All things Super Protocol: Building With Unknown Unknowns In Mind

Super Protocol
3 min readFeb 23, 2023

For almost a year we’ve been covering the topic of confidential computing from the technology enabling it to the value it could bring to the Web3 table. It’s natural to talk about things you know and have a decent amount of expertise. However today we’ll try something different: what we don’t know and how that impacts our decisions at Super Protocol.

In 2002 Pentagon press-briefing Donald Rumsfeld, a United States Secretary of Defense at the time, gave a brilliant answer considering the future possibilities “..there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Building an infrastructural project in a developing industry means working mostly with the known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

The worst thing you can do is consider yourself an expert and a visionary in every field. You become fixed within a narrow vision of your expertise and overconfidence. In order to succeed we have to admit not knowing the exact way the future would unfold, but we can make our decisions and technological choices based on many possibilities.

Here are a couple of tangible examples of known unknowns we have to account for:

  • IntelSGX is a current market leader and a go-to solution for confidential computing, but we can not possibly know, if that would stay true five, ten, or twenty years from now, so we have to make SP’s core hardware agnostic;
  • The backbone of cloud tech is here and well known, still there’s a ton of ongoing research on how to build and scale complex high-load distributed systems. Meaning Super Protocol has to be flexible enough to incorporate and support future technological advancements;
  • The fight for privacy and security is a tough one, we can be sure that the nature of how big tech handles our data will change, but there are still technicalities that might define everything else.

As for the unknown unknowns, it gets tricky, still, we can do our best by making

  • A trustless, permissionless, and secure web of the future is yet to see mass adoption, and who knows how it will look like and operate by then;
  • Sometimes adoption comes from an angle that the product developers never originally intended or accounted for, this might be the case with Web3 or even Super Protocol. The best scenario to implement emerging new technologies that would pave their way to mass adoption is yet to be seen;
  • Social trends shift in a blink of an eye, if tomorrow some new supergroup with a demand for confidential computations emerges with enough resources to satisfy it — we’d better be ready.

Working in the Super Protocol feels more like video game development. Instead of building a specific product with fixed features, architecture, and a goal its users want to achieve (JTBD approach), we focus more on flexibility, ecosystem, and a set of tools for the community to build and tweak on to of the core functions. This makes us more prepared for the things ahead!

If you’re a researcher, or developer in the fields of digital identity and privacy, data security, confidential computations, distributed systems architecture, and machine learning infrastructure (data engineering, CI/CD pipelines) — we’d be happy to connect!

There are things we don’t know, which doesn’t mean that we should not at least try to look around and find out.



Super Protocol

Super Protocol, the confidential cloud and marketplace for Web3 and AI. Powered by confidential computing.