Out of the shadows: nChain presents a threshold blinding system

nChain, once described as a secretive Bitcoin startup, is not so secret these days.

After flying under the radar for some time, the nChain team was present at the Bitkan-hosted 2017 Shape the Future Blockchain Global Summit in Hong Kong to discuss what the blockchain technology research and development outfit has been up to.

Dr. Craig Wright, chief scientist of nChain, described the company as “not your normal business” in the sense that it doesn’t have a store front nor does it have a typical product to sell. In fact, nChain isn’t even planning to sell things, at least in the traditional sense.

“I’m not going to pawn you today for the simple fact that we don’t want your money. I’m not looking at an IPO, not looking at investment, we’re not inviting investors, sorry. We’re not sharing. None of that. What we’re going to do is we’re going to share technology,” Wright said during a technical session at the recently-held blockchain summit. “I’d like to tell people that our business plan is sort of… building a community now that’s going to actually help make Bitcoin universal. It can make Bitcoin for everyone, and by that, Bitcoin Cash is going to grow and expand and enable everyone to use. I want to see a world where 5 billion-plus people use Bitcoin on a daily basis. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

One of the areas that the London and Vancouver-based operation is focusing on in security, particularly confidentiality, integrity and availability. nChain has been working on a threshold blinding system, which Wright said will enable everyone to have multiple web wallets competing.

“Imagine an exchange that doesn’t know what you own. Imagine where they can match transactions, where they can match you and pair you with another and not even know the contents of your Bitcoin address… that’s what blinding enables,” Wright said. “What we’ve been doing is creating a new type of threshold system. We can add and remove people, so we can start with a two or three system. We can add another member and make it a two or four. We can then delete a member and make it back to a two or three, different three members. Think about that a little bit, what that means. None of us is on block but the transfers are all on block.”

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