated Market Maker (AMM) service, users are incentivized to pool liquidity on ShimmerSea through yield farming to earn LP/Reward token.

Who is the TangleSea Core Team:
We are a dedicated team of 11 people with more than 150 years combined professional experience.

Why choosing ShimmerSea as validator?
Our team has been an integral and trusted part of the IOTA/SMR community and ecosystem for over 2 years. We bring extensive technical experience to the table and have the infrastructure and capabilities to support the MPC Platform in a trustworthy, sustainable and reliable manner. As you all know - We always put the community first!

We would looking forward to support the community with this application even furter :octopus: :heart:

62 Likes

Hello Garrett,

Thanks for the proposal! Iotabee is excited to apply for the validator.

Who’s Iotabee?
Iotabee aims at providing seamless cross-chain trading experience for the IOTA ecosystem and beyond. Since the launch of our very first trading product Iotabee SWAP in summer 2022, we’ve proven our capabilities of building robust product and services. We have accumulated awareness in the community, and have been lucky enough to be trusted by a wide range of users, to whom we can never thank enough.

All these push us to keep going and continue delivering value to the community. With Shimmer EVM, Iotabee will launch our second product Iotabee DEX, and will integrate more functionalities to meet our users’ expectations and create more opportunities to collaborate with other projects to help IOTA ecosystem grow faster and stronger.

For more information about Iotabee, you may visit our Twitter

About the Team:
While we have tons to say about the team and that we already wrote about them here : ) If I’m to sum it up: each of our tech lead has over 10 years experience in IT with top-notch industry know-how; the project is also backed up by several experienced investors and advisors with years of experience in crypto and some have been with IOTA since the beginning.

Our motivation:
We believe that only by caring and acting together can we go further. We’re so excited about this MPC fully run and owned by the community. If we’re selected, we promise our best and will work closely together with other validators to contribute in any possible way!

16 Likes

The Soonaverse would like to apply to become one of the initial validators for the upcoming Secure Multi-Party Computation Platform. We believe this technology will serve both the IOTA / Shimmer community and the broader crypto industry at large. We submit this application with the shared interest and dedication to deliver on the promise of this technology through the operation of one of its nodes.

As one of the only operating product platforms in the IOTA / Shimmer ecosystem we feel we are uniquely positioned to serve in this role. Over the last year we have processed millions of transactions with a five-nine uptime ratio of 99.999%, zero downtime for our nearly 20,000 members. We have withstood DDoS attacks that maliciously deployed billions of requests, yet resulted in no interruption of service for our users. We believe this proves without question that the Soonaverse has developed one of the most resilient infrastructures in the entire IOTA / Shimmer ecosystem.

Our development schedule and market strategy has dictated a regular and steady increase in the scale and scope of our platform’s services. The prerequisite demands on our infrastructure to seamlessly deliver these ever expanding services provides tangible proof of our team’s ability to adapt to real world conditions and adhere to a standard of excellence. It’s based on this record that we make the assertion that we have the know-how and capacity to set up and continuously run one of the nodes per the defined specification.

We hope you will consider our application and name us as one of the node operators. Thank you.

38 Likes

Dear Garrett and team,

thank you for the hard work and dedication you have put into organizing the platform, for your leadership and for creating an environment where ideas can flourish and progress can be made.

Dear IOTA community,

We at SPYCE are excited to apply to become a validator for the MPC platform initiated and proposed by Garrett/Tanglepay.

As a company with senior leadership and a focus on IOTA/Shimmer infrastructure operation, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure the stability and security of the setup.

Our team has a deep understanding of distributed ledgers and the specific technical requirements of running a node on the IOTA/Shimmer network. We have the resources and infrastructure in place to provide a high level of uptime and responsiveness to any issues that may arise.

We are committed to the long-term success of the IOTA and Shimmer project and our ecosystem. We understand the importance of building a strong and decentralized network, and we are dedicated to playing a key role in achieving that goal.

We believe that our combination of technical expertise and commitment to the community, ecosystem and the technology make us an ideal candidate to become a validator operator. We look forward to contributing to the continued growth and success of the tech, the governance models, and the support of other projects, to establish a world-class DLT ecosystem!

