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What is the solution to Blockchain's main problem?

Oriol Val Gangonells // 18 de octubre de 2018

Blockchain R3 CyberSecurity

In a previous article, we talked about what Blockchain technology was about. Some examples of application in real life justifying their properties were also shown. We also talked about a possible problem that this technology related to the privacy that it had, that we would later solve … And in this article we are going to explain what it is about, and how it can be solved.

Blockchain and privacy

If you read the article where the blockchain technology is introduced, you will know what the problem is about, but I recommend that you take a look at it, to understand what comes next.

 As we explained, the problem lay in the little privacy that a public blockchain transmitted. This is because all the information is public and, even though everything is encrypted, it does not end up being a good practice. To solve this, there are some very complex mathematical constructions, called Snarks, which are based on zero knowledge tests. These tests consist of demonstrating something without teaching the demonstration, but that is fully demonstrated. Demonstrate something without teaching the demonstration, but that is demonstrated … that seems magic, I know, but we are going to put a practical example so that the idea is understood a little.

Example of green and red balls

Imagine a situation where there are two people, a colour-blind (Bob) and another non-colour-blind (Alice), a room and two balls inside, one green and one red. It should be noted that Bob will see the two balls of the same color, for simplicity, although it is not scientifically true, we will say that he sees the two green balls.

 

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We start the experiment, and Bob goes to the room to catch a ball and Alice stays outside, without seeing what Bob takes. Suppose he takes the green ball. When he goes out and asks Alice what color the ball is, it responds that it is green. Bob sees that Alice knows what ball he has caught, because he has hit the color. Next, Bob wants to know if, if he changes the ball, Alice will find out. To do this, Bob takes the other ball, which he sees the same as the other. When he leaves, he asks Alice if the ball has changed. Alice, as she sees it red, says yes, it is not the same as before. Bob, then, is convinced that Alice knows that he has changed the ball without knowing how Alice knows that he has changed the ball.

Blockchain Application of zero knowledge tests in Blockchain

If the previous example has been clear, the application on Blockchain will be understood perfectly. Now, suppose an election system made in Blockchain, for example. The problem with this system is the following. When I am going to vote, I give my ID, which will be public once I enter the network. With the evidence of zero knowledge, we would be able to demonstrate our identity and that we are that person without giving our ID, so it would never be made public and we would unequivocally demonstrate our identity. This behavior, you want to achieve through the already named Snarks.

And then… Blockchain is everything?

The correct answer is that it is a great option with very good properties. Therefore it does not mean that Blockchain is the solution of our lives. If this solution could be implemented, we could develop a project in a public Blockchain, where the data could be unequivocally credible without the need for demonstration. So, then, Blockchain could begin to grow with business or personal solutions publicly, but it will continue to be a solution to problems, together with Artificial Intelligence or other technologies already used today.

 From R3CyberSecurity we want to make a call to calmness and prudence. Blockchain needs to mature in all aspects, it is not advisable to precipitate its exit. That’s why we recommend that all technology take its time.

Oriol Val | Cybersecurity consultant en R3 CyberSecurity

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