Tron has been delivering on all fronts since the main net launch and now is looking into making TRX a privacy coin. This is a huge deal because it would make Tron the only widely used smart contract platform with privacy features. So how does Justin Sun plan to do this? I’m glad you asked. They will use a cryptographic technique called ZK-SNARKs. ZK…what? Lets find out!
What is ZK-SNARKS?
In a nutshell, ZK-SNARKS is a privacy feature that is used in Zcash that lets two wallets make a transaction without disclosing the information in the transaction. What this means is that you can use a shielded wallet to make an untraceable transaction without violating any of the consensus rules of the blockchain. This is a form of “Zero Knowledge Proof” which allows one person to prove that they have a specific piece of information without actually disclosing it! Advanced mathematics or witchcraft? You decide.
Not all TRX transactions will be private though. The users have the choice if they want privacy or not. You can switch between “open” and “private” modes anytime you want for whatever reason you want. This flexibility is extremely powerful and useful for different circumstances. You might want to keep a traceable record if you’re running for a public office position for 100% transparency. However, the local coffee shop doesn’t need to know Joe’s transaction history.
The Need for Privacy
The reality is that everything we do online and offline is tracked. The banks track all of our transactions whenever we use a credit or debit card. Not to mention, all the data we have on the web is stored, tracked, and monetized by third parties. Justin Sun mentioned this in 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].”
Tron Foundation went on to Tweet the following regarding their plan to overcome this privacy challenge:
— TRON Foundation (@Tronfoundation) December 3, 2018
Tron: A Disruptive Force in the Making
A decentralized smart contract platform with hidden transactions can disrupt the data monopoly that these tech companies have over us. This means that we have the option to monetize our own data. Tron’s goal has always been to create a protocol for the internet that breaks away from the oligarchy of Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Implementing ZK-SNARKS is one step closer to that vision.