Thank you for considering our application.

Sincerely,

Holger, on behalf of SPYCE.5 & team

29 Likes

I think this is absolutely great! The major trusted players in the space have shown their confidence in the Tangle Pay team. We, the community, have trusted and sent large amounts of Ti to Soonaverse. Many companies will soon trust Spyce.5 to host their nodes. Shimmer Sea, Tangle Sea, etc. have all been working relentlessly to connect with the community and seek audits for their projects, and thus, build trust among their users.

Garret has stated to eventually move the governance of MPC into the hands of the community. That is, to hand over the governance to not just the users on an individual level, but also the projects that will be using and building upon it.

This situation brings up a great thought experiment for the Shimmer & IOTA community. Can, and how, does the community manage technical governance? We are lucky to have a treasury that can fund node hosting, 3rd party audits, technical consultant review, administration, and KYC processes. Here is a few ideas I have which may be the first steps to support community technical governance.

  1. Technical Consultant Summary: Our community is technical in nature; however, the majority I think is safe to say are non-developers. Saying that, we have a very smart and professional community that understands the general concept of web3 and DLT technology. What would it take for the community to make an informed decision? I think the Shimmer & IOTA governance, funded through the Treasury should establish and maintain a list of community “trusted” technical consultants. So if a technical proposal is put forward, three or four of these technical consultants can be used to give an initial project summary. The consultants can summarize; is this good for the ecosystem? is this technical implementation even possible, what are the major risks involved, is this unique or are there already several implementations within the ecosystem? Finally, do they think the community should vote to conduct a 3rd party audit on this technical project?

  2. 3rd Party Auditing: Now, as much as I trust a project to hire an auditing company, and even if they make the audit public, I think for something that affects the community as a whole, there should be a second 3rd party public audit completed. If the technical consultant support the initiative, then it would be good to get a second public audit. It would be required that the project itself does their own audit, and then the treasury covers a second audit. If both public audits show that there are no major risks to the implementation, then the community could move to voting.

  3. Community Vote: Indeed, the three phase governance voting structure is a bit time consuming and complex. However, as we saw it allowed for a counter-proposal to occur, and protected the vote from fake profiles. Yes, the moderators and admins of Discourse observed single IP addresses creating multiple profiles. Still though, the process and the system held up true and showed the results of the community majority, it was not gamed. For a technical implementation we do not want to take things lightly, nor do we want to rush anything into action that could hurt community members. We all remember Moon Pay? Had there been a second audit, or potentially more time and more eyes on the code, maybe there would have been more opportunity to catch the weaknesses. So moving forward, if the technical committee approves the implementation, both public audits come back positively with no major risks to the community, all of this information can be provided to the community. Now the community has the information needed to make an informed decision while we know the community is protected. A Phase II and Phase III vote can take place as to whether or not the community should support such a technical community implementation.

  4. Execution: So what happens when the community votes and supports such an initiative? Can the community actually manage the implementation of a technical project such as being a validator? I think as of today the answer is no? Maybe there is one or two people that has the knowledge and could manage such a technical implementation, but are they and the process trusted? I would say as of right now, no. I would suggest the below points as how to manage such a technical implementation with trust.

    A. Technical Executors: Either an organization can be funded to run the node or technical implementation like Spyce.5, someone that is trusted in the community; or, a group of technical experts from the consultancy pool can be chosen and accepted by the community to run the node. If it was a small team of consultants, there would be a minimum of 3 individuals, all who have access and oversight to node or application. All three technical consultants would be KYC’ed with the Treasuries KYC company. Further, one individual from the treasury committee (all KYC’ed) would also have access to the node and be designated as a point-of-contact to simply keep oversight from the community.

  5. Management - Once the execution of such an implementation is conducted in such a way that is safe and trusted by the community, there needs to be continual management. Two short and long-term management activities are detailed below:

    A. Ongoing Oversight: It would be very easy to create some transparent KPI’s/metrics for the treasury committee to oversee. Uptime, expenses incurred to maintain the node, transactions processed, and of course, we can make a very easy public web form for any community member to fill out if they see any bad behavior by that node. The fact is, we can create a transparent process to offer public oversight to ensure the community node is acting in good faith of the community.

