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Is Visa Developing A Commercial Blockchain Product?

Cryptology ePrint Archive has published a paper, entitled ‘LucidiTEE: Policy-compliant Fair Computing at Scale’, credited to a trio of staff members working for Visa and Visa Research by the names of Rohit Sinha, Sivanarayana Gaddam, and Ranjit Kumaresan.

This paper details a product called ‘LucidiTEE’, which is allegedly an in-development distributed ledger technology (DLT) solution being created by Visa.

“LucidiTEE [is] the first system to enable multiple parties to jointly compute on large-scale private data, while guaranteeing policy-compliance even when the input providers are offline, and fairness to all output recipients.”

‘LucidiTEE: Policy-compliant Fair Computing at Scale’

LucidiTEE is Visa’s proposed system which would utilise blockchain technology to help provide greater levels of security and operational transparency to its business customers; as well as to help those customers build a greater relationship of trust with their end-users.

Specifically, it is a blockchain-based solution which acts as a standardised intermediary layer and automated non-custodial means of securely transmitting private data between two parties; specifically customer information between banks and consumer financial applications.

Its documentation suggests two primary options by which these goals could be achieved:

“1) enforcing agreed-upon policies on what functions can be evaluated over private data (even when the users are offline)…

2) enforcing the set of parties with whom the results are shared. For this level of control, the system must ensure policy compliance, and we demonstrate, using modern applications, the need for history-based policies, where any decision to compute on users’ data depends on prior use of that data”

‘LucidiTEE: Policy-compliant Fair Computing at Scale’

The name ‘LucidiTEE’ serves as both a pun, and as a portmanteau of the term ‘lucidity’ with the acronym ‘TEE’. TEE stands for ‘Trusted Execution Environment’, an industrial security standard for internal hardware components to which Visa’s proposed system would comply.

Etymologically speaking: lucidity connotes a remarkable clarity in representation.

In this instance: the use of the term ‘lucid’ refers to a combination of unanimous consensus with the security and immutability which can be uniquely achieved through distributed ledger and computer networks.

“A key contribution is our protocol (with a formal proof of security) for fair n-party information exchange…

in our case studies, this result provides a practical benefit as end users on commodity devices can enjoy fairness when engaging with service providers.”

‘LucidiTEE: Policy-compliant Fair Computing at Scale’

At present: this news should be classified under ‘speculation and rumours’ – with the potential of being an official leak.

If true though, this wouldn’t be the first flirtation between blockchain and the global payments processor.

Back in October: Visa relinquished its membership with the Facebook-led Libra Association, even though it was one of the projects founding members. It was followed by the likes of main-rival Mastercard, as well as many other prominent corporations including PayPal and eBay.

Visa has also established a reputation for partnering with various challenger banks and alternate finance accounts, to provide a large proportion of the cryptocurrency enabled debit cards on the market right now.