Tesseract: Real-Time Cryptocurrency Exchange using Trusted Hardware

I. Bentov, Y. Ji, F. Zhang, Y. Li, X. Zhao, L. Breidenbach, P. Daian, and A. Juels.

In ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), 2019.


We propose Tesseract, a secure real-time cryptocurrency exchange service. Existing centralized exchange designs are vulnerable to theft of funds, while decentralized exchanges cannot offer real-time cross-chain trades. All currently deployed exchanges are also vulnerable to frontrunning attacks. Tesseract overcomes these flaws and achieves a best-of-both-worlds design by using Intel SGX as a trusted execution environment. Furthermore, by running a consensus protocol among SGX-enabled servers, Tesseract mitigates denial-of-service attacks. Tesseract supports not only real-time cross-chain cryptocurrency trades, but also secure tokenization of assets pegged to cryptocurrencies. For instance, Tesseract-tokenized bitcoins can circulate on the Ethereum blockchain for use in smart contracts. We provide a reference implementation of Tesseract that supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and similar cryptocurrencies.