Web3 Foundation Awards Grant to Swisscom Blockchain To Secure Polkadot PoS Network

Swisscom Blockchain, the blockchain tech arm of Swiss telco giant, Swisscom, received a grant from Web 3 Foundation to build guard operators for Polkadot’s and Kusama’s nodes and validators.

In a blog post released on Wednesday, Swisscom Blockchain’s Kubernetes Operator will enhance the robustness of both chains making them, “less prone to attacks on network participants.” This aims to strengthen the trustworthiness of network participants on the blockchain platforms.

According to the statement released, the Kubernetes Operator aims at protecting network participants on a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain, Polkadot and Kusama, in case the network goes down or is compromised.

PoS consensus mechanism introduces a concept of slashing, which happens when a node validator does not function correctly or tries to cheat the system. For example, if a node operator modifies the system updates without community approval, they are at risk of getting ‘slashed’ – lose all their staked coins.

This brings about a challenging prospect to PoS blockchains hence the need for Kubernetes Operator to monitor the availability and behavior of these node operators.

The operator is a set of tools that enable the deployment and monitoring of node validators and network participants for high availability; Swisscom Blockchain AG makes it easier for network validators on Polkadot and Kusama to interact easily with public Blockchain networks through a network of “highly secured sentry nodes.”

Swisscom Blockchain received an undisclosed Wave 5 grant from the Web 3 Foundation through the General Grants Program. According to Jorge Alvarado Flores, Head of Technology at Swisscom Blockchain, the grant will allow the telco to set up, “an open-source repository that other startups and enterprises can use to setup/manage their infrastructure in an automated way” in tandem with “high-security protocol resources hosted in the enterprise.”

Web 3 Foundation also offers grants through the Open Grants program.

Dieter Fishbein, Head of Ecosystem Development at Web3 Foundation, has a hopeful wish that the solutions provided by Swisscom Blockchain will reduce the cases of “validator unresponsiveness.” In his statement, he stated,

“Providing Kusama and Polkadot with a Kubernetes Operator contributes to a more robust network, helping validators ensure high availability in their operations, and reducing the chances of validators getting slashed for unresponsiveness.”

Polkadot is an interoperable layer 1 blockchain that “connects several chains together in a single network, allowing them to exchange data securely and process transactions in parallel.” Kusama, which runs on a similar codebase to Polkadot, enables users and development teams to deploy their projects faster on Polkadot.

Flores further commented on the partnership stating his hopes for a better and more secure future for Polkadot. He said,

“Looking ahead, we are hopeful that our contributions to the Web3 Foundation on the automated deployment of sentry and validator nodes will be useful for other enterprises to engage in the Polkadot ecosystem.”

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