Threshold Access Control

Trust-minimized Access Control
Threshold Access Control enables end-to-end encrypted data sharing and communication without the need to trust a centralized authority. It is the only access control layer available to Web3 developers that has already achieved true decentralization through a live and well-collateralized network, with sensitive cryptographic operations disassembled and distributed across ~250 independently operated servers.
End-users of applications which have integrated Threshold Access Control enjoy the following features & benefits:
  • End-to-end encryption for everything. Built on the privacy-for-everyone principles of popular end-to-end encrypted messengers but applicable to a far wider set of use cases, including private NFTs, connected vehicles, DBaaS, live-streaming, private DAO group chats, and much more.
  • Trust-minimization via cryptography and true decentralization. Key management, condition verification and ciphertext re-encryption are operationally distributed across a geographically diverse array of machines/servers, operated by economically independent individuals and commercial entities.
  • Powerful, per-ciphertext conditionality. Future access to data can be contingent on the fulfillment of nearly any predefined condition, and those conditions attached to any granularity of data payload (e.g. a single message or an entire table).
  • Flexible condition composability. Conditions of all types can be mixed-and-matched using logical operators and flexible prefix notation into virtually any desired combination.
  • Tunable collusion-resistance, redundancy & latency. Developers have full control over the cohort(s) of node operators which manage access to a given data payload, user base or entire application. These security parameters can also be packaged into simpler user-facing optionality for custom risk preferences.
  • Highly incentivized uptime. Threshold Network's multi-app model strongly incentivizes node operators to provision service to tBTC, and its strict availability requirements. Threshold Access Control 'piggybacks' on tBTC uptime, reliability and technical competence.
  • Optional: keypair-only decryption. If even stricter security guarantees are required, and data recipients' public keys are known in advance, developers may opt for end-user data to be re-encrypted by node operators such that they are only decryptable by pre-designated clients.
The Threshold Access Control service is built on two distinct but interwoven technologies; Conditions-Based Decryption (CBD) and Proxy Re-Encryption (PRE). Both offer trust-minimized end-to-end encryption and access control is executed by the same decentralized array of nodes. There are some trade-offs between (explicit) security and access condition customization, which are explored in the trust assumptions section.
Note for Threshold stakers: the up-and-running 'PRE app' will eventually be renamed to encompass the broader Threshold Access Control service, and will also acquire new functionality via the addition of CBD technology. This will require a DAO-driven upgrade but will not fundamentally change the operational requirements or compensation.