Exploring Decentralization With Homomorphic Encryption

We live in a world where data is the new oil, distributed systems and heterogeneous networking are becoming the norm of modern software industry. It is estimated that on average we generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. A report by Cisco predicts the following:

● By 2020, the gigabyte (GB) equivalent of all movies ever made will cross the global Internet every 2 minutes.

● Globally, IP traffic will reach 511 terabits per second (Tbps) in 2020, the equivalent of 142 million people streaming Internet high-definition (HD) video simultaneously, all day, every day.

● Global IP traffic by 2020 will be equivalent to 504 billion DVDs per year, 42 billion DVDs per month, or 58 million DVDs per hour.

Cisco also updated their Global consumer web, email, data traffic prediction for 2016–2021.

Unfortunately, today`s consumer oriented internet services are too centralized around a handful companies who almost have a full monopoly over the internet services that most people on the planet experience. Hence between them, these companies hold vast amounts of our data (as consumers and employees) through various services they provide to us directly or via the companies we work for.

We highly recommend reading a recent independent study by Andre Staltz entitled “THE WEB BEGAN DYING IN 2014, HERE’S HOW” — indeed the data suggests that Google and Facebook may have direct influence of more than 70% of the internet traffic!

Another reason for concern is that, these big tech companies have been on buying spree leveraging their vast cash reserves and distribution power to get rid of startups, that one day could compete with them on certain verticals. A recent example from our previous post is GitHub which was acquired by Microsoft.

Image by Dave Simonds — taken from a related article on the Economist.

So can we ever escape from Facebook and Cos ?

One may be tempted to answer yes, and that all we need to do is to stop using their services? Well it is not that simple! Firstly, as it was recently revealed, Facebook can and have been collecting information of people who don`t have Facebook accounts — aka Shadow Profiling. Secondly, even if you delete your account or don`t at all have an account, chances are you do have friend(s) somewhere on Earth with your contact details who share their contact list with Facebook and so may be giving away some of your data to the company without your knowledge and consent.

We believe as people and regulators around the world are becoming aware of the importance that the access to our digital footprints hold in the economy, society and politics, decentralization will become the order of the day and Dapps will become the standard way that both consumers and enterprises will access internet enabled services. Dapps come of course with great challenges in terms of data security and confidentiality.

At Zaiku Group we are working on a project called “The Brainstrust Project” — where we are trying to optimize existing homomorphic schemes to make them more practical to use, and also researching new schemes. In simple terms, the purpose of homomorphic encryption is to enable computation over encrypted data. We are particularly interested in Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) — considered by many as the holy grail of modern cryptography.

If you are a FHE researcher or curious pure mathematician (e.g working in Algebra & Algebraic Geometry/Topology) we would love to hear from you — we like thinking outside of the box and looking to apply novel abstract methods such as Group/Ring Cohomology into our projects!:)

Posted by Bambordé Baldé, Co — Founder | Twitter: @cloudbalde |é|

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