Journey to Interoperability

The Fusion Foundation was founded in 2018 to create a borderless and connected financial system existing in the digital space. From the onset, Fusion focused on a fundamental piece needed for such a system: a cross-chain and cross-system solution known as Distributed Control Rights Management (DCRM).

Fusion is excited to announce that the latest version of DCRM, 5.0, will be released as an open-source implementation the week of 11/25th. This version provides a flexible module for businesses and individuals to innovate in an environment and workflow of their choosing.

With this release, Fusion remains true to its open-source commitment, leveraging the network effects of the community to accelerate innovation for the world.

Why Interoperability Matters

The importance of interoperability has been covered thoroughly in other publications. In summary, the possibilities of blockchain are only fully realized if the blockchain is connected to everything and accessible by everyone. Yet, with thousands of projects building blockchain ecosystems that only work in their own silos, the blockchain industry is creating the exact fragmented landscape that it was meant to replace.

Interoperable solutions provide the bridge to connect these silos, so that data and value can be exchanged freely. Instead of “chain maximalism” (join my chain or perish), interoperability creates an ecosystem where every chain’s strengths can be leveraged by each other, and for each other.

DCRM in a Nutshell

DCRM is a true interoperable solution operating on a decentralized custodian model. It uses the latest cryptography technologies in Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS) for Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) to provide a distributed key generation and transaction signing algorithm. This technology was developed for over a year, with the feedback of 4 leading cryptographers.

The technology is more powerful than atomic swaps, more secure than secret sharing or sharded key storage schemes, safer and cheaper than multi-signature schemes. Read our github wiki to learn more.

The DCRM Journey so Far

The Foundation has released various versions of its cross-chain system since its ICO, gradually transforming a theoretical proof into a usable piece of technology.

  1. DCRM 1.0–2.0: Released on July 2018, this Java version validated that TSS distributed key generation and combination theory could actually be done.
  2. DCRM 3.0: Released on October 2018, this version implemented TSS in a peer-2-peer (P2P) setup and refactored the code in GoLang, a popular language for developing blockchain. The nodes worked together to provide decentralized custodianship of incompatible, live BTC and ETH. A light UI was provided along with APIs.
  3. DCRM 4.0: Released on Dec 2018, the Foundation provided the first open-sourced TSS on blockchain. A new UI was launched along with a block explorer.

After DCRM4.0, Fusion could have turned towards optimizing performance and bringing DCRM into Fusion’s Testnet. However, as we shared DCRM with innovators and financial institutions alike, we noticed an adoption catch-22: people were excited by an interoperable decentralized custodian solution, but couldn’t reconcile a decentralized dependency with their existing risk and compliance policies. For example, how does one guarantee that in these early test stages prior to critical network mass being attained, that key shards will always be available? Or, how does one protect the system against node runners who may be bad players?

In addition, businesses wanted to try out DCRM in a more flexible configuration, not tied-in to an existing blockchain. For example, some had their own blockchains to integrate with while others wanted to build solutions unrelated to blockchain.

With those two considerations of breaking the adoption stalemate and providing flexibility, the foundation went to task on DCRM 5.0.

DCRM 5.0

DCRM 5.0 offers the core functionality of TSS in a flexible module that that can be integrated into any on-chain or off-chain workflow, while allowing organizations to prescribe their own limits and applications of decentralization. It also incorporates efficiencies over prior versions for consensus, reducing finality from hours (even days, in edge cases) to minutes.

In short, this module is designed to help “mainstream” decentralized finance applications get traction in a world that is dominated by centralized governance and thinking. DCRM 5.0 provides the key to more than just cross-chain solutions. It also provides the key to decentralized custody, efficient settlement/trading networks, dark pools, keyless wallets, practical alternatives to multi-signature offerings, and more.

The SDK, which packages TSS into its two most important endpoints of 1) distributed key generation (used to hold assets) and 2) distributed transaction signature (used to send assets), soft-launched in late October. Users can experiment either in Fusion’s sandbox as 1-of-3 nodes in a private group, or their own sandbox where they have full control on who runs the nodes.

Community members have already started exploring applications ranging from trustless key recovery solutions to permissioned access to sensitive files, and we looking forward to sharing updates on these community-led projects in the coming weeks.

The Foundation is targeting the week of 11/25th to release DCRM5.0 as an open-source project and will share additional details on launch date regarding future plans. In the meantime, the SDK is being continuously improved and updated on github.

In Summary

The Foundation still believes in a vision of decentralized finance and is constantly working to get us closer to that vision. However, it understands also that the step to decentralized finance cannot be taken as one big leap. It requires various smaller steps to help the world first understand and second get comfortable with not just new technology, but completely new ways of thinking and operating.

With DCRM 5.0, Fusion is providing a step towards the future with a crucial interoperable solution in a module designed to help businesses adopt and innovators to build.




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