Relayer Overview

In the Webb Protocol, the relayer is a multi-faceted oracle, data relayer, and protocol governance participant. Relayers fulfill the role of an oracle where the external data sources that they listen to are the state of the anchors for a bridge. Relayers, as their name entails, relay information for a connected set of Anchors on a bridge. This information is then used to update the state of each Anchor and allow applications to reference, both privately and potentially not, properties of data stored across the other connected Anchors.

The relayer system is composed of three main components. Each of these components should be thought of as entirely separate because they could be handled by different entities entirely.

  1. Private transaction relaying (of user bridge transactions like Tornado Cash’s relayer)
  2. Data querying (for zero-knowledge proof generation)
  3. Data proposing and signature relaying (of DKG proposals)

Private Transaction Relaying

The relayer allows for submitting proofs for privacy-preserving transactions against the Mixer, Anchor and VAnchor System. The users generate zero-knowledge proof data, format a proper payload, and submit it to a compatible relayer for submission.

Data Querying

The relayer also supplements users who need to generate witness data for their zero-knowledge proofs. The relayers cache the leaves of the trees of Mixer, Anchor or VAnchor that they are supporting. This allows users to query for the leaf data faster than querying from a chain directly.

Data Proposing and Signature Relaying

The relayer is tasked with relaying signed data payloads from the DKG’s activities and plays an important role as it pertains to the Anchor System. The relayer is responsible for submitting the unsigned and signed anchor update proposals to and from the DKG before and after signing occurs.

This role can be divided into two areas:

  1. Proposing
  2. Relaying

The relayer is the main agent in the system who proposes anchor updates to the DKG for signing. That is, the relayer acts as an oracle over the merkle trees of the Anchors and VAnchors. When new insertions into the merkle trees occur, the relayer crafts an update proposal that is eventually proposed to the DKG for signing.

The relayer is also responsible for relaying signed proposals. When anchor updates are signed, relayers are tasked with submitting these signed payloads to the smart contract SignatureBridges that verify and handle valid signed proposals. For all other signed proposals, the relayer is tasked with relaying these payloads to the SignatureBridge instances and/or Governable instances.

The responsibility for a relayer to the DKG (governance system) can be summarized as follows:

The relayers act as proposers of proposals intended to be signed by the distributed key generation protocol (DKG).

  1. The relayers are listening to and proposing updates.
  2. The DKG is signing these updates using a threshold-signature scheme.

We require a threshold of relayers (really proposers) to agree on the update in order to move the update into a queue for the DKG to sign from.

Dkg light

Contribute to the Webb Relayer

We are actively making improvements to the Webb Relayer. Check out the below Relayer repository and source documentation to start. Have feedback to share about a Webb relayer? We want to hear from you, share your thoughts here (opens in a new tab).

Please keep in mind that this repo is in active development, and may not be fully functional. If you find a bug, please report it here (opens in a new tab).