Synapse Network
Learn about the technical aspects of the Synapse Network.
The Synapse Network interconnects all blockchains

How does the Synapse Network work?

The Synapse network is secured by cross-chain multi-party computation (MPC) validators operating with threshold signature schemes (TSS). The network is leaderless, and maintains security by each validator running the same process upon receiving on-chain events on the various chains that the MPC validator group tracks. Once two-thirds of all validators have collectively signed the same transaction using their own individual key, the network achieves consensus and issues a transaction to the destination chain.

What is "secure multi-party computation" (MPC)?

An MPC network is one where the individual validators that are attempting to jointly solve a function are able to work together to achieve a solution without compromising any validator's privacy. None of the validators are capable of identifying the input data that any other validator is using to attempt to solve the shared function, but all are able to collaborate on solving the function and sharing in the information gained by the solution. An example of a method that achieves this would be Shamir secret sharing.

What are "threshold signature schemes" (TSS)?

A digital signature relies on a paired public and private key, with the private key required to authenticate transactions with a signature, and a public key used to verify the existence of the signature. In a threshold signature scheme, this private/public key pair is not generated by a single entity. Instead, it is generated by a subset of "m-out-of-n" validators on the network, such that any number of validators smaller than "m" (the threshold, or quorum) is unable to reconstruct the private key. Similarly, no subset of validators smaller than "m" can generate a signature using the private key. In the context of our MPC network, this means that Synapse validators can collaborate to sign and authenticate transactions without compromising their own privacy or having to trust the other validators composing the quorum.

How are network validators run?

In the Hadean Phase of the Synapse mainnet, the validators are selected based on community governance and consensus. Any person or project wishing to run a validator can reach out to the Synapse community in order to become a part of the network.
As the protocol continues to expand, develop, and harden, and reaches the planned Archean and Proterozoic Phases of the mainnet, validators on the Synapse Network must stake SYN in order to be an active part of the network. In return for staking this SYN and contributing to the security of the protocol, validators receive SYN in the form of staking rewards and as their allotment of the SYN transaction fees generated within the network. In addition, they also receive SYN as a rebate for gas expenditures on the Ethereum network, which can otherwise be a costly component of running a validator.
In order to maintain the honesty of validators, they are subject to slashing of their staked SYN balance if they engage in negligent or malicious behavior that harms the network.