Like Bitcoin, Ethereum uses transparency as part of his security – thus the network can in some way guarantee that users will not be able to forge transactions. However, there are new concerns about transparency and potential problems that such open data can bring to companies.
Previously, privacy issues had faded into the background due to other urgent problems such as scaling, but much suggests that this area is beginning to attract the attention of developers. For example, last month, the Creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin made a statement about his new view on this issue.
«Now the security issues that interest me much more than a few years ago,» wrote
But it is not only Uterine several other developers and companies have created technology that could hide part of the information that is currently freely distributed in the network and that some users would like to protect.
«From the point of view of the blockchain we always talk about privacy, but the question more lies in the field of data security,» said Kahn Kishun (Can Kisagun), Enigma co-founder of a startup that focuses on creating technology to improve security for the network Ethereum.
This issue is becoming more important due to the fact that the European law on the protection of personal data (GDRP) entered into force in may this year. Despite the fact that it is still unclear how GDRP will affect companies working on Ethereum, it is clear that for some applications it will be a «killer» because they just can’t work if all the information will be disclosed.
According to Kiahuna, work countless projects on Ethereum, including those relating to voting, location data, social networks and personal information is likely to be limited to the radical transparency of the blockchain.
Steiner, Jutta (Jutta Steiner), President of Parity Technologies, the second largest software vendor for Ethereum, also noted that without the layer of privacy Ethereum will not reach its goal of becoming a decentralized global computer. Steiner said:
«I believe that blockchain itself is a powerful technology, but it becomes even more interesting when you combine it with other cryptographic tools that allow you to create the perfect anonymous global the computer on which you can rely on and which works very quickly.»
Parity is one of the companies that is at the forefront of the development of technologies to improve privacy for Ethereum. Last month, Parity released Secret Store — software, which encrypts information by key distribution to eligible members, who can access it. Thus, the program allows the controlled clients to create and manage cryptographic secrets on Ethereum.
«It encrypts both a location and the actual code of the smart contract, so, assuming that you believe that persons, permitting authorities will not collude, it ensures the confidentiality of any transaction that is a contract and implements models,» explained Steiner.
While Steiner emphasized that the Secret Store is still at an early stage and has not been examined by third party auditors, the project is already being tested in partnership with the company’s Global Farmer Network.
«They use technology in order to ensure the data exchange in the supply chain between parties who do not trust each other,» said Steiner.
And though Steiner said that the software used in controlled customers Parity works fine, in the future the company hopes to release the technology for the core network Ethereum. Steiner said that in the industry there are many innovations that have yet to bring to mind — decentralized technologies that have been banned because of the risks of transparency Ethereum for confidential information.
Secret Store and other privacy tools «will lead to many innovations in the industry, which previously were not available to us because of the strict restrictions in the area of privacy,» said Steiner. «Medical data, for example, should not be placed on the centralized server, and be managed by the authority, which is required for their disclosure».
And because all this concerns the observance of GDPR, ahead of the developers can expect more problems.
Indeed, Parity has already stopped
the tool support identification — Parity ICO Passport Service which compare personality with the addresses of Ethereum to allow companies to comply with the KYC requirements in accordance with the law. However, Steiner said that kind of GDPR is consistent with the concept of Parity of confidentiality.
In the upcoming release of «secret contracts» provide a trusted execution environment for developers Dapp that allows you to deploy smart contracts Ethereum without publication of this information in the network. This trusted execution environment is a private repository, in which Enigma stores data. Thus, even nodes that performed the calculation, I do not know its contents. However, verification of this calculation is returned to the Ethereum blockchain, so there is immutable transparent record of the transaction.
«We are starting with a trusted execution environment, simply because this increases the convenience of our customers, developers building applications on the Ethereum», — said Kishun, one of several MIT alumni who are the founders of Enigma.
In the future the startup plans to introduce a more decentralized approach, using multi-party as a way to improve the security of the dataset. Although this approach may bring a compromise in performance, said Kishun, it is more reliable when it comes to sensitive data.
While Enigma plans in the future to use their technology for other platforms, smart contracts, the team is now focused on solving privacy issues Ethereum.
«Ethereum, obviously, now has the most vibrant and knowledgeable community and we want to leverage this dynamic industry developers,» said Kishon. «I think that in relation to Cryptoprotected fair to say that you are as strong as much your community, and that is why we have chosen this vector of development».
The secret with a temporary lock
Kimono – a project created within 36 hours of the hackathon Ethereum in Argentina, which took place last month. The project aims to privacy and is committed to combine encryption technology and game theory.
Conceived four developers Hill Street Labs, a startup from San Francisco — Paul Fletcher-hill (Paul Fletcher-Hill), Feridun MERT Celebicum (Feridun Mert Celebiat), it’s «CAMMER» Graham (Graham Kaemmer) and Daniel Kew (Daniel Que), the project aims to solve the problems that have been discussed at length in the industry of blockchain – secret with a time lock (time-locked secret).
Kimono works by combining the type of algorithm, called Shamir»s Secret Sharing, which splits the data into parts and uses a system of motivation that the participants disclose at the agreed time. If users try to circumvent the system by falsifying data or publishing them too soon, they will be punished.
While other similar methods such as the scheme of fixing and disclosure are already in place, the Kimono aims to improve the experience of user interaction with time locks.
«We consider the concept of temporary locks as a basic tool, and we would like to improve it and bring it to a level where it will become a really decentralized and trusted,» said Celebit.
Looking ahead of Telebit suggested that the incentive scheme can be extended so that time will not be the only variable that triggers the secret.
«We can find a way to structure the tool, for example, to make the data revealed after a specific event, not just relying on the function of time as a variable, but possibly to other conditions that must be met in the blockchain» he said.
The project is now being tested in a test network Ethereum Rinkeby and will eventually be integrated with the upcoming project Hill Street Labs. Speaking about the advantages of this technology, Telebit said:
«Temporary lock is a pretty useful basic tool for decentralized networks, because as more and more people goes to Ethereum, will increase the demand for privacy and anonymity».
Finally, under the proposal, modify the code called EIP 1024-created by alabi Tope (Tope Alabi), seeks to add a simple encryption-decryption on the Ethereum chain. Explaining the offer, Alabi said:
«EIP 1024 allows you to generate key pair encrypt using your private key Ethereum. Then this new encryption key pair can be used for secure data transmission to any other address Ethereum».
Again, while similar technologies already exist, for example, has a Parity and transmission Protocol Whisper, EIP 1024 dictates a standard that will work across the network Ethereum.
«This means that application developers do not need to worry about creating multiple implementations of encryption so they can just focus on building your app,» said Alabi.
According to him, the importance of the standard, which will work to provide secure messaging and transfer of tokens will gain momentum, as new members join the community Ethereum.
«Privacy may be an incentive that will attract the blockchain Ethereum next billion users,» said Alabi. «In the world of the blockchain where your public and private keys – this is essentially your digital identity, we need a way to transmit sensitive information so that she could not be censored any Central authority».