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TCS and Yale University Develop Secure, Private off-Grid Networking Platform Using Blockchain

TCS’ New Framework to Provide Trusted Exchanges Within a Decentralized Framework

Tata Consultancy Services, leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, and Yale University, jointly announced the launch of a new framework that could help ensure privacy and trust in peer-to-peer digital networks. This would be a critical element in enhancing blockchain solutions for greater adoption by consumers.

The online exchange of money and data is burdened by numerous challenges, including delays, middlemen, lack of trust, and high costs. Despite the use of blockchain, the current crop of solutions does not fully address the issues faced by businesses and individuals. Some frameworks lack adequate trust, while others rely on centralized management that prevents users from maintaining control of their own data.

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To address this challenge, Yale University and TCS collaborated to create a new architecture, making use of decentralized storage provided by Hyperledger Fabric and the IPFS peer-to-peer network, as well as decentralized identities supported by Hyperledger Aries and Indy. This framework is the first to combine the scalability and identity verification benefits of private blockchains with the trust and decentralization provided by public blockchains. Additionally, it provides the ability to share data and services through a fully decentralized digital ecosystem that enables user control of data.

TCS developed the identity component, while Yale researchers built the core service and integrated the software components. The teams then evaluated the proof of concept, testing both its security and performance to support off-grid decentralized applications. The result is a platform that offers trusted exchanges within a decentralized framework.

“Existing technologies have forced users to choose between trust and maintaining control over their own data,” said Professor Leandros TassiulasYale University. “But this first-of-its-kind platform we’ve created with TCS can establish trust while upholding user control of data. It’s a platform that will enable markets where they weren’t previously possible and give people sovereignty over their own data once again.”

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“We believe that decentralized identity is a compelling use case for blockchain technology, and identity platforms and related solutions are already part of our platform and solution strategy,” said Lakshminarasimhan (Lakshmi) Srinivasan, Global Head, Blockchain Services, TCS. “We are delighted to work with Yale University in proving that use of decentralized technologies can improve security of community networks while preserving individual privacy.”

This collaborative project was supported through the ongoing alliance between the Tata Group, TCS and Yale University. “This work is another example of a successful, impactful, mutually beneficial collaboration between Yale, the Tata Group and TCS, as an outcome of a successful alliance established in 2016,” said Yale Professor Nicholas Christakis, Co-Chair, Tata-Yale Alliance. “It is wonderful to see that this fruitful collaboration continues to produce valuable solutions to today’s important problems.”

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