Bluzelle, a decentralized database provider, has teamed up with Equinix, the world’s largest digital infrastructure firm, to enable validators in Proof-of-Stake blockchains to be hosted on standard cloud computing platforms.
Stakers may set up their validators on the typically unstable cloud environment by using capabilities of Hardware Security Modules (HSM), protected chips designed to prevent any software or hardware-based method of tampering, and Bluzelle’s proprietary communication module.
Using cloud providers like Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services to set up validator nodes for PoS blockchains is a very appealing proposition. Many of the problems historically associated with staking, such as maintaining perfect uptime and performance, can be avoided thanks to the distributed and cost-effective cloud computing infrastructure.
Validating a Proof-of-Stake network, on the other hand, necessitates the highest level of confidentiality, and hosting the node on the cloud exposes the validator’s private key to the cloud network. The attackers could behave maliciously if the validator’s environment was hacked, exposing the staker to slashing and credibility damage. An attack could compromise the entire blockchain network and lose its integrity if a large number of validators use insecure cloud platforms.
Professional validators typically use private server infrastructure backed by HSMs that carry sensitive data like the private keys, according to Pavel Bains, Co-Founder and CEO of Bluzelle.
All but the largest and most well-funded validators have access to this level of protection. Although validators on some networks are intended to be skilled businesses, blockchains like Ethereum 2.0 make it a point to make validation available to as many enthusiasts as possible.
Bluzelle’s solution is designed for smaller stakeholder groups, enabling anyone with intermediate programming skills to set up a stable, high-performance validator on Google Cloud Platform. Bluzelle hopes to extend to Ethereum 2.0 and other blockchains in the future, but the initial implementation is based on Cosmos and its Tendermint consensus system.
The Tendermint Key Management System (TMKMS) is connected to Equinix’s SmartKey, an enterprise-grade HSM-as-a-service solution based on FIPS 140–2 Level 3 accredited hardware. Bluzelle’s module allows Equinix SmartKey to sign blocks whenever TMKMS requests it, separating critical private key information from the Google Cloud storage environment.
SmartKey functions as an External Key Manager (EKM) for Google Cloud Platform, storing the private key on HSMs at all times.
“The Equinix SmartKey architecture provides all of the advantages of cloud data processing while retaining complete control over the location, distribution, and access of your keys,” said Anthony Ho, Equinix Asia-Pacific Product Management Director. Thanks to our partnership with Bluzelle, blockchain validators will be able to experience all of the advantages of our key management solution’’.
Bluzelle is a decentralized database for Web3 that is driven by a byzantine fault-tolerant cluster of blockchains that has been customized specifically for database operations. Its automated data distribution network aims to keep companies safe from data breaches, network outages, and poor results. Developers pay for storage space and read/write access to the decentralized database, essentially making Bluzelle a “Airbnb of databases.”Although data storage is the cornerstone, the web is currently working on data feeds and oracles for the next step of its development, which will help to make the internet faster and more stable.