Twenty years ago, the idea of digital art or immersive worlds accessible through chunky goggles would have seemed like the stuff of sci-fi books. But in 2023, we now see physical worlds spilling over into digital spaces known as metaverse. Art worth millions of dollars secured in codes and codes of cryptography now changes the way art is being created, owned, and purchased.
However, the evolution of blockchain is not limited to innovation alone. As technology advances, existing components in the blockchain space also need useful/necessary modifications to improve user experience.
This is where Namada Protocol comes in, guns blazing, to incorporate true privacy into the core of public blockchains. In a detailed dive into the backstory behind Namada’s vision for privacy, this article is going unpack what privacy entails, why Namada Protocol is dedicated to the adventure of establishing true privacy on blockchains, and how the network is going to achieve this.
The Truth About Present-Day Public Blockchains
Although the massive adoption of blockchain technology is still a work in progress, it’s no news that the way we transfer and store valuable data has been transformed forever. In 2023, the focus is on integrating modifications that ensure that blockchain tech lives up to claims of its immutability and decentralization.
And when it comes to privacy on public blockchains, there’s a lot of work to be done. As the world becomes an ever-mutating, interconnected web of people and industries, the need for privacy and transparency escalates coupled with the need to balance the two.
What does privacy in a public blockchain mean?
To begin with, an open blockchain is an infrastructure that powers transactions and digital ledgers from individuals across the world even without these people ever meeting over coffee. There’s no central authority managing this blockchain and anonymity protects individual identities while the blockchain itself remains transparent and thanks to the permanent, unalterable quality of transactions.
The flip side of this is the privacy this type of blockchain provides is not sufficient enough to be considered total privacy. Due to its public nature, every Tom, Dick, or Harry can see data logged onto the blockchain. This compromises user privacy because they simply cannot choose what information goes public and what doesn’t.
Namada Protocol presents a three-tier infrastructure that completely solves this problem.
The first layer is downloadable open-source software that makes shielded payments to future and existing networks by building on prior protocols. To top this off, the asset-agnostic nature of the Namada Protocol means that blockchains are not the only aspects that experience the power of true privacy. Under the Namada Protocol, no asset will be restricted from making the rounds as long as they have been retrofitted with Namada’s privacy infrastructure.
The second tier of Namada as a solution is NAM, its fungible native utility token. To facilitate incentivization on the network, NAM is designed for consistent distribution and reuse.
This amplifies the third tier of Namada Protocol which is community centeredness. To bridge private and public spaces, Namada Protocol boasts a flourishing, goal-oriented community more than capable of keeping the dream alive.
Why Namada’s Vision For Privacy Is Important
The need for a multi-chain asset-agnostic protocol like Namada manifests in three challenges:
- Few blockchain applications and solutions are built with the intent of providing maximum security
- High difficulty level of establishing privacy in crypto despite several assets and transactions going live on public blockchains
- Failure of ecosystems to achieve true privacy since Zcash’s launch in 2016
Since public blockchains became a thing of the decade, privacy has evolved in three forms: as a service, privacy as asset, and as a default. In the era of privacy as a service, Ethereum was launched on Tornado Cash but privacy was still not fully attained despite the interoperability of blockchains. To scale this challenge, one needs the help of protocols like Namada, Nocturne 5, Tornado Cash, and others which provide privacy as a service. By opting for these protocols, users enjoy privacy without having to move their assets back and forth on different crypto ecosystems.
The second era which is privacy as an asset was launched by Zcash on Bitcoin in an attempt to foster privacy through a crypto token. However, this era did not see interoperability and users could not use Zcash with their preferred asset. Privacy was only established when users chose Zcash.
These two eras have birthed the dream future of privacy; a third era where interoperability and privacy become one thereby enabling privacy as a default. To arrive at this level, the Herculean task of privacy in more than just theory and speculation needs to be achieved. The idea of this quality of privacy in all practicality is a challenge yet to be scaled. But, Namada Protocol is hands down in the mud to bring this to reality.
How Namada Will Achieve Privacy
In three major steps, Namada Protocol can fulfill its dream for privacy with solid metrics to determine if objectives have been met or not. We will explore this at length in this segment.
The first step is to execute a plan that involves starting the privacy retrofitting with Ethereum, Cosmos, and finally, other blockchains in the stack. On Ethereum, Namada Protocol can start building by finding out areas where Ethereum users need privacy and cranking some Namada privacy into the blockchain: shielded assets, shielded voting, shielded data, and other actions.
To complete this integration, the Ethereum community needs to be interfaced with to be kept abreast of what Namada Protocol will and won’t do on their blockchain. And how this protocol aligns with existing regulations. To bring privacy to Cosmos, Namada Protocol will be collaborating with other privacy champions like Anoma, and Penumbra.
Building on Cosmos will be particularly easy thanks to the high interoperability levels of Cosmos. Here, privacy will be incorporated into everything from assets, transactions, and donations to shield levels on wallets. The rest of the stack will be incorporated with privacy from end to end. This includes privacy at core layers like indexing, application, and networking.
The second step in Namada’s mission can be split into other sub-steps namely: wide-scale education on privacy, collaborations with privacy development in view, collective values, and spreading the privacy message by actively using privacy.
Generally, the blockchain industry has come to associate privacy with concealment or hiding information. In reality, this is not the case.
Privacy is more about users having autonomy over what they reveal on blockchains can only be corrected with proper education which can take all forms. To drive this home, Namada Protocol will be building on past efforts other protocols have made to drive true privacy while assisting other protocols that share the same vision with Namada. Two final sub-steps Namada will be topping these strategies with are maintaining an understanding of the collective vision and actively using privacy.
The final step in this game plan is getting everyone with valuable contributions to join the club. So far, it’s been a privilege to work with the best of the best in blockchain privacy such as Aleo, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Cosmos, Penumbra, and others. However, the alliance can expand to accommodate the privacy needs of public blockchains as they evolve.
Blockchain technology has come a long way since it became everyone’s one-stop shop for storing data and powering innovations. With each spurt of growth it experiences, the need to improve existing infrastructure increases. That is why the Namada Protocol has pitched a tent to focus on one major problem in public blockchains: privacy.
Using their native token, open-source protocol, and community, the network is steamrolled by a vision to establish a bridge between the public and private worlds. This would be achieved through education, collaboration, and utilization of privacy as a service and as an asset. Though end-to-end privacy has been a work in progress since 2016, Namada is enthusiastic about taking up the challenge of enabling full, wide-scale privacy at all levels of public blockchains.
Learn more about Namada :
Website : https://namada.net
Docs : https://docs.namada.net/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/namada
Blog : https://namada.net/blog
Talks : https://namada.net/talks
Community Docs : https://namada.net/community/docs