Web 2.0, the web as we know it today, is largely dominated by big tech companies. Over the years, companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and many others have built massive ecosystems, taking over the majority of the key services of the internet that it has become impossible for end-users to avoid.
This reliance on centralized service providers has led to a myriad of problems like frequent outages, issues related to data privacy, unwarranted data tracking, data siloing, and misuse of PII (personal identifiable information), among others. Even though governments and regulatory bodies are trying to rein in the monopoly of these centralized powerhouses, the results aren’t very promising.
We live in a world where the world wide web has been overtaken by social media platforms, search engines, e-commerce sites, and financial institutions that act as gatekeepers of information and provide us with our online identities. We can’t deny that these centralized organizations have played a key role in raising the awareness and adoption of digital technology. But, at the same time, the recurring problems of data and identity thefts, hacks, and biased approaches of mainstream platforms leave no doubt that Web 2.0 has some serious drawbacks as well.
Littered with redundant processes, Web 2.0 leaves much to be desired. However, the good news is that it won’t be the same much longer. Thanks to evolving blockchain technology, we are on the cusp of experiencing the next-big internet revolution, more commonly referred to as Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 is the newest version of the internet, based on the principles of decentralization, transparency, fairness, security, user control, and inclusiveness. In recent years, several promising privacy-preserving blockchain-powered projects have emerged, unlocking a myriad of benefits for consumers, who until now had no control over the internet. These projects are built to give back users complete control over their data, how they want to use it, and who they want to share it with.
That said, here are three privacy-centric blockchain projects that will make Web3 a better place for all.
Restoring Your Control Over Your Data
Developed by BOTLabs GmbH, KILT Protocol is an open-source blockchain protocol for issuing verifiable, anonymous, and self-sovereign Web3 credentials. Simply put, it is a self-sovereign identity protocol that enables users to verify their online identity without the need for third parties.
With KILT Protocol, you can prove or represent your identity without revealing things you prefer to keep private. The protocol is designed in a way that it can be used to create a diverse range of identifiers for any business, service, or machine that relies on identity verification. Essentially, it brings the real-world verification system using a driver’s license, passport, and other documents to the blockchain.
Powered by its native $KILT token, KILT Protocol serves the needs of both enterprises and users. The platform recently transitioned into a fully decentralized network, granting the decision-making power for the protocol’s future to the community members. KILT Protocol will be the basis of a decentralized identity network (DID), enabling self-sovereign identification (SSI). The KILT team launched its SocialKYC service in 2021, a digital identity solution that allows users to manage, store and present their credentials to control what online services can access personal information. The service can be accessed via the Sporran wallet and is currently available for Twitter and email.
Merging Multi-Party Computation With Blockchain
Harnessing the power of ZK (zero-knowledge) proof computations, Partisia, an industry leader in enterprise-grade multi-party computation (MPC) software solutions, has launched the Partisia Blockchain to deliver trust, transparency, privacy, and speed of light finalization on Web3.
By combining the features of multi-party computation (MPC) with blockchain native features, Partisia Blockchain enables users and enterprises to leverage decentralized technology while offering end-to-end data privacy and security. Following years of research and development, the Partisia team has successfully added multiple layers of security and privacy to on-chain data.
The Partisia service works across on-chain, off-chain, and cross-chain ecosystems by distributing the computation operations of its MPC model across multiple unique parties to ensure that there is no single point of failure. As part of this model, each participant is represented as an individual entity with zero access to the other party’s data. Furthermore, Partisia Blockchain also supports the BYOC (bring your own coin) feature, enabling users to pay for its services using other tokens like BTC or ETH.
End-To-End Protection From Metadata Surveillance
Switzerland-based privacy startup Nym has developed a novel privacy solution for Web3 designed to end metadata surveillance and data breaches. Nym melds a variety of privacy technologies into a system of cooperating networked nodes that offer end-to-end data privacy for both network and application levels.
The Nym ecosystem consists of a decentralized mixnet explorer and crypto-based credential system that creates an anonymous overlay network, thus encrypting data. Network participants are rated based on their contribution, making it easier to filter out low-performing nodes, making the privacy-focused solution better than the existing solutions like VPNs or the Tor browser. At the same time, the mixnet explorer is fully incentivized.
The platform’s “Nym Credentials” service allows third-party service providers to anonymize any arbitrary value pairs easily. This enables users to selectively and privately reveal (or share) only the required data as and when needed, thereby granting users more control over personal data.