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Glossary

A

Application

A computer program designed to automate processes. An application is generally under the control of different communities such as product managers, project owners, or data center administrators. An application can also be decentralized thanks to the blockchain: see “DApp”.

B

Bellecour Sidechain

iExec’s product sidechain. It is linked to Ethereum Mainnet with a bridge allowing for the transfer of assets between networks. It allows iExec to be used without paying Ethereum gas fees.
See “Sidechain and xRLC” for more information.

Beneficiary

An entity indicated by the requester that benefits from the result of a computational execution. It can be the requester, a third party, a smart contract etc.

C

Confidential Computing / Trusted Computing

Ensures computation confidentiality through mechanisms of memory encryption at the hardware level (in a Trusted Execution Environment or TEE). It can be used so that only authorized code can run inside a protected area and manipulate its data. In some cases, ensuring that code runs correctly without any third party altering the execution, is even more important than hiding the computation's data.
This concept is called Trusted Computing. These guarantees are critical for a decentralized cloud where code is being executed on a remote machine, that is not controlled by the requester. They are also required to prevent leakage while monetizing data sets.
See ”Trusted Execution Environments ('TEE')” for more information

D

Decentralized Application (DApp)

An application built on a decentralized network that combines a smart contract and a frontend user interface. A DApp has its backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Contrast this with a traditional application where the backend code is running in fully controlled environments.
See “Application” for more information.

DApp Provider

Writes, configures, and deploys applications on the iExec platform. Those applications can be DApps or legacy (traditional) applications. Providers can make their applications available for free or ask for a fixed fee for each use of their application.

Dataset

A dataset is a collection of related sets of information that is composed of separate elements, such as numbers, semantic-data or variables, that can be manipulated by a computer for practical application. For example, data within the medical industry can be use by healthcare professionals, care providers, insurers, and government agencies.

Dataset Provider

Owns datasets that can be monetized in the iExec marketplace.

Deal

An agreement between all parties (requester and providers) in the iExec network. A deal is created when requester and providers’ orders are matched in the marketplace and recorded in the PoCo smart contract.

E

Ethereum

A decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Ethereum proposes using blockchain technology to maintain a decentralized payment network and to store computer code that can be used to power decentralized applications.

EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)

The Ethereum's execution environment. This is the virtual machine which executes the smart contracts on the blockchain.

Explorer (iExec Explorer)

Tracks and displays all transactions occuring on iExec’s platform. It provides detailed information on the latest deals, tasks, apps, and datasets deployed.

ERC-20

A standard for fungible tokens. This property makes each token exactly the same in type and value as another token.

ERC-721

A standard for non-fungible tokens. This property makes each token unique and capable of having a different value from another token from the same Smart Contract. This uniqueness may come from a variety of sources, including age, rarity, or appearance.

iExec Academy

iExec’s content aggregator where people can find content related to the project, including articles, demos, documentation, and tutorials.

I

ICO (Initial Coin Offering)

A fundraising mechanism where a blockchain-based startup mints its own native crypto asset in exchange for other cryptocurrencies. The goal is to raise funds and, in turn, create a community of incentivized users who want the project to succeed so that the presale tokens gain in value.

M

Mainnet

An independent blockchain running its own peer-to-peer network with its own technology and protocol (e.g. Bitcoin and Ethereum). It is a live blockchain where its own cryptocurrencies or tokens have value (when compared against a testnet network).

Marketplace (iExec)

The iExec Marketplace connects resource providers with resource users, allowing anyone to monetize or rent computing power, datasets, and applications. The marketplace is a smart contract that acts as escrow anytime you need the network to exchange computing assets.

Minting

A decentralized method that enables to generate a new token without the involvement of a central authority. It can either be a non-fungible token or a crypto coin.
Please note that minting an NFT (non-fungible token) is a different procedure. To mint an NFT, users usually sign up with a cryptocurrecny wallet on an NFT marketplace (or other platform). Then that create an NFT by uploading a file and paying for the creation. Once the transaction is verified, a new NFT is minted. This process to add NFTs to a blockchain allows creators to sell their photos, videos, and digital 3D objects. See “ERC-721” for more information.

N

nRLC

N in nRLC stands for nano RLC.
nRLC is the smallest subdivision of the RLC token, 1 RLC equals to 10^9 nRLC.
nRLC is the base unit for the PoCo, orders prices in a deal are calculated in nRLC.
See “Deal and PoCo” for more information.

O

Oilers

A term of affection used to designate the iExec community. Oilers are said to be holding “digital oil”. This term could also be in reference to the iExec whitepaper that states: “ iExec introduces a new paradigm in cloud computing: it will allow the trading of computing resources as commodities; in the same way we may observe with resources such as oil, gold or rice.”

Oracle

Data feeds that connect the off-chain world to blockchain products. Oracles act as a link between data that exists in traditional web2 and blockchain smart contracts, and are used to query data in smart contracts.

Oracle Factory

The iExec developer interface which allows users to create custom oracles. This interface permits users to create oracles for any type of data, without requiring coding experience, in a few minutes directly from their browser.

