Blockchain was once seen as a new technology for cryptocurrency that seemed hard to understand and even like something from a fantasy. But now, it’s used in many different areas of life that affect people in different ways.
Actually, blockchain has been used for a long time before cryptocurrency became popular. In finance, it is used for many important purposes such as making safe and fast international payments, improving how money is handled in financial markets, stopping illegal money transactions, and creating special agreements between insurance companies and their customers.
In the big business world, blockchain can also help healthcare, real estate, and energy become more efficient and smarter.
To make the most of this potential, we need to think about privacy. Privacy is still a concern with public blockchains, especially when dealing with private smart contracts that process encrypted information.
The blockchain stores personal and sensitive information in a way that everyone in the network can see. This raises concerns about privacy for things like financial transactions, healthcare records, and verifying someone’s identity.
However, since blockchain is made to make things clear, people think it can’t be private or that it’s hard and expensive to keep things private.
This is a wrong idea. Certainly, technologies like Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) can help process data without needing to unscramble it, so that privacy is kept even when multiple users are using the data. FHE is like privacy and ZK is like scalability, letting you.
- What is FHE and how does it operate.
- FHE and blockchain are technologies that help keep information secure and private.
- Morten Dahl is the general manager for blockchain at Zama.
“What is FHE and how does it work.
Let’s use the example of someone using a website. They would use a secret code to lock up their information and send it to the website’s server. Blind processing happens, and then the result is changed into a secret code and sent back to the user. The user can then change the code back to the original information using their secret key.
From the point of view of the person using it, getting the information or result is the exact same process. Importantly, the company that is giving the service, like an insurance company or a doctor’s office, can provide the service without needing to look at the user’s information or keeping it safe.
FHE is based on a math idea called homomorphism. This means the secret key only changes how the data is read, not how it’s put together. This lets us do math on the encrypted data and change the result back using the secret key.
The idea of FHE was thought of in the late 1970s, but it didn’t become a real thing until 2009. This is because the process was too slow to be useful at that time. Something that took one second without encryption took 11 days with encryption.
Today, we are getting closer to the point where FHE can be used everywhere to protect our privacy. Better and faster technology and new ways to keep information safe are making it faster to do tasks with privacy compared to doing the same tasks without privacy. By 2025, we think FHE will work much faster, taking only seconds instead of minutes.
“Blockchain and FHE”
How can FHE help protect privacy in blockchains.
In summary, it allows public blockchains to work with secure information in smart contracts, giving privacy to users without losing decentralization.
TFHE-rs is a free library for fully homomorphic encryption that ensures exact calculations. Other encryption methods make approximations, but TFHE-rs guarantees that smart contracts work correctly and users don’t lose their assets.
FHE lets you do lots of different operations and functions. It lets you run any kind of application, no matter how hard it is. It also helps you add simple things to complicated machine learning or smart contracts.
With FHE getting faster and faster, we think it will be fast enough for most cloud applications by the end of 2025. It’s moving quickly, much faster than the blockchain community is used to.
At the same time, FHE is easy to use and safe, and can be added to current systems, such as Testnet and EVM-based blockchain. The open source framework allows for easy access, flexibility and clearness in design.
In the future, we think FHE could be used in many ways with blockchain. This includes secret digital contracts, secret auctions, secret digital coins with hidden amounts, games like poker where players can hide their cards and bets, private digital art pieces that only the owner can see, and decentralized trading of digital assets.
Certainly, soon people will realize that blockchain and privacy can work together in real life.
Morten Dahl is the General Manager of Blockchain at Zama.
Morten is in charge of the team at Zama. They make secret blockchains using FHE. He has expertise in keeping information safe and has been using techniques from this area for almost ten years in real-world situations.
Zama is a company that makes secret codes and tools for computer programmers, including for using blockchain.
Zama will be at a conference in Paris from July 17th to July 20th. They will talk about their important work on keeping blockchain information private.