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Tech Talk: Blockchain, Zero Knowledge Proof & Homomorphic Encryption

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Blockchain Team

August 9, 2019

Last updated: October 17, 2023

Blockchain Technology and Homomorphic Encryption

Introduction to Blockchain Technology

“Blockchain is a global online database that can be handled by anyone anywhere on the internet. They are said to be decentralized since blockchain ledgers are shared among all the computers in the world not particularly from one central location.”

It works with “Blocks”, like spreadsheet works with “rows” and “columns”. The blockchain technology is basically a database that stores information in data structures called blocks. A block is nothing but a collection of data.

Blockchain is a Database but Database is Not Blockchain

The blockchain is a decentralized ledger database keeping track of cryptocurrency transactions. Most importantly, the blockchain database is not administered by a single person. Every user participating in the blockchain operation is accountable for all the data in the blockchain. A blockchain stores information in uniformly sized blocks. To provide cryptographic security each block contains the hashed information from the previous block.

On the other hand, the database administrator (the group of people) administrates the traditional database. A traditional database is used to store information. These stored entities in a database format help to support business, financial and management decisions. The government also makes use of databases to store large sets of data. The relational database model allowed more complex ways of gathering data by relating information from multiple databases and this information stored in databases can be organized using a database management system.

Hence, both blockchain & database are not interchangeable in the sense that though they both store information, they differ in design.

blockchain and database

ZKP (Zero-Knowledge Proof)

Zero-knowledge proofs let you affirm the truth of something without exposing how the one knows that truth or sharing the content of this truth with the verifier. Here, it is based on the algorithm that takes some data as input and returns either ‘true’ or ‘false’.

Zero-knowledge proof should satisfy the below three properties:

Completeness: If the statement is true, the honest verifier (the one who follows the protocol properly) will be convinced.

Soundness: If the statement is false, except with some small livelihood. no fraud prover can convince the honest verifier that it is true.

Zero-knowledge: If the statement is true, other than the fact that the statement is true no verifier learns anything.

Homomorphic Encryption

It is a kind of encryption that allows computation on ciphertexts, producing an encrypted result. When it decrypted, it matches the result of the operations as if they had been performed on the plaintext. Homomorphic encryption used for privacy-preserving outsourced storage and computation.

Example of Homomorphic Encryption (Google Search)

In highly regulated industries, homomorphic encryption can be used to enable new services by removing privacy barriers inhibiting data sharing.

For example, predictive analytics in a messaging app can be hard to apply due to user’s data privacy concerns, but if the predictive analytics service provider can operate on encrypted data instead, these privacy concerns are diminished.

The presented content is a glimpse of the Tech Talk session handled by  Calibraint’s Blockchain Team on 8th Aug 2019. Calibraint Technologies provides a platform for its young employees to discover the technology and master it.

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