Cryptocurrencies: A partial solution to traditional financial system’s flaws.
It is known that traditional banking services are centralized. The appearance of Blockchain technology brought a secure and trustless system to transact assets, but the lack of privacy has been a concern to countless users as, although user identity is disguised on principle, there are public records on cryptocurrency operations left on blockchains.
The data contained on those records include all transactions with sender and receiver’s addresses as well as users’ balances. That information is publicly visible and is one-click away from everyone’s reach.
Bitcoin was meant to be an anonymous and decentralized solution to the traditional financial system, but it rather offers “pseudonymity” by not directly publishing the users’ identities. The drawback here is that every transaction can be linked to its participants, which is defined as full transparency and represents an invasion of privacy. As result, it is seen throughout history, how flaws like the ones mentioned above have led to users’ losing their rights to keep their assets private.
NIX Platform: Total Privacy for All.
Launched in 2018, NIX allows users to conduct end-to-end zerocoin addressless transactions. Users can (a) conduct completely anonymous transactions, meaning no links to sender and receiver are left on the blockchain and, (b) maintain private account balances.
NIX Platform’s privacy scheme overview.
To accomplish this, NIX possesses a set of powerful privacy elements: the NIX Ghost Protocol, NIX Ghost Vault and 2-Way Ghosting feature, which is based on NIX Pedersen Anonymous Deposits Scheme: Commitment Key Packs. The blockchain privacy achieved with those elements is such that no factors can expose user’s information.
Not only those functional features make of NIX the privacy coin it is now, but they are the base of NIX’s goal of providing cross-chain and inter-DEX privacy, as well as for on set privacy for any dApp developed on top of NIX.
NIX Platform’s privacy solutions.
1. The Ghost Protocol: This protocol itself consists of different elements which continuously evolve and are improved upon: Zerocoin Protocol, a robust encryption system that is not subject to graph analysis and which purpose is to mint original coins into Zerocoins and have them added to an RSA accumulator, making it impossible to know which coins belong to each user. Instead of having a privacy set limited to a few dozens, the NIX network, with the use of Zerocoin, has an anonymity set that encompasses all minted coins in a particular RSA accumulator, which can scale to many thousands. As powerful as it is, the Zerocoin protocol itself is isolated, so NIX Platform developed the Commitment Key Packs scheme, a structure to allow for packing of Pedersen Commitments to act as one-time-key formats for Zerocoin Deposits; as a result, users are able to transfer Zerocoins to one another without using group-able addresses on chain. On top of that, NIX Platform also added to its protocol Tor networking software, such application hides network activity and location online by routing all browsing through multiple anonymous servers.
In addition to those elements, NIX Platform is also planning on incorporating Dandelion to conceal the IP address of a user broadcasting a specific transaction, which adds a higher level of privacy to the current protocol; and Bulletproofs technology to be presented as a scaling solution, which integration allows to drastically decrease transaction size on the blockchain.
2. Ghost Vault: This feature encompasses two main solutions: Hiding users’ balance from the blockchain and providing sender or receiver with privacy.
The fundamentals of this solution revolve around the Ghost Protocol, by minting NIX into Zerocoins and allocating them into the vault with other user’s minted coins. As NIX are not directly stored into the vault and what is of public knowledge is the number of zerocoins there are in it, this feature essentially makes users’ coins disappear with no previous history.
Sending coins to the Ghost Vault is fully private for the receiver, as the destination is a hidden location. Sending coins from the Ghost Vault provides privacy to the sender, as the sending address, represented by the vault, is private.
3. Commitment Key Packs / 2-Way Ghosting: This Pedersen Anonymous Deposit scheme provides sender and receiver privacy in one transaction. This scheme enables full Zero-Knowledge proof transaction privacy between sender and receiver, which is known as the 2-Way Ghosting mechanism.
Such implementation allows for private address-less blockchain payments which not only enhances user privacy on a single blockchain, but also simplifies any layer-2 solutions utilizing privacy mechanisms.
In practice, the procedure to conduct a private transaction via Commitment Key Packs is as simple as it follows: NIX wallets contain a Key list with Ghost Keys. Instead of sending NIX to a public address, the sender first places the amount of NIX into the Ghost Vault (ghosting) making them private from the chain, then the receiver provides the sender with one Ghost Key (one-time-key); finally, the sender unghosts the desired amount of NIX to receiver’s Ghost Key. What happens is that NIX in the form of Zerocoins are transferred from user A to user B via the Ghost Vault in one transaction without involving addresses.
With 2-Way Ghosting, the fundamental is not only sending coins without using addressses, but sending them using zero knowledge proofs and NIX commitment key packs, which allows them to be spent without compromising sender history.
NIX Platform’s role in current privacy field:
NIX Platform is developed on top of an optional privacy model, which gives users the option to use NIX blockchain services while bypassing privacy features. The protocol itself permits to prove transactions without revealing crucial information on public blockchain (addresses) and allows to hide account balance.
Here is a demo of a Commitment Key Packs scheme operation via 2-Way Ghosting:
NIX Platform generates fees to Ghostnodes when users conduct public to private payments, so 0.25% of the coins stored into the vault is distributed democratically among all active nodes thanks to the Ghostnode Fee Distribution System, whereas Commitment Key Packs system (Zerocoin to Zerocoin payments) is feeless.
NIX Platform’s future:
NIX Platform is looking forward to becoming a privacy tool for all coins and to be used as a Platform in which privacy dApps can be developed.
What is being aimed for is providing cross-chain and inter-DEX privacy. Both proposed solutions are privacy enhancements for all coins, whether it comes to accomplishing private trades among chains, or inter-DEX transactions. Those objectives are encompassed by NIX Utilization layer and dApp layer respectively.
As both of NIX’s core values are privacy and decentralization, the first soon-to-be-delivered use case is the DEX Manager, a decentralized application that executes private transactions among different decentralized exchanges.
Finally, endless applications can be developed on top of NIX’s privacy features, as an example: 2-Way Ghosting payment protocol plugins for merchants. Possibilities are endless and open to any developer who wants to build on top of NIX.