2022 Retrospective: Our Contributions to Web3

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2022 appears to be the year when the name “Web3” will be universally recognize to refer to the collective movements of decentralizing infrastructure and empowering users. It comprises the tokenization of things for digital administration, the use of advanced cryptography for better security, and the distribution of data control and governance. Although the phrase Web3 may appear novel, the underlying ideas are not. Many of us have spent years developing these technologies.

Five years later, we continue to be driven by our broader mission of building and supporting the development of usable technology solutions and ethical business practices to advance digital security and preserve privacy as a fundamental human right, and we have made significant strides in this direction.

In 2022, this consisted of the following:

Developing the Web3 infrastructure for storage and file transfer and facilitating access to user groups at risk access to it;

Contributing to the expansion of advanced cryptography in Web3, such as zero-knowledge proofs; and

Our security consulting services help to strengthen the Web3 ecosystem.

Construction of Web3 Infrastructure

Since Zooko co-created the Tahoe-LAFS project, we’ve been working on distributed storage using this system. With our soon-to-be-released SaaS offering PrivateStorage, we intend to expand access to this technology.

Tahoe-LAFS is a well-known object-capability model (OCAP) initiative aim to ensure that users, not a centralized body, control authority. Utilizing user-controlled capabilities rather than centrally controlled logins, it delivers a basic component of the original idea of distributed systems and is more interoperable with other Web3 consulting company infrastructures.

In 2022, we made significant contributions to Tahoe-LAFS through both PrivateStorage and our community contributions to the Tahoe-LAFS project, thereby advancing the infrastructure development of Web3. We proceeded to plan the introduction of PrivateStorage and made considerable improvements to Magic Folder, Tahoe-synchronization LAFS’s mechanism. In addition, we assisted the Tahoe-LAFS community in upgrading the codebase from Python 2 to Python 3 and in participating in the Internews BASICS initiative. As a hosted infrastructure for human rights groups, we established the HRO Cloud to offer the benefits of the Tahoe-LAFS, Magic Folder, ZKAPs, and Gridsync open-source projects.

With the conclusion of the “Magic Wormhole for All” (MW4ALL) second phase project, financed by the EU’s NGI Trust program, we also expanded identity-less file transmission by pursuing a product based on the magic-wormhole protocol. We are thrill to enable further privacy-enhancing solutions, such as quick file transfer, without requiring users to disclose their personal identity information. We also participated in the NGI Tetra Bootcamp and earned the award for best performance.

Advanced Applications of Cryptography

As demonstrated by the Zcash fork, our desire to see advanced encryption, such as zero-knowledge proofs, implemented in accessible and useable technology stems from our long-held opinion that privacy is important. Since the advent of Zcash, the main cryptocurrency implementation of zero-knowledge proofs, additional blockchain projects have implemented zero-knowledge proofs, as they are key to reaching the Web3 vision’s full potential.

In 2022, we advocated the use of zero-knowledge proofs by publishing our ZKAPs Whitepaper to demonstrate how the application of this advanced encryption in basic use cases can fundamentally alter the privacy paradigm for SaaS companies like PrivateStorage. We anticipate offering this option to a greater number of clients in 2022, allowing them to pay for storage without their payment metadata being tie to their use of the storage service.

Significant progress was also made on our soon-to-be-publish MoonMath Manual, which describes how zk-SNARKS may be deploy to securely scale blockchain-base applications and offer a new privacy paradigm.

And despite this, we continued to provide our clients and their different projects with vital security consulting services. This comprised three sequential audits of the Plumo Protocol by cLabs, one of which was publish, an audit of the Trust Setup by Aleo, and an audit of the zk-SNARK Circuit by Loopring. In addition, we conducted a number of other zk-SNARK-related security assessments in 2022, which we expect to publish in 2022.

Privacy and Security Are Crucial

We stay committed to a “Security-by-Design” mentality regardless of whether we are providing Web3 security advisory services, contributing to the evolution of Web3 technologies, or developing our own solutions. We believe that security is crucial for the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of our data and systems, or, as we often say, security enables privacy. All of us have the chance to implement Security- and Privacy-by-Design with the current Web3 development initiatives.

In the midst of the fresh contributions generated by the enthusiasm of bringing Web3 to life, we encourage the continuance of security and privacy-focused practices. Now that we are laying the foundations, we must guarantee that they are resilient and reflect our user-control ideals, which necessitates the protection of data privacy.

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