    B. Long-Term Community Support: Would every single one of these community implementations be profitable or at a minimum, would the benefit to the ecosystem outweigh the cost of running such an implementation? The answer is up to each individual application. What we don’t want, is we don’t want to get caught funding a bunch of implementations that die out and lose community and ecosystem involvement and support. Thus, each implementation can have a quick yearly vote and discussion by the technical committee to continue funding and running the community implementation or not. We simply need to ask the questions:

       1. Did this implementation support the ecosystem over the past year?
       2. Did the implementation meet or exceed the defined KPI's defined at the beginning of the year.
       3. Were there any negative affects to the community, or did any new risks occur that have not been dealt with?
       4. Did the benefits (either income back to the treasury or benefit to the ecosystem) outweigh the costs?
       5. Should the community continue funding and supporting this technical implementation for another year?
    

    Again, a simple annual transparent report can be easily and cost effectively completed for the community by the technical consultants and treasury committee which can then be voted and supported to continue support such an application.

I fully the believe the community can support in a safe, trusted, and transparent manner technical applications for the community. Yes, many projects will have their own governance, but there will be many applications that affect “all” projects. Do we want those applications governed by one team? or one organization? Do we want to be centralized? This often leads to a consolidation of power and control.

We, the community, have shown we can tackle community governance, so why would we think we can’t tackle technical community governance? Yet most importantly, if we can overcome this challenge, we can support project technical implementations that replenish the community treasury. Which, as we know, simply turns around and funds the support and expansion of the community itself.

Please comment below about additional ideas or criticisms. Maybe the community should have no involvement on being a validator, or have no stance in governance over community technical implementations. Or maybe the process outlined above isn’t trusted or technical enough? Or, the processed outlined is overkill? Please comment below, because… only “we” can govern together!

8 Likes

Thank you Deep_Sea for sharing the input and the thoughtful ideas!

For the technical part, I believe it is a good idea to have some “verified” community technical consultants and at least one 3rd party auditing is needed is surely essential. Regarding to the governance and management of the platform, I totally agree that we have to work on the framework so that the community could make the decisions for the platform. Currently for the testnet validators (MPC will be running on the Shimmer EVM testnet initially), considering so far the applicants are far more than being qualified, the voting process will start tomorrow as planned and is relatively simple on the governance forum so that there won’t be any delay for having it run on the Shimmer EVM. But there should surely be a community voting on Firefly before the Shimmer EVM mainnet. Therefore I’m ready to work with you and our community in the IOTA/Shimmer community governance meetings to refine the framework and make sure it is ready before the Shimmer EVM mainnet.

6 Likes

Thanks Garret.

I propose a temporary solution for this testing phase. To have the community support this before the Treasury is officially confirmed, or, before there is an official technical governance framework, I think it would be premature at this time to involve the community.

However, I personally wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity for the Treasury simply because things aren’t ready yet. Here is my interim solution if the community decides to support it when you create the vote.

  1. If Spyce.5 is voted to be a validator, then I (DeepSea) will fund a second validator node to be designated as a Community (Test) and potential future community validator node should the community vote to support it.
  2. I would fund this and also seek another technical community member to have access to this validator node.
  3. This is in no way a direct reflection of community sentiment as we have not discussed in detail nor approved in any way to host a validator node. I would personally do this with Spyce.5, another community member, on our own while we work on a technical framework and official vote with the community.
  4. After a testing phase and more in detail technical governance discussions with the community, if the community rejects to host this validator node our node can be given to another community member or project.

Just to note on my personal background, I have hosted nodes in the past and have a basic technical understanding. Of course everyone knows I seek full transparency in all regards and have DOX’ed myself. If I end up getting the program lead position I will also be KYC’ed. Saying all that, I think it’s also good to have the support of a trusted and technically capable project like Spyce.5.

Again, I love this initiative because it pushes the community to think about new ventures and how to work together.

7 Likes