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Enigma Launch Update: Simulation Mode for Secret Smart Contracts

Enigma Testnet Update: Simulation Mode is Now Active!

Hello to the Enigma community! The Enigma dev team is excited to announce the latest improvement to the Enigma testnet — the addition of simulation mode. This change means you no longer need special hardware to try out Enigma and secret contracts, opening our testnet up further to developers.

This is just one of many improvements we are planning as we refine our testnet for developers looking to build privacy-preserving smart contracts with Enigma. Read on for more details about this important and highly-requested feature, as well as information on how you can get started coding secret contracts today!

What is Simulation Mode?

Recall that in the first version of the Enigma testnet, we utilize Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) to provide a hardware-based privacy solution. (More details on this were covered previously in our partnership announcement with Intel.) The new simulation mode works in the same way as the current debug mode, except that true hardware is not exercised — instead, the Intel SGX instructions are simulated in software.

This means that running the Enigma testnet in simulation mode will not require you to have Intel SGX hardware enabled on your machine. Instead, you will use the Simulation Libraries to run application enclaves in simulation mode and try out secret contract development. However, this mode will not provide hardware protection.

(Note: Custom exception handling is only supported in Hardware mode (Sky-Lake Platform. Although the exception handlers can be registered in simulation mode, the exceptions cannot be caught and handled within the enclave.)

What are Simulation Libraries?

The Intel SGX SDK provides simulation libraries that allow you to run application enclaves in simulation mode. There is both an untrusted simulation library and a trusted simulation library.

The untrusted simulation library provides the functionalit...

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