How to protect information security and ownership of our data?
We all say that data is a gold mine of the future. But for us, the data producers, our “gold mine” have been stolen, resold, abused. What are the ways to protect information security and ownership of our data?
With the development of the Internet, internet companies collect and utilize various data generated by users on the Internet in order to provide a reliable basis for product innovation, functional optimization. and accurate targeting of users. The whole process creates great values in advancing our technologies and lead to the data-related industries to become “gold mine” of the new era. However, users, as providers and legal owners of data, do not reap the benefits of these advancements.
Users cannot profit from the data they produce. Instead, they may experience constant exposure of private data and risk losing personal property and even life and health. However, people seldom protect these data because of the high level of difficulty and the lack of profit. National organizations of different countries have also failed to keep up with the rapid development of technology. Apart from post-mortem chiding and fines, they have not been able to provide effective protection for the data security of existing users in advance.
So what new ideas can blockchain technology offer for the protection of user data?
The decentralized character of blockchain signifies that data is no longer fully controlled by a single center. The open and transparent traceability characteristics of blockchain allow anyone to trace the source of the data clearly, thereby protecting the user’s ownership of the data. Users can control the access to their own data and get the appropriate return by authorizing others to use it. However, the simple blockchain technology is too transparent: all transaction information is open and accessible. For more sophisticated usage, it is necessary to protect data privacy. The Cypherpunk movement, of which Nakamoto is a member, was designed to protect individual privacy. The combination of blockchain and privacy technology has long received a lot of attention to protecte users’ transaction data on the web. Such protection would prevent data from being accessed by others.
Currently, the most common digital currencies on the market have only privacy attributes, which often only guarantee the privacy of transaction data. Assuming that the user owns BTC and wants to use such private currency, the user is required to transfer the BTC to exchange and convert it into a private currency (e.g. ZEC), and then transfer the ZEC from the exchange to the Zcash mainnet using the SNARK scheme for private payment. Since cross-chain technology is still in its early stages, BTC to ZEC exchanges is now usually performed on central exchanges.
Another option is to use mixers, such as Hopper. This solution allows users to deposit a certain amount of ETH into the Hopper smart contract, as long as the user can provide zero-knowledge proof to show that they have indeed deposited the corresponding amount of ETH, they can transfer the same amount of ETHto other accounts. This transfer process will not disclose the information of the real sponsor. Such a scheme would require more users to use the contract in order to have a better masking effect.
It can be seen that the current operation of privacy token is cumbersome and the conditions for using mixers are limited. On top of that, these processes do not support computer programming, so it can only ensure the privacy of the transaction process and cannot carry more functions. If there is a privacy technology that can easily interact with smart contracts, it may provide greater value for protecting user data.
QuarkChain’s private token scheme has the opportunity to achieve just that. QuarkChain relies on a high degree of flexibility to allow heterogeneous shards to be built in a system where newly added shards can be completely different from the original shards with new features.
The architecture is shown in the diagram below.
QuarkChain team is deploying on one of the shards to handle private transactions and will generate native tokens of that particular shard. Thanks to the multi-native token function of the QuarkChain mainnet, this newly generated private token can be easily converted to QuarkChain’s native token QKC and other native tokens across the ecosystem, rather than going through the whole complex conversion required by BTC and ZEC. Users of QuarkChain mainnet can enjoy privacy protection as long as they transfer tokens into private shards through cross-shard transactions and replace them with private coins.
Once the privacy shards come online, all QuarkChain-based native tokens would automatically enjoy additional privacy functions on top of the original features.
Relying on the high-performance network and the support for heterogeneous shards from sharding technology, QuarkChain implements programmable privacy. On the one hand, users can make fast private transactions on the privacy shards. When they need to program, they only need to select other programmable shards and carry out cross-shard transactions smoothly within the network.
The mechanism and architectural design of QuarkChain enable this unique private payment feature for users in a way such that developers do not need to create a private key or cross-chain technology: one can simply complete conversion and payment within the same network. This solution will have a much lower cost compared to all the Internet-based solutions for data protection. With the continuous development of blockchain technology and the ever-increasing demand for protection of user data, QuarkChain believes that this function will have a bright future as an influential application.