Misappropriation of data has become a topic of concern in recent years. Whether it be leaks of private information as in the case of Yahoo, or the manipulation of private data for political purposes as in the case of Facebook, the mishandling of supposedly confidential information is of significant interests to those affected. Origin Protocol, a blockchain startup designed to facilitate a decentralized sharing economy, has announced a partnership with encryption technology specialists NuCypher; together, the two companies aim to bring Data Privacy to decentralized sharing applications.
Some of the most innovative companies in the past few years, such as Uber and Airbnb, have managed to achieve considerable success from their ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of customer data. While much has been accomplished with this information, it creates a single point of failure for data security. Origin Protocol and its blockchain technology partly rectify this dilemma by introducing a public ledger of data that is protected against hacking and manipulation.
However, this itself presents an additional problem, where portions of information need to remain confidential. In order to encrypt key fragments of information, NuCypher will act as a privacy layer for parts of data within the applications on the Origin Protocol platform.
“By integrating NuCypher technology in Origin we are offering more flexibility and greater control of sensitive data to our partner companies that are building on our platform… with Origin and blockchain technology… we are building infrastructure for a completely new, decentralized Internet economy. Said Matthew Liu, Co-founder of Origin Protocol.”
NuCypher utilizes a proxy re-encryption method, guaranteeing that neither NuCypher nor the companies implementing its protocols would have access to encrypted data. By providing optional privacy access to portions of data, companies developing on the Origin Protocol platform can create powerful sharing economy applications without fear of misappropriating sensitive information.
Together, Origin and NuCypher allow for new possibilities. For example, this new partnership would guarantee the privacy of an address in a blockchain home sharing application. For a ride-sharing application, the location data of the rider would be kept private while simultaneously finding a match with the closest driver. In a decentralized recruitment platform, job seekers could participate while ensuring their anonymity. These possibilities only scratch the surface of what is possible.
With over 30 companies already committed to developing their applications on the platform, the future appears bright for the newly announced partnership. From decentralized home sharing companies to car hiring services, the potential implications of this new platform are far-reaching. With this new collaboration, a new player emerges in the ever-growing gig economy that better protect data while simultaneously providing services to consumers with lower service fees. This collaboration between Origin Protocol and NuCypher ushers in a new era of innovation in the sharing economy, without compromising the security of the consumer.