Interlock and Privacy: Why we chose Aleph Zero

Interlock Team
March 1, 2023

The adoption of blockchain technology by companies is increasing, with a particular focus on privacy and security. At Interlock, our goal is to create enterprise-grade security and a safer internet for everyone through a collaborative effort. 

This article explores why we chose Aleph Zero as our layer 1 and the advantages it offers over other blockchains. With its focus on privacy and security, scalability, low transaction fees, fast block confirmation times, and its ability to support smart contracts, Aleph Zero convinced us that this partnership is the right step ahead. 

Technical Analysis of Partnership by our Principal Engineer

Nick Zivković
Nick Zivković - Interlock's Principal Engineer

Our Principal Engineer, Nick Zivković, had his say on why Interlock chose Aleph Zero. “It's because they have a solid technology platform, and they have things like Liminal, which implements multi-party-computation, and is also a cross-chain bridge (it lets you do private computations on Azero and public ones on ETH, for example).” 

“This is interesting for Interlock, because it means that we may be able to decentralize the Interlock logic, without revealing how the heuristics work, or what they are computing (which is part of our advantage against scammers),” he said.

When it comes to privacy, Nick commented on how it can be possible to have both privacy and transparency on the blockchain. “The blockchain contains data that is visible to all. So things like transactions and account balances are stored and visible. But, we have ways of obscuring data. The most obvious way is via cryptography, which stores data that cannot be understood by anyone that lacks an encryption-key.” 

“The less-known ways are things like bloom-filters and merkle-trees. A bloom-filter is a special structure that can store data, but cannot retrieve data. All it can do is tell you if a specific piece of data is possibly inside a set, or definitely not inside a set. So if we store things inside a filter, we will not be able to explore the filter directly, we will only be able to ask the filter if a specific piece of data was inserted into it,” he said.

“For example, I cannot ask ‘who was in your house last night’. But I can ask ‘was Rick in your house last night, was Andy in your house last night, etc’. Any blockchain can accept a pre-constructed bloom-filter instead of a raw address, and fulfill any transactions that contain addresses that are in that bloom filter,” he continued.

“Put differently, I can submit a bloom filter with 1k addresses (of which only N are mine), and then I can (at a later time) submit T transactions, which involve A addresses, where A <= N. The blockchain (via smart-contract, perhaps), will execute all transactions that contain addresses that exist in the bloom filter that I submitted,” Nick remarked. 

“So there are ways to obfuscate the transaction-initiators, while maintaining the consistency of the blockchain, on publicly-visible infrastructure. That said, people can still track/inspect the evolution of the state of the blockchain (i.e. the change in account-balances, and guess which accounts moved how much money to which other accounts). More obscure than having an exact transaction-log, but still not perfect secrecy.”

“At any rate, as long as smart-contract states are public, you can extract a lot of information. The solution is to make those states secret or obscure. To do that, you'd use multi-party-computation, which Aleph Zero supports via Liminal. This technique works via secret-sharing, and gives you more anonymity than the janky bloom-filter solution mentioned above. That said, there are no permanent secrets. With enough time, motivation, and technological progress, people will be able to de-anonymize these transactions/computations,” he said. 

Questions and Answers:

What factors led Interlock to choose Aleph Zero as their blockchain layer 1?

We chose Aleph Zero because of its focus on privacy and security, its use of Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs), and zk-SNARKs technology, its high scalability and low transaction fees, its fast block confirmation times, and its ability to support smart contracts. 

How do Aleph Zero's privacy features compare to other blockchain protocols? 

Aleph Zero's privacy features are quite strong and offer several advantages over other blockchain protocols. The protocol uses zk-SNARKs technology to ensure that transactions are private and confidential, making it virtually impossible for anyone to trace transactions back to their source. This makes Aleph Zero an attractive option for organizations that require high levels of privacy and security.

Can you explain how zk-SNARKs work and how they improve privacy on Aleph Zero? 

zk-SNARKs is a technology that allows for private and secure transactions on a blockchain. It does this by proving that a certain statement is true without revealing any information about the statement itself. In the context of Aleph Zero, zk-SNARKs are used to ensure that transactions are private and confidential. They do this by masking the input and output of each transaction, as well as the amount being transacted, with cryptographic proofs that are then verified by the network. This ensures that the transaction is valid, without revealing any sensitive information.

How does Aleph Zero's use of zk-SNARKs make sense for Interlock's goals and objectives? 

Our goals and objectives are to provide a secure and private platform for its users, whereby users can decide whether to send their data in a private manner. Aleph Zero's use of zk-SNARKs technology makes it an attractive option for achieving this goal. By leveraging zk-SNARKs, we can ensure that all transactions on its platform are private and confidential, providing users with an added layer of security and peace of mind.

What advantages does Interlock gain from using Aleph Zero as opposed to partnering with Solana? 

Aleph Zero's focus on privacy and security is more aligned with our goals and objectives. Additionally, Aleph Zero's use of zk-SNARKs technology makes it a more attractive option for organizations that require high levels of privacy and security. Aleph Zero also boasts fast block confirmation times, low transaction fees, and high scalability, making it a strong option for organizations looking to build on a blockchain platform.

How does Aleph Zero ensure scalability and fast transaction speeds? 

Aleph Zero's consensus mechanism is unique in that it uses a combination of directed acyclic graph (DAG) and Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) protocols. This allows for faster transaction confirmation times and higher scalability than other blockchain protocols. Additionally, Aleph Zero's consensus mechanism is designed to be energy-efficient. Its architecture is designed to be highly modular, allowing for easy integration with other technologies and protocols. This helps to ensure that the platform can scale and adapt to changing needs and requirements.

What is the role of smart contracts in Aleph Zero, and how does it benefit Interlock's use case?

Smart contracts are an integral part of Aleph Zero's blockchain platform, allowing for the creation and execution of programmable transactions. These contracts are stored on the blockchain and automatically execute when specific conditions are met. They can be used to create decentralized applications (DApps) that run on the blockchain, offering users more functionality and flexibility than traditional centralized applications. For us, the use of smart contracts on Aleph Zero can help facilitate the execution of complex transactions and agreements, such as supply chain management, financial services, and data sharing, among others. Smart contracts can also help automate certain processes, reducing the need for intermediaries and increasing efficiency.

What are Zero-knowledge Proofs (ZKPs)?

Aleph Zero's blockchain uses Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs). ZKPs are a type of cryptographic protocol that allow one party to prove to another party that a certain statement is true without revealing any additional information. The concept was first introduced in the 1980s and has since been applied in various fields, including blockchain technology, authentication, and secure communication. Zero-knowledge proofs are considered to be highly secure and provide a way to verify information without compromising privacy.

Zero-knowledge proofs are based on complex mathematical algorithms and involve a series of interactions between a prover and a verifier. The prover aims to convince the verifier that a certain statement is true, while the verifier aims to confirm the statement's validity without learning any additional information. The interaction between the two parties ensures that the prover cannot cheat and that the verifier can be confident in the statement's truthfulness.

Zero-knowledge proofs have many practical applications. For example, they can be used in blockchain technology to verify the validity of transactions without revealing any sensitive information about the parties involved. They can also be used for password authentication, where a user can prove they know a password without revealing the password itself. Zero-knowledge proofs are considered to be an important tool for enhancing security and privacy in many different contexts.

Get Updates

Join the DeSec Movement

Stay in-the-know about all things Interlock

We promise not to spam you ☮️
Welcome to the Interlock Community! Check your e-mail
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Be part of the conversation

Join Telegram