As the world goes digital, privacy is becoming of utmost importance. However, this transition is also not without its challenges, and experts are battling to instill principles that protect everyday users of the Internet from various malicious and bad actors.
Just recently, the American government proposed its Data Privacy and Protection Act to combat unnecessary data collection and to give everyone ownership of their data with external services and the right to request that all their data be deleted.
In blockchain technology, many projects focus on making on-chain transactions more private by veiling transactions and making them unreadable to the outside viewer. The problem: common data collection still happens, despite the decentralized blockchain approach.
In general, all information transmitted on-chain is entirely transparent — wallet addresses, transactions, contracts, and messages sent are fully traceable. This is usually not a problem as a created wallet is not linked to a person, but as soon as one interacts with centralized services like exchanges, identities can be linked to their on-chain counterparts.
In these instances, you have to trust these institutions to be careful with your data and not to share it with any third parties or become a victim of data breaches. To gain control over your own information projects like Tornado Cash, Zcash, and Threshold Network either veil the transaction of funds or even provide a completely private blockchain by itself.
But that isn’t enough because on-chain privacy doesn’t protect you from all data harvesting.
In contrast to on-chain privacy, where data on the blockchain gets hidden, off-chain privacy protects your data, specifically your metadata, from being revealed while visiting common Web3 sites like Uniswap, OpenSea, or Binance.
Metadata like your IP address, your location, and others are easily readable and can be linked to you and your wallet, even within fully private blockchains. This is where a project like HOPR comes into play, offering this off-chain privacy, veiling your metadata, and offering a truly private experience.
With its mixnet, HOPR anonymizes this metadata through a mixnet that functions similarly to the TOR browser.
To make full use of on-chain privacy and deliver a truly private ecosystem, projects like Tornado Cash, Zcash, and Threshold Network need an off-chain privacy project like HOPR. Both types of privacy are necessary for your data to be safe against all potential attacks and exploits.
Additionally, off-chain privacy helps you to secure your private information in the legacy Web 2.0, where data harvesting by big tech companies is still prevalent.
Projects like HOPR build the infrastructure for everyone to be able to choose just how much data they disclose, no matter if it’s on-chain within the up-and-coming Web3 or if it’s on well-known sites like Google and Amazon. Because in the end, it should be your right to decide who gets to see your private data, no matter which service you are using.