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Secure Asset Transfer Protocol

Document Proposed charter Secure Asset Transfer Protocol WG (satp)
Title Secure Asset Transfer Protocol
Last updated 2023-01-20
State External Review (Message to Community, Selected by Secretariat) Initial chartering
WG State Proposed
IESG Responsible AD Paul Wouters
Charter edit AD Paul Wouters
Telechat date On agenda of 2023-02-02 IESG telechat
Send notices to (None)


There is currently an interoperability problem in many digital asset
networks (frequently shortened to "network" below for simplicity), where
assets in one network cannot be moved easily to another network. The
problem is more acute in the case of private asset networks, where
external entities have no visibility into the state of an asset in the
private network. An example is regulated digital representations of
real-world private assets, such as property ownership certificates, and
regulated government-issued digital currencies.

The goal of the Secure Asset Transfer Protocol (SATP) working group will
be to develop a standard protocol which operates between two peer
gateways for the purpose of transferring digital assets between an
originator in the origin network to a beneficiary in destination
network. The resulting protocol that will be agnostic with respect to
the type of asset being transferred although.


To begin addressing these challenges, SATP will employ the gateway
paradigm as a means for digital assets to be moved from one network to
another through a standardized asset transfer protocol implemented
between peer gateways.

Each gateway represents one digital asset network, and SATP allows
gateways to perform a voluntary transfer of a digital asset from the
origin network to a destination network in such a way that evidence of
the transfer can be verified by a third-party audit in the case of
disputes. Both the origin and destination networks are assumed to share
a common understanding of the digital asset.

There might be several gateways representing the same digital asset
network. It is assumed that the same peer gateways representing the
networks are participating in the entire asset transfer sequence from
the beginning to the end.

A key requirement for transferring assets is ensuring that the digital
asset is valid in one network only at any given time. This means that
SATP must ensure that the properties of atomicity, consistency,
isolation, and durability (ACID) of the underlying networks are
satisfied in an asset transfer. Commitments and rollbacks must be
supported in the case of an asset mid-transfer failure.


The deliverables of the SATP Working Group will be as follows:

    SATP Architecture: The immediate scope of work for SATP will be a base
    architecture that utilizes the gateway paradigm that ensures a common
    semantic understanding to be shared among the modes of asset transfers,
    data sharing and coordinated asset exchanges. The starting point for the
    architecture document will be draft-hardjono-sat-architecture.

    Secure Asset Transfer Protocol: Concurrent with the development of the SATP
    architecture will be the Secure Asset Transfer Protocol that implements the
    transfer of a digital asset from one gateway to another, satisfying the
    ACID properties.

    SATP Use-Cases: Various real-world use-cases will be collected and
    described succinctly, with the goal of providing the background to the SATP

SATP will define common identifiers, message flows and payloads for
transferring digital assets. A common terminology will be defined in the
architecture document.

SATP will reuse existing IETF standards for various aspects of the
protocol modes, including but not limited to secure channel
establishment (TLS), payload formats (e.g., JSON, CBOR, ProtoBuf, etc.),
digital signature and encryption (e.g., JOSE, COSE, etc.), digital
certificates and tokens (e.g., PKIX, JWT, etc.), and others. SATP may
also reuse existing standards from other organizations (e.g., W3C with

Note that for the protocol to work, agreements will likely be needed
between participating digital asset networks that intend to use SATP;
these legal or other frameworks are outside of the scope of the SATP.
This assumption is akin to how the BGP protocol is frequently run
between parties that have previously agreed to route IP packets.

Proposed milestones

Proposed milestones

Date Milestone Associated documents
Jul 2024 ATP Asset Transfer Protocol document draft-hargreaves-sat-core
Jul 2024 SATP Architecture document draft-hardjono-sat-architecture
Jan 2024 SATP Use-Cases document draft-ramakrishna-sat-use-cases