The blockchain network is fully transparent: when a user publishes a new transaction to the blockchain, everyone can see it. That can be a liability when it comes to private business information that parties might not wish to expose. In order to protect our users’ private information, WAVE BL has developed a privacy layer that encrypts document transactions. With this privacy layer, which is unique to WAVE BL, parties know that their document exchanges cannot be tracked by parties outside the transaction.
(Note: the following section is somewhat technical, but we include it for readers interested in the details of our implementation.)
Given that blockchain technology is all about transparency, how does our privacy layer work?
In a generic blockchain, users have two identities, or “keys”: a public key and a private key. When two users perform a transaction, the blockchain records their public keys. Since users generally use the same public key, or the same small set of public keys, for all their transactions, external observers can start to track the transactions that are performed with those keys, and see which parties are transferring assets (money, eBLs, etc.) with each other.
WAVE BL solves this problem by generating unique one-time public keys for users to use in each transaction. That means that on our network, you’ll never use the same public key twice, making it impossible for external observers to track your transaction history.
What are private keys for?
In both WAVE BL’s blockchain network and generic blockchain systems, users have a “wallet” or “folder” to keep their assets in. (These assets might be cryptocurrency, in the case of a network like Bitcoin; in our case, the assets are documents and signatures). Users use their private key to unlock their wallets and access their assets. On WAVE BL’s network, the private key also allows users to digitally sign their documents.
Benefit to WAVE BL users: WAVE BL’s privacy layer preserves the secrecy of sensitive business information concerning when and between whom transactions are performed. No one who is not a party to the transaction can track the parties involved.