Mike Simons: To build AOS into a privacy public blockchain that is open to all
AOS Developer Mike Simons was a former researcher at Johns Hopkins University, focusing on AI privacy and security study. Following his leave from Johns Hopkins, Mike joined AOS as a professional blockchain developer. He is also one of the initiators and core developers of the team.
Mike played a vital role in the technology upgrade in the latest AOS development roadmap launched in January 2021.
Here we share highlights of Mike’s discussion with the AOS Community:
Unlike Defi, which has been the favorite of capital and market, privacy technology has been applied in the blockchain industry from the very beginning. AOS is dedicated to developing privacy-preserving related technology with strong commitment. Privacy technology has been and will be the essence of my ambition despite all the novel ecology and diversified technique trend as mentioned in our Roadmap 2.0.
The growth of privacy technology is fed on basic technologies, including zero-knowledge proof, fully homomorphic encryption, privacy computing, multi-party computation and ring signature. The combination of those instrumental technologies may create practical functions.
The essential demand for anonymous payment catalyzed the birth of Dash, XMR and other privacy coins. On the contrary, BTC cannot remain fully anonymous, so its use scenarios are limited. To solve the problem, developers propose a mixing service solution that obfuscates the senders and receivers and sends the BTC across each other to preserve anonymity.
Some organizations or authorities criticize the anonymous technology on the ground that the technology would offer protection for criminals and money laundering. Such worries are reasonable and inevitable, and we are also firmly against those evil deeds.
In spite of this, I believe the benefits brought by privacy technology outweigh the potential risks. For example, coin mixing technology may provide anonymous asset transfer services for whales (major asset owners), as legal asset transfer deserves privacy protection. Another example is the B-C asset distribution based on the chain architecture. Provided that a certain organization or firm intends to distribute its digital assets, privacy technologies alike would efficiently assign the asset on-demand and boost morale.
Privacy technology will be updated as the core in the 2.0 Roadmap. We are committed to launching a frontier and intelligent privacy technology, integration Zero-knowledge proof + Ring signature + Homomorphic encryption. Here I must point out that we are not constructing a single product or a function; instead, we provide an open and simple-to-use privacy technological frame for the AOS ecosystem.
Web3’s privacy-preserving capability for the smart contract is extremely important. The Ethereum Chain is consistently failed to integrate smart contracts with anonymity. The Ethereum Foundation is too busy developing the 2.0 version to take care of developers’ increasing demands on smart contract anonymity. The unsatisfied demand, as a result, creates opportunities for many privacy public blockchains.
AOS grabs the opportunity to grow into a leading public blockchain, focusing on smart contracts that combine with privacy technology. In fact, we had combined the programming technology based on zero-knowledge proof with smart contracts, which turned out to be a big success in testing. It is the flexible Account model adopted by AOS that allowed us to launch the technology in a short time cycle. This subtle combination is the most successful solution at the moment and is available for developers to utilize at will in a short time.
I believe, a separate and complete anonymous smart contract is possible. At current stage, my team has a mature proposal. The next step will be experiment and development.
A case of Defi with privacy-preserving: privacy aggregation platform
Applying privacy technology to Defi is a stepping stone to enter the mainstream. Creating a privacy + Defi aggregation platform has been the strategic goal of AOS in the 2.0 Roadmap. In our design, the platform will stress the anonymity protection for Defi participants and privacy-preservation for transactions while retaining participants’ control over their assets (in the form of non-custodial).
The aggregation platform allows the Defi products of non-privacy property and users to participate through transparent accounts. But for interactions on the privacy aggregation platform, 1) the platform will automatically process the user behavior and assets in plaintext-cyphertext conversion which would be sent to the Defi product end for anonymous purposes; 2) the platform will handle the interaction from the product end to the user in the same process.
The product design and development of the aggregation platform inherits our open concept. Public blockchain may not be able to grow without the support of technology, but openness is the driving force that boosts the public blockchain ecology. That is why we stay open despite what we are facing in the 2.0 Roadmap.