0 of N: Cover Letter of the Trusted WebAssembly Runtime on IPFS



This is the first blog of the Trusted WebAssembly Runtime on the IPFS series. I explained how this idea comes during my recent few years of research. It actually covers most content of the whole series.

Started 6 Years Ago

Back to 6 years ago, I joined a Silicon Valley-based health care IoT company as CTO. The company produces many kinds of wearable health monitoring devices and collected tons of medical data from millions of users. No doubt the medical data is money in the big data era. However, due to HIPAA and GDPR (health care data and privacy protection), without an effective technical solution, we cannot turn the data into money: We cannot take the risk of disclosure on patients' medical data records. There are pharmaceutical institutes came to us would like to pay for use the data, but we have no way to protect the data once we give them. I would suggest they run research algorithm inside our server, of course, they cannot agree since the algorithm is their key IP, how could they trust us and give us their algorithm. There are some partial solutions such as De-ID, but not strong enough to protect. I was searching for a solution to help both the data providers and data users, but I did not make it at that moment.

About 3 years ago Blockchain comes into my life. Using a consensus algorithm to build trust between untrusted parties really blow my mind. I think we probably can learn from blockchain and build something decentralized trusted computing system to protect privacy and data ownership.

Very soon, one of my friends referred me to a blockchain company which also has the same idea — “You own your own data”. No doubt, I joined the project as a contractor shortly, in charge of the tech team in the USA. However, this did not last long. I resigned from this company after the first year contract. The main reason is that I found it is impossible to get high security purely based on software technologies. We have to either build on cryptography or hardware. I cannot convince the founder because he is a strong believer in his software along can be secure enough.

I did not look for a new job after resignation because I need more time to continue my research. I do not want to join any project unless I am fully convinced by their technologies. It has been about one year, gradually I think I found the…