Ripple, through its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), is working with leading universities around the world to support and accelerate academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.
The publication cites an assistant professor for distributed systems at the university, Stefanie Roos, who talks about the importance of anonymity and privacy in the blockchain.
According to Ripple, Stefanie is well versed in using decentralized technology for payment. She was also involved in the development of SpeedyMurmurs, a peer-to-peer system that takes a path-based transaction approach similar to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
These days, Stefanie’s research is focused on improving layer2 protocols for blockchains as well as designing more efficient anonymity systems, especiallyfor public blockchains.
According to her, businesses using public chains to pay their supplier may end up revealing details about products or services to competitors, even without knowing it. Private chains are there as a solution to this, but she believes that public chains with flexible anonymity could be more beneficial.
“Think of systems where anonymity is temporal. You get privacy for the time that you need it. If you want to have transparency, later on, you can reveal the relevant cryptographic keys to demonstrate that you complied with regulatory requirements, show off your high-quality suppliers or to prove a patent case.”
The assistant professor at the Delft University of Technology believes that these are not only the businesses that require anonymity and confidentiality in their operation, consumers will also soon realize the need for privacy around the payments they make on public blockchains.
She elaborates this by saying:
“People won’t want others seeing what they buy or sell. That has huge potential for blockchain bullying. Imagine teenagers knowing each other’s transaction history, being able to see who has the most expensive clothes or shoes. Some people may not want others to know that they get government benefits. We have to make sure that these systems preserve our privacy.”
To find an appropriate solution to this, two of her students are looking at anonymity on the XRP Ledger. Powered by UBRI, “one student is looking at the Ledger’s consensus algorithms, while another is working on a new way of testing for security vulnerabilities when a theoretical blockchain model is translated to code on complicated, large scale projects,” says Ripple.
Delft University is the academic partner of Ripple’s UBRI. This initiative is also helping students enrolled in the university’s blockchain Masters’s course where students not only learn the theory of blockchain but also implement projects related to different applications.
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