While protecting your privacy may seem hopeless given the complexity and insatiable cost to protect today's IT systems, there is a revolution in cryptography underway that will enable your information to be organized and exchanged with unprecedented security and privacy.
In 2008, the Bitcoin paper was published, ushering in the era of trustless transactions based on cryptography and proof of work hash puzzles. Shortly thereafter, Craig Gentry published a paper proving that with Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE), it was possible to securely compute over encrypted data without decrypting it. Although it was one trillion times too slow for practical use, this amazing discovery led to a flurry of research. In 2011, Google, MIT, and DARPA began searching for practical searchable encryption so information could be searched without making it vulnerable. Ultimately, their solutions were not fast enough and in some important cases, leaked an unacceptable amount of information.
In 2016, Craxel’s founders applied the math involved in probabilistic spatial indexing to achieve a breakthrough in high performance searchable encryption. This breakthrough makes it practical to organize and search strongly encrypted records without decrypting them or having the keys present on the servers. Unlike simple deterministic encryption, Craxel’s proprietary technology even supports range and spatial query of encrypted records. Although this breakthrough is not yet widely known, it means that your information can be organized with unprecedented security and privacy.
At the same time, Craxel also conceived of a highly efficient, highly parallel, Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism, a second breakthrough we refer to as “massively parallel consensus.” Massively parallel BFT consensus ensures strong consistency in a distributed ledger at incredible scale. Black Forest Distributed Ledger's approach to validation and consensus is distinct from “blockchain” type distributed ledgers in that it moves the business logic validation to the application layer while maintaining cryptographic validation within its consensus protocol. This approach allows value and information to be exchanged with unprecedented security and privacy.
Privacy on the blockchain: trustless and immutable?
It is commonly accepted that blockchains like Bitcoin, which rely on Proof of Work (POW) and massive decentralization, are uniquely useful for the creation and transfer of information and value in the form of a virtual currency. One of the key objectives of Bitcoin was immunity from government interference. Proof of Work to support massive decentralization may be the only feasible way to meet that objective. However, the Bitcoin blockchain was also remarkable because it was one of the first examples of a trustless ecosystem, i.e. a method of exchange and delivery where you did not need to trust a third party intermediary. While massive decentralization may be the only way to achieve a high degree of immunity from government interference, it is not the only way to achieve trustless and immutable transactions.
Global cryptocurrencies are unique in their ability to operate outside government regulation. However, massive decentralization is simply unnecessary for use cases that must operate in regulated jurisdictions. In fact, blockchains based on the Bitcoin paradigm of decentralization and POW simply cannot deliver the performance, scale, or privacy required for these use cases anyway. Many attempts to solve the performance, scale, and privacy issues have abandoned the key trust(trustless) model that provides the possibility of disintermediation. The new trust model simply can't be met by technologies that seek to mimic blockchain but require trusted components such as notaries, endorsement nodes, validators, state channels, etc. Various attempts to adapt blockchain technology for uses in ways it was never designed for are resulting in a series of convoluted tradeoffs within tradeoffs, leaving the question of privacy at scale unanswered.
Privacy is no longer relegated just to financial services. There is a growing expectation of privacy and control across all aspects of our personal data. However, achieving privacy on a blockchain or distributed ledger is not a trivial technical challenge. Instead of trading trustless and immutable properties for performance, security, privacy and scale, Craxel has found a way to deliver all of these properties. When high performance searchable encryption is paired with massively parallel consensus we can ensure the integrity of each ledger, even when the content of each transaction remains encrypted and unknown except to those holding the key pair. In light of the number of tradeoffs being made to achieve higher degrees of privacy, searchable encryption plus massively parallel consensus provides a breakthrough opportunity to deliver trustless and immutable transactions with unprecedented security and privacy.