Multiparty computation is a kind of super authentication in that a user will authenticate to web3 platforms using several factors (e.g., biometrics, identity, password, etc.) without any nodes in the network understanding what they are verifying since authentication computation is part of MPC.
- Protecting private keys and user data becomes crucial as Web3 technology continues to take root.
- Recently, blockchain-based web3 platforms started implementing multiparty computation to guarantee data privacy without disclosing sensitive information.
- This authentication will help in identity management, healthcare, finance, government services, defence, and law enforcement applications.
Understanding multiparty computation
Protecting private keys and user data becomes crucial as Web3 technology continues to take root. Yet, the number of scams and hacks that have happened within the Web3 ecosystem so far in 2022 remains immense. This demonstrates that further security measures, accompanied by enhanced forms of decentralisation, are still needed.
As these developments become apparent, several organisations have resorted to multiparty computation (MPC) to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of Web3 platforms. MPC represents a cryptographic protocol that employs an algorithm across multiple parties.
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According to Andrew Masanto, the co-founder of Nillion – a Web3 startup specialising in decentralised computation- MPC is exceptional since individual parties cannot access each other’s data. Yet, the parties can jointly compute an output. MPC essentially allows multiple parties to make computations without sharing data.
Masanto adds that the history of MPC runs parallel to that of blockchain. During the conceptualisation of blockchain, developers also created a sibling technology. The creators designed multiparty computation explicitly for computation and processing within a trustless ecosystem. Notably, the theory behind MPC got conceptualised roughly four decades ago. However, the complexity of this cryptographic procedure delayed the practical application of MPC.
The transformational nature of multiparty computation
Recently, blockchain-based web3 platforms started implementing multiparty computation to guarantee data privacy without disclosing sensitive information. This move finds inspiration from the fact that MPC is a perfect philosophical match for the blockchain economy.
Unlike public blockchain networks, MPC cracks the confidentiality challenges through a network of nodes directly computed on encrypted data with no familiarity with the corresponding information.
Consequently, digital asset security companies leveraged MPC in 2020 to guarantee the security of users’ private wallets and keys. As such, with the advancement of Web3, more firms have kickstarted MPC implementation to generate a higher level of decentralised privacy for different use cases.
The evolution ofWeb2 to Web3 aims to enable organisations and people can work together on different data sets in ways that respect confidentiality while upholding compliance.
Blockchains are not built for this purpose. Blockchain platforms are essentially public, and smart contracts are often performed by one node and then validated by others. MPC distributes computing over a network of nodes, resulting in a genuinely decentralised type of computation.
MPC’s guarantee has caught the eye of Coinbase, which has just revealed its Web3 application capability. Coinbase’s new wallet and DApp features use MPC to protect senders’ and recipients’ privacy while also assuring transaction accuracy.
Multiparty computation will take centre stage as Web3 evolves
Unsurprisingly, industry insiders anticipate that industry actors will use multiparty computation more as Web3 evolves. However, it will be vital for businesses to develop logical combinations of technology to address real-world challenges while ensuring data privacy.
These protocols, along with the fundamental cryptographic building blocks, need specialised knowledge that is not readily accessible. The need for technical skills makes it challenging to have big development teams creating and executing secure multiparty-computation-based solutions.
It is also crucial to note that MPC solutions are not entirely error-free. However, dividing a private key into numerous shares eliminates the one attack vector. This vector has long remained a concern for conventional private key wallet providers.
Instead of gaining access to a seed phrase or private key, a hacker in an MPC-based system would need to compromise many parties, each of which employs various security procedures.
While this is true, MPC alone will not protect institutions against skilled hackers. To defeat MPC systems, hackers need to infiltrate three internet-connected PCs. This is the equivalent of hacking three ordinary hot wallets. When it pertains to the theft of billions, hackers spend millions. An MPC enterprise-grade strategy needs a genuine offline cold wallet to handle most digital assets, whereas an MPC solution can manage modest quantities.
MPC represents a step into the future
Modern MPC technology has made it harder for attackers to compromise information than conventional MPC systems. MPC maintains sensitive data across numerous network nodes as an unidentifiable set of information-theoretic security particles. The particles embody a level of crypto analytically unbreakable security level). Hackers would need to identify each particle without knowing which particle links to a user’s sensitive private data and where to find those particles since there is no trace linking any of the nodes.
To make the particle identifiable again, the hacker would require a substantial number of “blinding factors” employed in information-theoretic security to disguise the data within each particle. This is only one illustration of how MPC-based solutions can evolve in the future. According to Masanto, this evolution will provide access to even more MPC use cases, such as using the network for authentication.
Multiparty computation is a kind of super authentication in that a user will authenticate to a network using several factors (e.g., biometrics, identity, password, etc.) without any nodes in the network understanding what they are verifying since authentication computation forms part of the process within web3 platforms.
This authentication will help in identity management, healthcare, finance, government services, defence, and law enforcement applications. This development facilitates system interoperability while simultaneously protecting people’s rights and providing them with control and visibility over their data and how it is utilised. MPC stands for the future.