RPGF Nomination - Betrusted Project

The Betrusted Project set out to build a self-contained hardware and software platform for running sensitive applications with transparency and user verifiable integrity as design goals.

The current iteration is the Precursor, an FPGA based pocket sized personal computing device, running Xous, a memory safe microkernel OS written in rust.

While not being as fast or fully featured as modern smartphones, the goal is to provide users with enough capabilities to run e.g. cryptographic operations in a more trustworthy environment. This is achieved by using the minimal amount of proprietary hardware components and a design optimized to impede supply chain attacks, as well as detect and prevent tampering with minimal equipment. It also provides a verifiable hardware randomness source.

In addition to that, the prototype comes with a screen, keyboard, battery and nicely crafted enclosure, as to not sacrifice too much usability potential in the name of security.

The work of the project is going to become more relevant for cryptoeconomic ecosystems in the future, since cryptography will only be as secure as the platforms it runs on.

In my opinion, the project achieved a balance between security, transparency and user-friendliness which is unique in this space.