Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchain in the world, however it is not very private. Each Ethereum transaction, like those on other distributed ledgers, is associated with a wallet address that, in many situations, can be traced back to a specific organisation or individual.
Aztec, a group that has been attempting to remedy this, revealed on Thursday that it has raised $17 million to develop what it calls “programmable privacy” for Ethereum.
Aztec released a new layer atop the Ethereum blockchain in 2019 capable of recording transactions anonymously using zero-knowledge proofs—a term that defines cryptography capable of demonstrating something is true without requiring someone to give all of their personal details. Zero-knowledge proofs, for example, can be used to demonstrate someone’s age without revealing their name or birthdate.
Aztec has offered its privacy features from its inception through a product named zk.money, which allows anonymous transactions on Ethereum but functions as a walled network. Aztec, on the other hand, said on Thursday that it is releasing a set of tools called Aztec Connect that would allow developers to add its privacy feature to a wide range of protocols via a software bridge.
“It enables users to securely access world-class DeFi services on Ethereum while saving up to 100x on costs, all while strengthening Aztec’s existing privacy guarantees. Aztec Connect expands the capabilities of zk.money at launch by adding whitelist functionality from select blue-chip DeFi partners “According to a blog post by the company.
Aztec cofounder Joe Andrews explained in an interview that this means developers will be able to integrate its privacy tool into any Ethereum-based protocol. He added that the service is permissionless and will eventually be available on a variety of popular decentralized finance platforms such as Uniswap as well as wallets such as MetaMask and Rainbow.
Aztec has already formed a partnership with DeFi lending service Element, and more such collaborations are in the works, according to the company. In addition, the project is launching a grant program to support privacy-focused developers who use the Ethereum programming language Solidity.