Ultimately, no matter how hard governments or individuals fight to protect their information in Web2, the war has already been lost. Tik Tok, Instagram, and other major platforms have built empires on using and selling your confidential information to the highest bidder. As the new paradigm of Web3 continues to emerge, we must not let history repeat itself and fall to the same fate the internet experienced in its previous generation.
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When it comes to blockchain technology, one of the key principles that makes the technology so disruptive is its accessibility and transparency. Yet, as the industry continues to develop on this new system, the concept of the blockchain trilema seems to have forgotten a core function of everyday life: the power to keep confidential data private.
Confidentiality is the missing piece for mainstream Web3 adoption, and Secret has the solution. Secret Network is the first blockchain to support privacy-preserving smart contracts, enabling decentralized applications that have both public and private data. Utilizing a network of validators running specialized hardware, Secret processes sensitive information in trusted execution environments (TEE), where computations can be processed confidentially and confirmed by the network.
With privacy serving as the cornerstone of Secret, the network is uniquely positioned to support the future of Web3 adoption. Guy Zyskind, Founder of Secret and CEO of SCRT Labs said, “privacy is the key to unlocking Web3 adoption. Secret is leading the way by offering customizable privacy, allowing users to control their data sharing.”
As the infrastructure for Web3 continues to grow, Secret Network is onboarding the next billion users by developing the tools to fit the missing piece of privacy into the user experience.
Developing The Infrastructure For Privacy
While there are browsers and other tools designed for protecting confidential data in Web2, there’s no single approach that can provide total protection. The same goes for Web3: we need the proper infrastructure to not just protect one area of crypto, but the entire ecosystem.
That’s why Secret launched Privacy as a Service (PaaS), which is the ability for Secret’s privacy-preserving computation to be used beyond the borders of its own network. This is achieved through the use of cross-chain communication protocols like Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) and Axelar General Message Passing (GMP). By using these connections, developers can make use of features from multiple blockchains, getting the “best of both worlds”.
One such product recently launched is Secret VRF, a secure and verifiable random number generator that can be used for on-chain games, NFT minting, fair selection, and more. “With our Privacy as a Service framework and upcoming APIs, we’re expanding our privacy-preserving computation to other chains. By enabling random number generation, private voting, unstoppable wallets, and more, Secret is driving the future of Web3 data privacy,” said Zyskind.
SCRT Labs, the core development team behind the network, is working on several Privacy as a Service products to be released over the next year. These products will enable things like private voting for DAOs, smart contract wallets with programmable security policies, and decentralized applications that can be used without requiring a wallet.
In addition to these planned products, any developer can start building their own Privacy as a Service applications today, as Secret Network is a permissionless blockchain. One such example is Bidshop, an auction platform on Polygon that is making use of Secret to enable private bidding.
Building a Privacy-First Ecosystem
What makes Secret attractive to both developers and users is that its privacy preserving capabilities are fully customizable. This sort of fine-tuned control over privacy has led over 30 dApps to launch on the Secret mainnet. Whether it’s DeFi, gaming, NFTs, or anything in between, projects and users can decide who they share their data with and when.
In the case of DeFi, Secret’s private smart contracts enable users to perform actions like trading, yield farming, and lending without having to reveal their balances, transactions, and positions to the public. At the same time, users have the ability to reveal this information to other parties if needed, such as their accountant. Additionally, DeFi applications on Secret Network are MEV-resistant by default, which protects users from losing funds to trading bots.
Recent innovations in private DeFi have continued to bring it to the next level. For example, the innovative team at Shade Protocol recently launched an entire suite of applications with state of the art UX and cutting edge financial primitives. In a partnership with Secret Network, Shade also recently launched Secret Surge: a dedicated campaign to incentivize usersto engage with its private DeFi protocols and earn increased rewards (up to $4m) when providing liquidity to selected pools. So far, the campaign has increased TVL on Secret by over 400% in 2 months, from $5m to $20m.
Growing Strong Leadership and a Strong Community
As the core development team behind the network, SCRT Labs is dedicated to supporting its mission to become the privacy hub of Web3. The team is constantly delivering new features, such as the recent network upgrade which included improvements to privacy, security, and interoperability.
As a decentralized network, Secret is also supported by many other contributors, including the Secret Foundation, independent application developers, node operators, and a large community. The Secret Foundation recently announced their new Executive Director, Lisa Loud. Lisa brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles in both the Web2 and Web3 industries. Positions include Head of U.S. Digital Acquisition for Merchants at PayPal, Software Engineering Manager at Apple, and COO of ShapeShift. She currently serves as Chairman of FLUIDEFI, a DeFi trading platform for institutional investors.
“As protocols across the board begin to offer professional-grade data privacy, we’re going to see a rockslide of adoption in the blockchain space,” Lisa said. “I chose to join the Secret Foundation because this is the most important conversation in crypto today.”
Looking forward, Privacy as a Service development will continue to extend Secret’s capabilities throughout Web3. Research and development is also currently going into integrating new forms of cryptography to deliver decentralized private computation in brand new ways, including making use of multi-party computation and fully homomorphic encryption.
Secret is positioned to provide Web3 with the next generation of decentralized privacy technology. There’s never been a better time to get involved! If you’re interested in building an application on Secret, check out their developer resources. If you’re a VC interested in investing in the Secret ecosystem, schedule a call with their business development team to learn about the opportunities available. If you’re interested in getting involved with the community, join their Discord or Telegram. For all other types of inquiries, contact Secret Network leadership here.