Designing the Future of Blockchain Security

Asia Blockchain Review
October 25, 2019

Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Professor Ronghui Gu, Co-founder of CertiK, a blockchain security company founded by computer science professors from Yale University and Columbia University to prove the security and correctness of smart contracts and blockchain protocols. Prof. Gu talked about developing a proprietary Formal Verification technology, ensuring protocols and business functionalities are secured, and his vision for the future of blockchain security. 

Asia Blockchain Review: Can you tell us about CertiK’s mission and long-term goals?

Professor Ronghui Gu: Our mission is to build a secure infrastructure for the blockchain world to empower developers and secure assets. We’re proud to lead the way in developing new technologies to add security protocols, including our unique Formal Verification technology.

ABR: How has the support from IBM and the Ethereum Foundation driven your projects?

Prof. RG: IBM and the Ethereum Foundation supported our initial research into the DeepSEA language and the Verified Compiler, which allowed us to build our core product in our newly launched CertiK Chain Testnet.


ABR: What is Formal Verification, and how does it work to ensure blockchain security? 

Prof. RG: Formal Verification is, to put it simply, a mathematical way to prove that the code works according to the specifications required and works as intended and expected. This process has been used in hardware and system-critical software before, and we’re proud to pioneer it in blockchain software.

ABR: What makes Certik stand out from other service providers in the market?

Prof. RG: CertiK is the first and only company that can provide the end-to-end security enclave for the blockchain world. From the DeepSEA language and its Verified Compiler to the CVM and down to the CertiKOS, we have a unique end-to-end security enclave for trustworthy blockchain.


ABR: With your background, why did you decide to enter the blockchain space?

Prof. RG: I entered the blockchain space because those systems are vulnerable and important. I wanted to put my academic work into the space where it would do the most good.

ABR: Can you tell us about some of the obstacles for CertiK and how you tackled them?

Prof. RG: Even if we can protect a particular phase, we couldn’t guarantee the entire system. That’s why we launched our end-to-end, full-stack solution. That took a lot of research and required the support of IBM and the Ethereum Foundation to execute properly. It took a decade of research to put together certified and safe software for the blockchain world.


ABR: What projects and developments can we expect to see from CertiK in 2019-2020?  

Prof. RG: We just launched our Testnet of the CertiK Chain, and expect to advance it to the mainnet to make our DeepSEA language even more accessible.


ABR: In your opinion, what will the future of blockchain security look like?

Prof. RG: The future of Blockchain security won’t be about audits — it will be about working in a trusted, proven, and Formally Verified end-to-end environment.

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