IC3 Debuts Upgraded Off-Chain Transaction Protocol 'Teechain'

The Initiative For CryptoCurrencies & Contracts (IC3) has unveiled a new version of its Teechan off-chain transaction protocol.

AccessTimeIconMay 22, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:22 p.m. UTC

The Initiative For CryptoCurrencies & Contracts (IC3) has unveiled a new version of its Teechan off-chain transaction protocol.

First put forward last year, Teechan relies on the utilization of specialized hardware, the Intel SGX, which provides a kind of masking layer for the data it contains. Conceptually, the protocol is similar to the Lightning Network, a proposed transaction layer to bitcoin aimed at creating payment channels – and with them, the potential to enable millions of transactions per second.

It's the promise of huge throughput that has led to projects like Teechan, and the Cornell University-based team behind it is releasing several new changes to the original design, now dubbed "Teechain".

Among those upgrades: the ability to direct payments to parties that aren't directly linked via an existing channel.

Cornell associate professor Emin Gün Sirer explained in an email:

"In the jump from 'teechan' (peer-to-peer TEE-backed payment channels) to 'teechain', we added the ability to route payments along paths. So, the system can now route money along teechan paths from one user to another, even if they are not directly connected. The system guarantees atomicity, namely, that no money will be lost or stuck if there's a failure anywhere along a route while funds are being transferred."

As previously reported by CoinDesk, IC3 – the research effort launched in 2015 with federal funding – has been pursuing a range of blockchain applications, including those that utilize trusted hardware.

The group also recently added asset manager Fidelity to its ranks.

Image by Stan Higgins for CoinDesk


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.