P

PoCo (Proof of Contribution)

The protocol used by iExec for consensus over off-chain computing.
The iExec platform provides a network where application providers, workers, and users can gather and work together. The fully decentralized nature of iExec implies that no single agent is trusted by default, and that those agents require incentives to contribute correctly. PoCo is a protocol designed to provides trust in an open and decentralized environment of untrusted machines. It also orchestrates the different contributions to the iExec network, ensuring payments are always fair and timely.

R

Requester

A person who buys the execution of a task in the iExec marketplace.

RLC (Run on lots of computers)

An Ethereum (ERC20) token launched during the iExec ICO in 2017. This utility token is used on the iExec marketplace to buy and sell computing assets.

Roadmap

Describes business and technical developments towards the adoption of the iExec protocol. The timeline for this roadmap is organized by quarter for an overview on ongoing projects and the future work. It is available here https://trello.com/b/oSCT5z09/iexec-adoption-roadmap

S

Scheduler

Organizes the work distribution for workers in a worker pool.

SDK (Software Development Kit)

A set of tools for interaction with smart contracts and the iExec’s marketplace. It is available as a CLI and JS library. Access SDK here: https://github.com/iExecBlockchainComputing/iexec-sdk

SGX (Secure Guard Extension by Intel)

Is a confidential computing technology developed by Intel.
See “Confidential Computing” for more information.

Sidechain

A controlled blockchain deployed over a data center and linked to Ethereum Mainnet with a bridge permitting to transfer assets between the two. iExec’s sidechain “Bellecour” is iExec’s mainnet bridged to ethereum mainnet.

Smart Contracts

The fundamental building blocks of Ethereum applications. They are computer programs stored on the blockchain that allows us to convert traditional contracts into digital parallels. Smart contracts are very logical - following an if this then that structure. This means they behave exactly as programmed and cannot be changed.
Nick Szabo used the term "smart contract" in 1994, when he wrote “an introduction to the concept” and, in 1996, “an exploration of what smart contracts could do”.

SMS (Secret Management Service)

An encrypted database where users' secrets are stored.

sRLC

S in sRLC stands for Staked RLC.
The sRLC balance of an account reflects the amount of RLC deposited by the account on the iExec PoCo smart contract. The sRLC balance of an account is managed by the PoCo smart contracts to ensure payments across the platform users. At any time, sRLC can be converted to RLC in the wallet by a withdrawal operation.

Staking (of RLC)

A mechanism in PoCo that involves a certain amount of Workers’ RLC being ‘locked-up’ during the execution of a task. To prevent malicious workers, the locked RLC is staked as a security deposit. Workers who computed a false result will lose their stake.
See “PoCo” for more information.

T

Task

A task within iExec is an instance where computing power is required.

Testnet

Used by programmers and developers to test and troubleshoot the aspects and features of a blockchain network to ensure it is ready for mainnet launch.

Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)

A hardware secure area used to guarantee the confidentiality, integrity, and ownership of code and data.
See” Confidential Computing ” for more information

W

Whitepaper

Explain the purpose and technology behind a project. Producing a whitepaper is a key step for a crypto startup to help investors understand technical information about its concept; whitepapers usually include a roadmap for how the project plans to grow and succeed. iExec’s whitepaper is available here https://iex.ec/wp-content/uploads/pdf/iExec-WPv3.0-English.pdf

Workers

Individuals or companies who own computing resources and are willing to make them available for the computation of tasks against payments in RLC. Similarly to blockchain miners, workers want a simple solution that will make their computer part of a large infrastructure that will take care of the details for them.

Worker Pools

Organize the contributions of Workers. A worker pool is a group of machines, often with similar characteristics, that is led by a Pool Manager.

Worker Pool Manager

In charge of proposing available computing resources (workers) to task requesters.

X

xRLC

X in xRLC stands for eXternal.
A xRLC is the native token of iExec sidechains (it means it is used as ETH on ethereum mainnet). A xRLC is a RLC bridged on an external sidechain and only the bridge can mint* xRLC.
The bridge helps maintain the parity between the main chain and the external chain. For example, one xRLC on the sidechain has the same value as 1 RLC on the mainchain.
See “Sidechain, Bellecour Sidechain or Minting” for more information.
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On this page
A
Application
B
Bellecour Sidechain
Beneficiary
C
Confidential Computing / Trusted Computing
D
Decentralized Application (DApp)
DApp Provider
Dataset
Dataset Provider
Deal
E
Ethereum
EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)
Explorer (iExec Explorer)
ERC-20
ERC-721
iExec Academy
I
ICO (Initial Coin Offering)
M
Mainnet
Marketplace (iExec)
Minting
N
nRLC
O
Oilers
Oracle
Oracle Factory
P
PoCo (Proof of Contribution)
R
Requester
RLC (Run on lots of computers)
Roadmap
S
Scheduler
SDK (Software Development Kit)
SGX (Secure Guard Extension by Intel)
Sidechain
Smart Contracts
SMS (Secret Management Service)
sRLC
Staking (of RLC)
T
Task
Testnet
Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)
W
Whitepaper
Workers
Worker Pools
Worker Pool Manager
X
xRLC