Acurast: A Decentralized Serverless Cloud Powered by Your Mobile Devices

Imagine having your smart devices at home — lights, thermostats, and security cameras — like a team of superheroes, each with their special powers. Now, imagine if these heroes could talk to each other privately, sharing information without a central boss telling them what to do. That’s what Acurast does for your gadgets. It’s like giving your heroes secret communication powers, so they work together better, keeping your home safe and comfy, without anyone snooping on their plans!

Acurast is a permissionless, decentralized blockchain that provides developers with a distributed, highly scalable general computation engine ready to be used for the most security-sensitive tasks. It is a Layer-1 blockchain that addresses the challenges of blockchains and the Internet, such as the centralization of trust in auxiliary systems, the seamless and permissionless interoperability of fragmented ecosystems, and the effectiveness and confidentiality of the execution layer.

Content

  1. Technology Overview
  2. Acurast Architecture
  3. Consumers, Processors and Orchestrators
  4. What is a Zero Trust Application?
  5. Use Cases
  6. Comparison with Other Platforms
  7. Security Features
  8. Upcycle your Android Smartphone and join as Processor (Reward Program is On)
  9. Builders Program for Developers (Application is On)
  10. Conclusion

Technology Overview

Acurast provides a layered architecture, separating the consensus, execution, and application layer. The Acurast orchestrator is embedded in the consensus layer, combining the orchestration of the processor’s computational resources and consumers. The orchestrator plays an essential role in defining, scheduling, and enabling the liquid matching of jobs (aka computation tasks). Acurast processors offer their computational capacity to consumers and utilize dedicated Android smartphones as the off-chain infrastructure behind the Acurast Secure Hardware Runtime (ASHR).

Acurast universe

Acurast Architecture

Acurast’s three-layered architecture — Consensus, Zero Trust Execution, and Application — provides a modular, decentralized platform ensuring privacy, verifiability, and interoperability. By separating layers, Acurast addresses trust centralization, allowing native settlements across ecosystems.

Acurast architecture

The Consensus Layer incorporates an Orchestrator and reputation engine to match jobs with processors securely.

The Zero Trust Execution Layer, with runtimes like Acurast Secure Hardware Runtime (ASHR) and Zero-Knowledge Runtime (AZKR), ensures confidential computation.

The Application Layer hosts Web2 or Web3 applications, revolutionizing decentralized use cases.

Built on Polkadot SDK/Substrate Runtime, Acurast leverages Parachain slots on Kusama and Polkadot, ensuring security and cross-consensus communication. The architecture enables developers to define, deploy, and fulfill Zero Trust jobs seamlessly, advancing decentralized application development.

Consumers, Processors and Orchestrators

Consumers, seeking confidential, verifiable, and efficient computation, can declare jobs, register them, and define parameters through Acurast Orchestrator, connecting with Processors for execution and rewarding them for their computing resources.

Acurast Processors offer computational capacity to Consumers, utilizing Android smartphones as off-chain infrastructure. Processors, following user-specified instructions, fulfill jobs, providing verifiable output, and Proof of Execution.

The Acurast Orchestrator, a consensus layer centerpiece, orchestrates Processor and Consumer interactions, facilitating liquid matching of computational resources. It supports various price-finding mechanisms, ensuring seamless agreement and value exchange between Processors and Consumers in a secure, interoperable environment.

What is a Zero Trust Application?

Zero trust applications are like computer tasks that follow specific instructions without needing trust in others. Developers use JavaScript to program their applications and can deploy them easily on Acurast, to be run in the Acurast Secure Hardware Runtime (ASHR). Think of them like Ethereum Smart Contracts but with added benefits like versatility, confidentiality, and scalability. Unlike Ethereum, Zero Trust applications offer more flexibility, security, and most importantly more computational performance for developers. You can deploy entire interactive JavaScript backends on Acurast.

Use Cases

Acurast empowers developers to define their use case completely on their own in Javascript, fully leveraging Acurast’s Execution Layer. It enables Web3 projects and enterprises to realize the full potential of Web3 by interconnecting worlds like never before. Acurast is a zero-trust application platform with universal interoperability. It can be used for secure Deep Neural Network (DNN) execution on mobile devices.

  • Developer Empowerment: Acurast’s Application Layer provides an exceptional Developer Experience through the Acurast Console, enabling seamless integration and development.
  • Zero-Knowledge Proof Applications: Acurast supports privacy-preserving transactions, offloading high-intensity computation securely, and enabling mixing and generating proofs within processor consortia.
  • Secure Multi-Party Computation (SMPC): Acurast facilitates privacy-enhanced database queries and collaborative fund investments without revealing private inputs.
  • Blockchain Infrastructure: Acurast serves as a decentralized, serverless backend for reliable blockchain infrastructure and incorruptible sequencing.
  • Beyond Oracles: Serverless Applications - Acurast enables automated on-chain actions and native cross-chain DeFi for seamless transactions across different blockchains.
  • Data Availability as-a-Service (DAaaS): Acurast’s DAaaS ensures decentralized storage solutions, fortifying the robustness of decentralized ecosystems.
  • Decentralized Scraping Infrastructure: Acurast allows fully decentralized logical and physical scraping infrastructure, conducting confidential intelligence gathering.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Acurast’s Singularity module enables federated and privacy-preserving AI execution, supporting trustless Large Language Models.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Acurast Mesh module enhances IoT security through built-in Bluetooth or WiFi direct connections for collecting and confidentially processing IoT data.

