Bitcoin News — Privacy

Private Blockchains Could Be Compatible with EU Privacy Rules, Research Shows

Posted by Ana Berman on

UK university researchers find that private blockchains with a sufficient level of centralization could comply with recent EU privacy rules.

Private blockchains, such as interbanking platforms set to share information on customers,  could be compatible with new E.U. privacy rules, according to research published Nov. 6. The study was conducted by Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge, U.K.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act, a recent legislation that regulates the storage of personal data for all individuals within the European Union, came into effect this May. According to the law, all data controllers have to respect citizens’ rights in terms of keeping and transferring their private information. In case a data controller fails to do so, the potential fines are set as €20 million (about $22 million) or four percent of global turnover/revenues, whichever is higher.

The recent U.K. study, published in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technologies, views blockchain and its nodes through the length of GDPR. According to the researchers, crypto-related technologies could fall under these rules and be treated as “controllers,” given that they publicly store private information about E.U. citizens in the chain and allow third parties to operate it. This, the study reveals, might slow down technology implementation in EU:

“There is a risk that this legal uncertainty will have a chilling effect on innovation, at least in the EU and potentially more broadly. For example, if all nodes and miners of a platform were to be deemed joint controllers, they would have joint and several liability, with potential penalties under the GDPR.”

However, the researchers emphasize that blockchain operators could be treated like “processors” instead, the same as the companies behind cloud technologies who act on behalf of users rather than control their data. This, the study continues, is mostly applicable for Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings, where a third party provides the supporting infrastructure for the network while users store their data and control it personally.

As an example for such type of blockchain platform, the researchers cite centralized platforms for land registry and private interbanking solutions that set up “a closed, permissioned blockchain platform with a small number of trusted nodes.” Such closed systems could effectively comply with GDPR rules, the report continues.

To meet the privacy law, blockchain networks might also store personal data externally or allow trusted nodes to delete the private key for encrypted information, thus leaving indecipherable data on the chain, the researchers state.

However, the GDPR rules are extremely difficult to comply with for more decentralized nets, such as those concerned with mining and cryptocurrency. In this case, the nodes, operating with the data of E.U. citizens, might agree to fork a new version of the blockchain from time to time, thus reflecting mass requests for rectification or erasure. “However, in practice, this level of coordination may be difficult to achieve among potentially thousands of nodes,” the study reads.

As a conclusion, the researchers urge the European Data Protection Board, an independent regulatory body behind GDPR, to issue clearer guidance on the application of data protection law to various common blockchain models.

As Cointelegraph wrote earlier, the GDPR could both support and harm blockchain. Despite the fact that current E.U. legislation partially has the same goals as crypto-related technologies, such as decentralizing data control, blockchain companies could also face extremely high fees as data controllers.

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How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

Posted by Lubomir Tassev on

How to Use a VPN Within Your BrowserMajor internet browsers now offer access to VPN services via a number of third-party extensions and in some cases through built-in features. These provide an easy and affordable means to protect your privacy and enjoy a censorship-free browsing experience.   Also read: Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry Chrome VPN Extensions You […]

The post How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Promise: A Startup Based on an Anonymous Paper Plans to Replace ACH

Posted by David Floyd on

With $47 trillion flowing through it every year, ACH is a juicy target for blockchain disruption. Can a new startup called Promise pull it off?

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Big Four Auditor EY Launches Zero-Knowledge System for Private Transactions on Ethereum

Posted by Marie Huillet on

Ernst and Young has launched the prototype of a system that enables secure and private transactions to take place on the Ethereum public blockchain.

“Big Four” auditor Ernst and Young has launched the prototype of a system that enables secure and private transactions to take place on the Ethereum (ETH) public network, according to a press release Oct. 30.

The system, dubbed EY Ops Chain Public Edition (PE), uses zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology, an alternative algorithm for authenticating distributed ledger entries, in which transacting parties provide proof of validity, but all other information remains encrypted, including their identities.

The prototype is aimed at enterprises that wish to keep their transaction records private without having to resort to a permissioned, private network. Paul Brody, EY’s Global Innovation Leader, Blockchain, has outlined that:

“With zero-knowledge proofs, organizations can transact on the same network as their competition in complete privacy and without giving up the security of the public Ethereum blockchain."

The press release underscores that the $20 billion+ market cap Ethereum network offers enterprises a level of liquidity that “dwarfs” that of any existing permissioned blockchain, as well as removing the need for building an in-house private blockchain from scratch.

EY says it aims to “spur” enterprise blockchain adoption by supporting “both payment tokens and unique product and services tokens that are similar to the Ethereum ERC-20 and ERC-721 token standards.” Its offering extends to a prototype for a Private Transaction Monitor that captures transaction history for subsequent review.

Both EY Ops Chain PE and the EY Blockchain Private Transaction Monitor have reportedly been developed by EY blockchain labs in London and Paris and are still “with patents pending.” They are slated to be ready for full-scale product launch by 2019, the press release states.

Ethereum’s developers have long been working to support zero-knowledge proofs on the network, with Vitalik Buterin revealing in fall 2017 that a network upgrade had successfully verified a zero-knowledge “snark” proof on the Ropsten testnet.

Earlier this month, Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING announced the release of its own more generalized open source blockchain tool, dubbed Zero-Knowledge Set Membership (ZKSM), which also aims to enable the validation of data on a blockchain with increased privacy.

Also this month, Ernst and Young released a stark report that analyzed data for the top initial coin offerings (ICOs) that raised capital in 2017, concluding they had “done little to inspire confidence” one year on.

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Send Bitcoin Cash Over the Web in a Private Fashion Using Tor

Posted by Jamie Redman on

There are several ways to add layers of anonymity to bitcoin cash (BCH) transactions such as using a VPN or shuffling coins with mixers. One way to anonymize when using the BCH chain is by utilizing free Tor software while transacting online. This way, internet traffic is encrypted and routed through nodes throughout the overlay […]

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