Privacy-preserving tech can help prevent hacks in Web3: Beldex blockchain chairman

Blockchains have made it possible for the user to own a stake in the Internet. However, the inherent transparent nature of blockchains and their associated smart contracts often lead to hacks and exploits. These security exploits can be addressed by adding a layer of privacy to these open-source peer-to-peer networks.

Thus, privacy-preserving technology is essential to today’s Web3 applications and smart contracts. Privacy networks like Beldex address the problem of irreversible security exploits efficiently

LiveMint spoke to Afanddy Bin Hushni, chairman of Beldex, which is an open-source blockchain building privacy in Web3.


1. How can DApps balance scalability, security, and decentralization with privacy?

Blockchains today face what is known as the scalability trilemma, which allows a decentralized network to assume only two of the three attributes: scalability, security, and decentralization. Most Layer 1 networks today sacrifice scalability for the other two and hence they’re unable to compete with mainstream centralized service providers. On the other hand, some layer 2 networks achieve scalability by compromising on decentralization.

And to achieve all three with privacy intact is even more of a challenge since privacy-preserving blockchains use mixing technology that significantly increases the size of their transactions.

However, new developments in the field of blockchain privacy and peer-to-peer payments such as succinct proving systems like zkSNARKs, STARKs, and payment channels offer us a way to reduce the size of transactions while simultaneously improving scalability.

2. What are the new developments in privacy protection on blockchain and their applications?

At present, networks like Monero, ZCash, and Beldex use different privacy-preserving techniques that offer privacy to blockchain transactions. While Monero, and subsequently Beldex, use Ring Confidential Transactions and bulletproofs, ZCash uses the zero-knowledge proof system zkSNARKs that needed a trusted setup until May this year. Trusted setups require an initial setup phase to produce parameters that allow users to construct and verify private transactions. This was dubbed the “ceremony.” However, ZCash’s Halo 2 upgrade removed the need for a trusted setup.

There are several other zero-knowledge proving systems and scalability enhancements like sharding that are being researched. Beldex is exploring similar techniques that would help us in developing scalable and private DApps.

3. There has been a trend for DeFi, NFT, and similar others. Will there be a trend for privacy?

While DeFi, NFTs, and others have held the narrative in recent times, there’s definitely more awareness about privacy today than ever before. More people have begun to realize the importance of data & financial privacy in their digital lives. Cyber threats and state-sponsored surveillance are increasing by the day, the pegasus spyware is a good example of that. Privacy is essential. It might be tomorrow or the day after that or someday in the far future, but the trend for privacy will come. Until then, we just have to educate the masses and keep building tools that help attain that goal.

4. What does the Beldex Network aim to achieve?

The Beldex network aims to be the private anonymous internet where people do not leave a digital trail or a footprint of their lives -to build or rebuild the internet as it was supposed to be – free and private. Beldex is a collective of Web3 applications that are scalable, interoperable, and private, built on top of the Beldex network. Of course, we also understand that we need to find the right balance between privacy and security so that the tools we build are used for the greater good. For this purpose, Beldex has partnered with Geometry Labs and is currently researching scaling techniques, cryptographic protocol enhancements, and zero-knowledge proving systems as a solution to private messaging, transactions, and smart contracts on the Beldex chain.

5. How do the DApps you build help with free speech?

The BChat messenger only requires a BChat ID which is your on-chain identity on Beldex. It does not require your phone number or email address. To begin a conversation, all you need to do is share your BChat ID with your friend. This ID is randomly generated on-chain and cannot be linked to your real-world identity. Messages are encrypted and routed through the nodes on the Beldex network. So, your conversations remain private at all times.

Our upcoming DApp, BelNet, is an onion router-based decentralized VPN service that can be used to anonymously surf the internet and access unstoppable domains and applications on BelNet.

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