MEXC Exchange Research: Cross-Chain Privacy Middleware Project: Automata Network

Evelyn Zhang
5 min readAug 31, 2021


Automata Network is a decentralized service protocol that provides decentralized applications (dApps) with middleware-like services for seamless privacy, high assurance, and friction-free computing. It is built by several industry-renowned technicians, including Zilliqa’s former founders. The Automata protocol integrates seamlessly with existing dApps and is compatible with multiple public chain platforms such as Ethereum and Polkadot, and is dedicated to providing highly secure and private and lossless solutions.

According to Gavin Wood’s blog, the Web 3.0 vision has two layers of meaning. Layer 1: Web 3.0 is a server-less, decentralized Internet. Layer 2: Web 3.0 allows everyone to have their own digital identities, assets, and data. The primary purpose of Automata Network is to support the privacy aspect of Web 3.0.

Automata combines TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) hardware with the Oblivious RAM algorithm to create a secure space where user data cannot be viewed, changed, and accessed by third parties, including nodes in the system, to provide highly private privacy-based services.

Secure space: A network of nodes that use trust hardware (Intel SGX) and a specific algorithm (ORAM) to hide user activity. User data will not be known to any third party, including Automata and the node operators.

Trusted Execution Environment (TEE): An execution environment that provides security functionality, such as isolated execution, where applications executed using TEE can maintain their integrity and the assets are confidential.

Automata Network is built on the Substrate framework and consists of three different planes. The first plane is the Control plane, which is responsible for state transition, proof validation, and coordination between Geode nodes. The second Compute plane is where operations are performed by Geode nodes that provide the “secure space”. The final Service plane ensures that developers can use Automata Network’s privacy functionalities to build applications and integrate with other applications in the domain without running the Geode nodes.

Conveyor and Witness are the two mature products of Automata Network. Conveyer targets MEV-related issues such as front running and sandwich attacks, while Witness is used for anonymity issues in DAOs. Other products include Chainhook, which triggers execution on the chain based on voting results and is under development.

Automata networks have four roles: Validator, Geode, Geode Provider, Geode Attestor.

Automata works through two types of nodes (Validator, Geode)

Validators are the first nodes, whose primary functions are to run protocols and “control the planes”, including the registration of staking and hosting nodes, assigning tasks and rewards.

Geode is the second node whose primary purpose is to accept and perform computational tasks.

Geode Provider is the physical host (computer) that runs Geode.

Geode Attestor mainly runs the remote verification protocol to validate Geodes.

A MEV Solution, Conveyor

The full name of MEV is Miner Extractable Value. Simply put, miners can pack transactions in Ethereum to generate blocks, while in the resulting blocks, miners can also sort, include, exclude transactions, and so on. In addition to transaction costs and block awards, the value miners receive from these operations is MEV, which occurs mainly in arbitrage transactions and liquidation.

For more information about MEV, check out the previous article:

The biggest highlight of the Conveyor solution is that it avoids front running and resolves the sorting chaos by determining the order of the transaction orders. When a transaction is transferred to the Conveyor, the Conveyor determines the output order and cryptographically prevents the outgoing block from performing malicious operations.

1. Prevent inserting new transactions into the Conveyor’s output: New transactions that attempt to avoid Conveyor creation are detectable due to signature mismatches

2. Prevent deletion of sorted transactions: A transaction cannot be deleted after being accepted, sorted, and broadcast by the Conveyor unless all blockers collude to review the transaction

For example, a user’s tokens are first packaged as a gtoken and then used by the private middleware of the Geode node. After the gtoken is processed by the Conveyor, it will not change the order of transactions or get information about the contents of transactions. Only after the transaction is executed will the token be unpacked and restored according to the user’s needs, thus avoiding the generation of MEV

DAO Privacy Solution, Witness

Witness offers a variety of privacy level options. An optional off-chain voting scheme typically for a 0 GAS fee. You can also choose to go on-chain, and the voting results will be sent to the recipient contract (on-chain). At the same time, a TIME-LOCK function can be added, and multiple members can sign to reject malicious schemes within a specified time.

Fully Public: Fully Public Voter Address and Number of Votes

Moderately public: Public votes only

Visible only to yourself: Only public voting results, voter-related identity, and votes information are not visible

Witness is currently available for Ethereum ERC-20 and EVM-based blockchain environments, such as BSC. Witness will also work with Substrate-based projects, which will open up to more public chains in the future.

Functional support:

Investment team

KR1, Alameda Research, IOSG Ventures, Divergence Capital, Genesis Block Ventures, and Jump Trading


Token: ATA

Total supply: 1,000,000,000 tokens

Similar linear releases except for Binance IDO, see below

Binance IDO: 4%,40,000,000

Seed round: 5%,50,000,000

Strategic round: 6%,60,000,000

Partners and Consultants: 5%,50,000,000

Team: 15%,150,000,000

Ecosystem and Development Communities: 30%,300,000,000

Strategic Reserve: 35%,350,000,000

Binance IDO (June 2, 2021): 40,000,000 tokens

Initial circulation: 172,252,000 tokens including IDO 4%, Seed Round 0.63%, Strategic round 1%, Ecosystem and community 6%,Strategic reserve 5.6%)

Practical Value Analysis

Practical value and advantages:

Participate in voting governance

For mining rewards

Service Fees

Participate in Geode Auctions

Easy-to-use privacy Middleware