Privacy: Zero Knowledge Proofs

DanielJuly 11, 2018

Komodo’s technology vision is anchored to the 4 Pillars of Blockchain Technology: security, scalability, interoperability, and adaptability. In addition, Komodo's technology was founded with a strong respect for individual privacy. This post will provide an in-depth explanation of all of Komodo’s optional privacy features.

blockchain privacy

Is Privacy Really That Important?

To some people, privacy is simply not that important. They either think a lack of privacy is the price we must pay to use social media and modern technology, or they feel that they have nothing to hide and don’t see the point in keeping their personal data private.

Other people feel that privacy is important and go to great lengths to make sure their personal data remains confidential. These people are extremely concerned about both corporate and government overreach in the data collection of private citizens.

While we here at Komodo Platform believe that personal privacy is extremely important, we respect each individual’s right to form their own personal opinion. We believe that each person should have the right to choose whether or not to keep their personal information private.

If privacy isn’t a big deal to you, then you shouldn’t be forced to make extra efforts or pay extra fees for the sake of privacy. On the other hand, if you do value privacy, then you should have every opportunity to protect your personal information and data.

That’s why Komodo offers users the option to make untraceable transactions with the Jumblr feature.

Jumblr: Komodo’s Native Currency Shuffler

Jumblr is Komodo Platform’s native privacy feature. To put it very simply, JUMBLR takes non-private KMD funds from a transparent (non-private) address, moves the funds through a series of private and non-traceable addresses—which disconnects the currency trail and anonymizes the funds—and then returns the funds to a new transparent address of the user’s choosing.

The anonymization of funds is made possible by zk-SNARK technology. zk-SNARKs stands for zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge. This just means that two computers—a “prover” and a “verifier”—can validate transfers of value or information with 100% mathematical certainty while having zero knowledge about the other participant in the transaction. It is a trustless system of verification.

Komodo is a fork of ZCash, so the KMD blockchain retains both the zk-SNARK protocol and the ZCash parameters. zk-SNARK technology is the industry standard in private transaction protocols.

JUMBLR is an optional privacy feature. If users don’t mind their transactions being transparent and visible on Komodo’s public ledger, then they may make ordinary KMD transfers. There is one large advantage to making public transfers—there is no need to download the KMD blockchain and transactions can be made in Lite Mode (SPV Mode).

At the same time, users who wish to keep their transactions private have every right and every opportunity to do so. JUMBLRis built into Agama, Komodo Platform’s native wallet, and can be used for a small fee (0.3% of the transaction). In order to use the JUMBLR feature, users must download the KMD blockchain and use Agama in Native Mode.

For a more detailed discussion of JUMBLR, please read Part IV of the Komodo Whitepaper.  

Leveraging Komodo’s Privacy Features

There are two additional ways in which Jumblr can provide privacy to users on Komodo Platform.

First, with use of Komodo’s Jumblr technology, investors have the option to buy into dICOs launched on Komodo Platform with complete confidentiality. This means users can purchase a new project’s coins or tokens with KMD that has been made anonymous.

This offers benefits to both the entrepreneurs and the investors. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to accept funds from individuals who may not have contributed to the crowdfund, or who may have contributed but in a lesser amount, if this privacy feature were not available.

At the same time, investors have the option to keep their financial transactions private. Again, this is not a requirement but an option available to those who wish to exercise their right to privacy.

Second, Jumblr can be used to keep transactions of any coin or token private on Komodo’s decentralized exchange (DEX). Users must simply trade for KMD to shuffle the funds. In other words, transfers of any coin or token can be kept private by trading for KMD on Komodo’s DEX, anonymizing that KMD with Jumblr, then swapping the KMD back to the original currency via atomic swaps.

For the time being, users must carry out each of these steps manually. However, we recognize the need for simplicity in the blockchain industry. That’s why we plan on making the entire coin-shuffling process easier for all coins and tokens integrated onto Komodo’s DEX. Users who wish to keep transactions confidential will be able to do so by simply selecting the appropriate option.

This automated universal coin shuffler is not yet in the development stage but it is a task we seek to complete in the future. Keep an eye out for this to appear on the upcoming roadmap.

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