The blockchain became the thing everyone talks about on the internet thanks to the cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, for whom it provides a place where all of the data related to them can be stored. Initially created for these virtual assets, it appeared to be useful otherwise, as it allows a higher level of security for data, among other things. However, your information safety and its privacy remain two different things, and it start to be an issue for those who intend to use the blockchain for their professional activity.
The blockchain and the changes it will bring
Our gratitude for the blockchain is to be turned towards Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the Bitcoin. The main goal of this technology at the beginning was to allow a complete delocalization of the virtual currency, and to avoid that a unique entity to control its circulation, its emission, and else. The code of the first blockchain has been used as the main basis for the majority of the existing blockchains that followed, and most of the existing cryptocurrencies are working based on the same principles.
The Ethereum blockchain is the first one that is intended to be used otherwise than for just providing an environment to a cryptocurrency. You can use it to store any information you want that requires some level of protection, or requires to be verified by a third party. The blockchain is said to be one of the most important revolutions in terms of information storing and sharing. Usually, data is saved on physical servers, which are under control of specific companies, and whose safety isn’t always guaranteed.
The solution of storing data on a Peer2Per network makes it possible to decentralize these data, and also to use processes of encryption that ensure their safety from malevolent people. Every information related to a supply chain or a specific project is also easily accessible by anyone who needs it, and they can access it very fast. The Internet of Things is the area where the blockchain is said to have brought the most significant changes, and it makes it feasible to use this technology as safely as possible.
The Blockchain and the information privacy issue
The Blockchain is a good platform for exchanging information, but there’s a problem: everything on the blockchain has to be public, due to the way it works. It’s the case because every information submitted to the blockchain must be verified by a member of the network in order for it to be added to the blockchain. Thus, you can’t use it if you need to share some information that has to stay private, otherwise you would get your company into trouble.
The biggest risk is that the other companies might know secret information related to your activities, such as a possible collaboration soon with another company, or anything else that they could use to surpass you. It has then become a necessity to optimize the encryption of the data of the blocks that compose the blockchain. It’s not easy because the goal is to reveal just what needs to be revealed in order for the block to be validated, without saying too much to the third party.
Some cryptocurrencies may hold a solution, such as the Zcash, who uses the Zero Knowledge Proof. This technology of encryption make it possible to encrypt data in a way that it is possible for a third party to verify that a transaction is actually occurring between two persons without being too invasive when it comes to the content of the said transaction. Not even the IP addresses need to be revealed in this case, and that’s a big advancement of privacy in the blockchain world.