Opening the Public Blockchain To Private Data
By Sébastien Jehan
The public blockchains have recently extended their scope to applications with Ethereum. However, those applications are isolated from rich data. Indeed, no company wants to put sensitive data onto the public blockchains, whether encrypted or not. Rockchain addresses this problem by creating a distributed file system on which every nodes opt-in for data sharing or logical rules execution. We define advanced privacy rules, allowing only computation results to be publicized. The blockchain is the orchestrator, and Rockchain the link between rich data and the public blockchain.
We’re not alone in tackling the problem of public blockchains and private networks collaboration. We consider this as the first problem to be solved for public blockchains hosting distributed applications. Polkadot, driven by Gavin Wood, is solving the issue with a state-centric approach, while we chose a data-centric approach.
For the advanced use cases of our data-centric approach, we had to define an engine able to perform computation on data without compromising the privacy of those data. The Blockchain community tends to focus on a fully homomorphic encryption system as a possible solution, however fully homomorphic encryption systems are not practical: the symmetric AES encryption algorithm (one of the most popular encryption algorithm) used with a fully homomorphic encryption system would take a few hours on standard computers.
In Rockchain, we chose a practical approach to use secured two-part computation to be able to compute some functions on private data without knowing the decryption keys. Being able to share computations without sharing data is a critical issue to solve ,for creating truly dynamic distributed systems. It’s opening many business opportunities for blockchain distributed applications.
Among the B2C business opportunities, we see health diagnosis applications, financial advising and recruiting, where customers would be embarrassed if their data was public and available to their insurers, employers or bank. The B2B opportunities are creating a new world of “coopetition” opportunities, where businesses are sharing very thin layers of value extracted from their data without giving access to their critical data. This can apply to financial regulation, price discovery in house rentals for example and distributed research on medical databases.
We’re launching an ICO on November 1, 2017. Most of the proceeds will go to developing Rockchain technology (76%) but we also allocated 12% of the proceeds for supporting Rockchain applications.