Babbitt observation | Ask yourself with common sense, do you really need the privacy of the blockchain?

Privacy is a very modern thing

There is a topic that is often discussed, called "human beings who lose privacy under the Internet." But if you go to understand the history of life in China and the West for thousands of years, you will find that "privacy" is a very modern thing.

The ancient Roman writer Pliny wrote in his book Nature History: "The wealth of the family can't be hidden and can't be hidden. The prince's mansion can open the door, the bedroom and the private apartment are unobstructed, all the deep secrets. It was thus exposed and displayed before everyone.” And in the medieval bedside party, the bed was once a place for social gatherings, and the host, the guest, and even the servant slept on a bed.

Until 1770, when US President John Adams voiced his voice, he said: "I have no moral or other obligation to disclose my annual personal expenses or income to the outside world." The United States also issued the first privacy act, "1710." The Post Office Act prohibits post office staff from splitting private letters. This rule seems to be a bit ridiculous today.

Another invention that connects humans is the telephone. When it first became popular, the telephone line was surprisingly expensive. So people will choose to share the line with their neighbors. This means that as long as they are willing, they can "listen" to your little secrets on the phone at any time. In fact, such accidents happen from time to time.

We can see that with the development of technology such as architecture, mail, and telephone, the concept of privacy is also expanding. But human needs for privacy are always lagging behind the convenience needs of new technologies. The same is true of the Internet. Although the European Union enacted the Data Protection Directive in 1995, it is only an instruction and is not very effective. Until the twenty-five years later, on May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulations were officially implemented, and it was considered the strongest law against residents' personal data and privacy protection.

See privacy needs from spoof games

To say so much is not to defend the history of the Internet giant's invasion of privacy, but to explore a question, how much privacy do we need now and for the foreseeable future? In addition, as a reporter for the blockchain media, we have to focus more on it. What is the level of demand for privacy coins?

When you were at school, did you play a spoof game called "time, place, people, events"? The rules of the game are that each person writes these four elements and then joins them together to form a sentence. For example: the moonlight night male pottery friends in the sea to stir up the coins, just look at each word is normal, together is like a sinister mysterious ceremony. And what I want to say is that these four elements just reflect our core needs for privacy.

The first is time. I have always felt that the fear of privacy violations in modern society is more due to the sword of Damocles hanging over the head. What do you mean? The advent of the Internet and the era of big data makes it easier for us to be able to trace back everything afterwards. This is terrible. When you think about how many diaries have been torn down, are you particularly unwilling to look directly at some of your past behaviors and thoughts? This actually shows that we are growing constantly, but it also reflects a demand, that is, the right to be forgotten.

The European Union proposed the concept of “forgotten right” in relevant data protection laws as early as 1995, and then proposed to enact laws from 2012 until May 13, 2014, ruling that the privacy of ordinary citizens has “right to be forgotten”. According to this, search engine giants like Google are required to delete data related to personal privacy as required by the parties.

Followed by the location, now we have WeChat sports records on foot, commuter taxis have drip records, long-distance travel by plane, trains have the same journey, eLong record, we are also using GPS to obtain data while it is being acquired. But privacy protection in this regard is also receiving increasing attention.


My strongest impression of GPS comes from the anime "Detective Conan", who often uses chewing gum to stick the positioning device on the tracked object and then follow his skateboard track. But in fact, according to Japanese law, Conan’s behavior is illegal. On March 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of Japan’s Supreme Court first made an illegal judgment on the investigation of GPS search without obtaining a court order, that is, the scouts installed the GPS terminal in the investigation without the knowledge of the object. On the target vehicle, according to the vehicle GPS or mobile phone GPS positioning function, the location information is obtained to determine the detection method of the whereabouts.

Finally, people and events, we can finally talk about encrypted digital currency based on blockchain technology. Blockchain has a strong demand for accurate time recording, so there will be a concept of timestamps. Of course, the time here is not the concept of physical time, but the order of transactions. The location is not within the scope of the blockchain, it is physical data, but also the data under the chain. To explain more, the address of the blockchain system is not the physical "location" mentioned above, but belongs to the "person" category because it is equivalent to a traditional account.

Blockchain privacy solution

The focus of the blockchain privacy program is on people and events. The terms that are more familiar to everyone are identity privacy and transaction privacy. Identity privacy refers to the relationship between user identity information and blockchain address. Transaction privacy refers to the facts behind the transaction records and transaction records stored in the blockchain.

Bitcoin was developed as an anonymous cryptocurrency, but its anonymity is not complete. Others don't know your real name, but they can still be linked to you through various trading information. When trading on the Bitcoin network, you will leave "chain information" and "chain information", the former can associate your trading information with others, the latter can reveal your identity information.

So Zcash, Monero, and Mimblewimble-based Grin and Beam have appeared one after another. Although their technologies are different, the main purpose is to cut off the "contact." Zcash was created by zk-SNARKs technology. Eli Ben-Sasson et al. further developed zk-SNARKs technology based on zero-knowledge proof, which allows people to prove that they know a certain information without being interactive and non-interactive. Explain the specific content. Monero uses ring signatures, and by building Kovri to support private packet routing, users can hide their geographic location and IP address. The key feature of Mimblewimble is its lack of public address and complete privacy.

How much privacy do we need?

After a brief introduction, let's not take care of these technologies, just rely on the common sense of life scenes to think: How much privacy do we need?

My married male colleague gave me some ideas. He said: "I don't want the water to be seen by third parties. On the other hand, I hope that the store or the payee can protect the necessary information, such as going out to treat and When buying cigarettes." I asked him if the banknotes can meet your needs? He said that it is inconvenient to carry and there is a risk of being turned over.

If it is the central bank digital currency? In the sharing of Libra, Mu Changchun clearly pointed out: "The public has the need for anonymous payment, and now the payment tools are tightly bound to the traditional bank account system, and the central bank digital currency is digital cash, which can keep The properties and main value characteristics of the cash can meet the requirements of portability and anonymity."

From this perspective, the author believes that the general public's demand for privacy is divided into two categories: First, the event itself is legal, compliant, reasonable, and reasonable, but they hope to be a small transparency, hidden in the information flow. For example, Didi can get all the travel records and provide better services through big data, but don't clearly outline my personal path, study my personal habits, and push advertisements with ulterior motives.

Second, the incident itself is illegal, unruly, unreasonable, and unreasonable, so I don't want others to know that this is what I did, and there is no way to punish me, such as running, money laundering, tax evasion, and black market transactions. I think that such a demand will never be allowed by regulation, nor can it become a mainstream market, so it is not within the scope of the discussion.

Then I would like to ask everyone, what is the proportion of the privacy requirements of the first type of transactions that the central bank's digital currency can satisfy? What percentage of the bitcoin can be satisfied? What is the space left for other privacy currencies?

This question left for everyone before the holiday, you can leave a message to discuss, happy holidays.