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Secure Multiparty Computation (MPC) gained considerable interest and adoption over the past year. Hundreds of companies now use this distributed computation technique to secure cryptographic keys for critical online services ranging from protecting cryptocurrency wallets to VPNs, to cloud-based data protection and more. But some applications, such as TLS terminations for SaaS providers can require billions of key operations per day. Very high-performance hardware security modules (HSMs) can support 10,000-12,000 or more key operations per second (approximately 1,000,000,000 transactions per day), but at considerable expense. When you factor in redundant systems and separate systems for different geographies (for compliance) the costs quickly become unmanageable. As a result, SaaS providers are increasingly interested in the scalability of MPC for such applications.
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Blockdaemon designs and develops application optimized implementations of MPC for a variety of online applications. Our first production deployment system was Key Management as a Service (KMaaS), which was architected and designed explicitly for cloud scale. We use MPC to maintain the security of keys throughout their entire lifecycle and operations. Our patent-pending solutions are optimized for performance and scale, using an entirely cloud-based or hybrid approach, with no operational requirement for hardware security modules (HSM).
We recently completed benchmark testing, using both ECDSA and ECDH curves for authentication. Blockdaemon’s cloud-based MPC system demonstrated the capacity to support over 1,000,000,000 TLS sessions per day using standard inexpensive public cloud infrastructure. So, rest assured that certain implementations of MPC can be up to the most demanding scalability challenges.
As with all technologies, results may vary depending on the particular use case and the particular MPC technology implementation. Be sure to have specific discussions about scalability with your MPC technology team.
Blockdaemon’s recent blog “MPC Wallet: How to Choose Your Implementation” provides insights into considerations for selecting your MPC wallet provider. Naturally, scalability was one of the important considerations. The above referenced TLS scalability benchmarking had nothing to do with cryptocurrency. However, the concept of overall system scalability applies equally to every key management application.
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