Tron has made lots of progress in all regards since it became independent from Ethereum by launching its own Main Net. The project and the community keep delivering and innovating, and they’re not about to stop. There’s a new development because Tron wants to make Tronix (TRX) a privacy coin.
That would break new ground for Tron, of course, but for the cryptosphere as a whole too because that would turn Tron into the only smart contract and decentralized platform with privacy features because neither Ethereum nor EOS are there.
And how will they achieve that, I hear you ask? Using cryptographic technology, as is usually the case in blockchain technology. More specifically, a technique called ZK-SNARKS. Let’s find out what that means.
ZK-SNARKS, what is it?
Let’s be quick and to the point. ZK-SNARKS is a bit of cryptographic trickery that’s already in use by Zcash, and it enables to wallets to transact between them without disclosing the transaction’s information.
In other words: you can perform a transaction that cannot be traced back to you or the other party while keeping the blockchain’s protocol-specific consensus mechanism. This is one of the ways in which a technology called “Zero Knowledge Proof” can be implemented.
This is one of the most impressive applications in cryptography as it allows somebody to share a specific bit of information without actually showing it or disclosing it. Even professional specialists consider this mathematical technique closer to magic than to math. But it’s there, and it works.
It’s all up to you
The new feature won’t be mandatory, so not every TRX transaction in the network will be private. Every individual user will be free to choose if they want to transact privately or not. Both the “open” and “private” modes will be available at all times, and every TRX holder will be able to switch between modes for any reason whatsoever.
There are circumstances in which the open mode can have advantages as keeping a traceable record would help very much with total transparency (like if you’re running for public office, or are already there). Starbucks, on the other hand, doesn’t need at all to know the way in which you and I have been using our beloved TRX tokens.
Why privacy matters
Everything we do online or offline is tracked in some way. Our banks keep a detailed record of every movement in our credit or debit cards, for instance. That’s been the traditional way of doing things for ages but think about the way in which Facebook, Google or some other third parties also keep track of everything you do and all the information you access over the web.
Justin Sun, Tron’s CEO and founder, referenced this as he was interviewed at the Bad Crypto Podcast “[People] don’t want their privacy stored by Facebook or Google because those people can more easily manipulate the data so they can push ads to you.
You don’t want to share those data with them. That’s why I think the decentralized way becomes a good way to do that [and limit how much data you are required to share].”
The Tron Foundation used its official Tweeter account to announce it’s tackling the privacy problem a couple of months ago:
In order to improve the privacy within the network, TRON will be implementing the zero-knowledge-proofs into our network in Q1 of 2019. $TRX https://t.co/OfWNZG9qXL
— TRON Foundation (@Tronfoundation) December 3, 2018
Tron: The future in crypto disruption
A decentralized smart contract and decentralized application platform that supports private transactions could do away with the monopoly that tech and data companies have over us.
That would go a long way in achieving Tron’s stated objective which is to decentralize the world wide web and get rid of central authorities. It remains a very ambitious goal that still looks very far away from completion. But Tron is just getting started, and this is the kind of news and technological developments that can turn that kind of dream into the new reality.
Image courtesy of PixaBay.