Athena — Zero-Knowledge Layer

There are 7 proprietary innovations that deliver Partisia Blockchain’s complete Layer 1+2 Blockchain. In this blog we present the fourth innovative feature — the zero-knowledge layer — we call it Athena.

For an overview of all of the 7 features see the Zeus blog. We present each of the 7 innovations with a unique post leading up to TGE on May 31, 2022.

Athena — Zero-Knowledge Layer

“The lack of confidentiality and privacy on blockchains is obvious and hampers their uptake and use”. This is the first line of the white paper and the starting point of the Partisia Blockchain as the project is all about bringing privacy to blockchain.

Current mainstream blockchain technology provides full transparency about transactions and a pseudonymized representation of the users. Adding privacy in terms of “private transactions” to this mainstream blockchain model is challenging as one cannot both have private transactions and be anonymous. Another often overlooked problem is the privacy problem around the data used prior to a transaction as opposed to the transaction itself. As an example, it may require the use of private data across hundreds of potential buyers and sellers to get to a single transaction. Providing privacy to this part is what has the potential to turn the current business model in the internet economy upside down and put the user back in control of their own data.

The Partisia Blockchain is designed to bring privacy to blockchain in a regulatory compliant and flexible way. The basic design choice is to build privacy on top of a transparent mainstream blockchain model. This allows us to design a highly efficient and scalable consensus and execution laid out in the Poseidon and Iris blog. Privacy-preserving computation is added as a service on top of the basic blockchain. From an application developer’s or designer’s point of view, this allows for any arbitrary mix of transparency and privacy. The privacy-preserving computation makes it even possible to add privacy to the extent needed — and you can even have complete privacy. As an example of this, consider a dApp with its own private transactions built on the Partisia Blockchain, this way any audit request can be done with privacy-preserving computation and the transactions can remain private in a regulatory compliant way.

The privacy-preserving computation is provided and operated exclusively by accredited ZK nodes in known jurisdictions. This further enables dApps to be regulatory compliant with data protection regulation like GDPR for two main reasons:

  • First, Personal Identifiable Information (PII) never enters the transparent blockchain; it is managed exclusively by the ZK nodes and in encrypted form.
  • Second, with jurisdiction management on the ZK nodes, the PII data stays within a given jurisdiction and remains encrypted.

Hereby, Partisia Blockchain enable basic GDPR requirements like the “Right to privacy” (Data is kept private in all stages: at rest, in transit and process) and “Right to be forgotten” (Data is used ad hoc and the encrypted data used in zero-knowledge computations are deleted after use).

For more details, please checkout the yellow paper and software documentation.

Please let us know what you think and stay tuned for the next blog post about MPC-As-A-Service, called Demeter.

Thank you to everyone in our community for your support!

Partisia Blockchain Team