Chain Inc., a blockchain company specializing in enterprise software for financial firms, has joined the Initiative for Cryptocurrency and Contracts (IC3) to advance blockchain development for the financial services industry and "ensure cross-industry interoperability and harmonization."
Chain has identified several specific projects on which the company will collaborate with IC3. These projects focus on blockchain scalability, privacy and interoperability, Chain CEO and Co-Founder Adam Ludwin told Bitcoin Magazine.
IC3 currently works on 13 projects that are aimed at solving five "Grand Challenges": Scaling and Performance, Correctness by Design and Construction, Confidentiality, Authenticated Data Feeds and Safety and Compliance.
"IC3’s research is focused on a number of very important areas for the advancement of cryptography and cryptocurrencies," said Ludwin. "The projects we are particularly interested in are security and compliance and scaling and performance."
IC3, an initiative of faculty members at Cornell University, Cornell Tech, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the Technion, focuses on advancing the development of blockchain technology and bringing blockchain-based solutions "from today's white boards and proof-of-concepts to tomorrow's fast and reliable financial systems of execution and record."
IC3 collaborates with domain experts in finance and banking, entrepreneurs, regulators and open-source software communities to develop new cryptocurrency and smart contract solutions. These include, for instance, financially enforceable cryptographic protocols whose security properties are backed by enforceable payments in case of a breach, as well as high-assurance, high performance systems for storing and handling high-value cryptocurrencies and confidential transactions.
One of IC3's projects, Solidus, aims at allowing a consortium of trustworthy entities to run a private blockchain. Solidus retains some of the benefits of decentralization but also enables higher performance and tighter governance and control than existing systems such as Bitcoin.
Another project called Gyges focuses on developing solutions to fight and prevent "criminal smart contracts" for leakage of confidential information, theft of cryptographic keys and various real-world crimes.
"IC3’s validation of our protocol and software will give our partners confidence that the blockchain technology on which they run mission-critical functions meets the highest security standards," said Ludwin.
Ludwin identified the main challenge for mainstream adoption of blockchain technology in financial services as "being able to demonstrate that we can achieve security, privacy, and scalability and programmability in a unified protocol."
"We have been working diligently with our industry partners to release our protocol and software to meet the requirements of the financial services industry," said Ludwin. "The next step for Chain is to bring our partner networks to production. Testing and rolling out such a system is a deliberate exercise."
As part of the partnership, Chain will host the next IC3 Retreat, an invitation-only workshop where IC3 and its industry collaborators discuss current advancements in blockchain technology. The event will take place in San Francisco in February 2017.