Comparison with Other Platforms

Acurast’s main competitors are Google Cloud and AWS, as they are focused on certain areas that Acurast excels in. Acurast is different from Cosmos and IBC in that it doesn’t just provide interoperability but also confidentiality on the execution layer.

Security Features

Acurast provides a zero-trust approach, addressing the widely recognized challenges of blockchains and the Internet: Scalable confidential compute without a centralized party. Its design enables a permissionless and universally interoperable zero-trust future. Acurast is a platform and protocol that orchestrates and schedules the participants’ intentions and executes these in a confidential computing context. It provides developers with a distributed, highly scalable arbitrary computation engine ready to be used for the most security-sensitive tasks.

Upcycle your Android Smartphone and join as Processor (Reward Program is On)

The Acurast team identified early on that the true decentralized compute platform is not server hardware located in centralized data centers, but are smartphones. It is not known to many, but Smartphone Operating Systems (iOS, Android) offers a superior security design compared to server and workspace Operating Systems (Linux, MacOS, Windows, …). What is unintuitive becomes clear when looking at how the devices are used: servers don’t need to protect from physical attack vectors, while mobile devices by design don’t have that privilege, they can be forgotten in public places, stolen, etc. For this reason, also the hardware security modules in mobile devices offer superior security features compared to server hardware. Another great reason why smartphone hardware is a perfect candidate for decentralized compute is the low running cost thanks to the powerful yet highly efficient hardware.

As developers and Acurast Consumers pay you for the provided computation, becoming an Acurast processor is an easy way to monetize that spare smartphone you have lying around. To onboard is very easy, you don’t need to be a Linux geek. All you have to do is grab a spare Android device, factory reset it and scan a QR. Within 3 minutes you are up and running earning cACU tokens on the Acurast canary net. Head over to https://console.acurast.com to get started.

On top of the rewards paid for the compute the Acurast protocol is further incentivizing the onboarding of processors with its “Processor Bootstrap Program”, where per month and running device every processor is paid 250 cACU per month. Rumors say it may be used to determine eligibility for the Airdrop campaign of the mainnet token ACU set to launch later this year.

Builders Program for Developers (Application is On)

The Acurast Builders Program, offering 1.5 million cACUs in rewards, stands at the forefront of Web3 innovation. Geared towards developers utilizing Acurast, the program provides mentorship and substantial rewards, emphasizing creativity and exceptional projects.

Acurast, a decentralized and serverless cloud, empowers mobile devices with robust security and significant compute resources for seamless interaction with Web3 and Web2 applications. The program, ecosystem-agnostic, fosters Zero Trust applications — computational tasks ensuring specified execution without reliance on third parties.

Participants delve into Acurast’s architecture, gain Zero Trust expertise, and enjoy community collaboration, opening doors to valuable insights and networking opportunities. Rewards include 25,000 cACU for each participant and 1,000,000 cACU for the Genesis winner.

Link to apply: https://acurast.com/acurast-builders/application

The Road to Acurast Mainnet

In a recent update, Acurast Association sheds light on its multi-faceted approach to supporting protocols. Acurast operates in three distinct networks:

  • Testnet for experimentation,
  • Canary for production-grade applications,
  • Mainnet for long-term use.

The Acurast Testnet is already live, with a connection to the Rococo relay network. Acurast Canary has launched in phases, starting on Programmer’s Day, September 13th, 2023.

Developers are invited to engage, test Acurast, and explore its Canary network, marking the path toward the anticipated Acurast Mainnet. Acurast promises a transformative journey for developers and processors alike.

Alpha-Net, scheduled for later this year, aims to incorporate external Collators and initiate a Proof of Stake mechanism for their selection, resembling Curve’s voted escrow model, with block production rewards distributed through Acurast’s adaptive inflation model.

Following Alpha-Net, the Beta-Net, expected two months later, eliminates sudo, transferring governance to active stakers and enabling token transfers, marking a crucial step as Acurast Canary paves the way for the forthcoming Acurast Mainnet launch.

Conclusion

The Acurast Universe is a groundbreaking platform, paving the way for true decentralization and universal interoperability in Web3. Unlike applications with centralized elements, Acurast’s innovative architecture is backed by secure mobile devices, creating a decentralized network of computational resources. It addresses challenges like multi-signatures that entail trust in entities securing assets, extending this trust to Web2, especially in cloud computing, where major providers like Google Cloud and AWS dominate the internet’s backbone, controlling vast data resources.

This ensures trustless execution, empowering developers to create unstoppable zero-trust applications on a Layer-1 blockchain that combines security, scalability, and confidentiality. With Acurast, the future of decentralized computing is not just a concept but a vibrant reality.

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Polkadotters | Kusama & Polkadot validators

Czech bloggers & community builders. We are validators of Polkadot, Kusama, Darwinia, Crab, Bifrost, HydraDX, StaFi, Centrifuge under the name: POLKADOTTERS