The emerging role of privacy in blockchain
Today, most layer-1 blockchain platforms are entirely public. This is a powerful feature because it allows activity to be easily verifiable. Yet the public nature of blockchain also limits the available use cases.
For example, if an individual wanted to apply for an under-collateralized loan from a decentralized bank they would have to provide some potentially sensitive information (like a social security number or bank records) to establish their creditworthiness. Yet if this information is publicly available, it leaves the individual exposed to fraud and identity theft. This open, public design also leads to high gas fees and unfair market manipulation as traders front-run public trades for marginal profits.
To unlock the full potential of blockchain, we need a layer-1 solution that is both private and verifiable. Namely a layer-1 platform that can give developers and users alike the ability to control what data is private and what is public. This not only unlocks new use cases in DeFi but also allows sensitive data to be brought on-chain and tokenized.
Meet the Oasis Network: A privacy-enabled blockchain
The Oasis Network is the first Layer 1 network of its kind. Scalable, versatile, and private, the network has a unique architecture that separates consensus operations from computing into two main layers: the Consensus Layer and ParaTime Layer. This design allows the Network to support many different parallel compute environments (aka ParaTimes) that can be customized for a broad set of use cases.
One of the Oasis Network’s core features is its support for confidential compute — a process where data is kept encrypted and private even while being processed by a node on the network.
The privacy technology made available by the Oasis Network has the power to not only better secure user data, but also revolutionize the DeFi space. DeFi today is limited by high fees, self-motivated traders, and a lack of a reputation system or identity. Using both confidential compute as well as a lightweight, scalable design, the Oasis Network can enable lower fees, prevent front-running, and allow for the creation of identities with user-controlled data.
This powerful combination of private, scalable smart contracts has the potential to unlock new use cases like under-collateralized loans, and private automated market makers. With under-collateralized loans, for example, individuals could upload sensitive financial data — allowing them to establish their creditworthiness and providing assurances to a lender that they will pay their debts. This allows lenders to offer under-collateralized loans for the first time on the blockchain, unlocking entirely new markets and expanding DeFi to a mainstream audience.
The team behind the Tokenization Data vision
One of the earliest technical contributors to the technologies underlying Oasis Network, Oasis Labs, was founded in 2018 by Dawn Song, an awarded professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the world’s foremost experts in computer security and trustworthy artificial intelligence. Dawn and a number of early contributors to the technologies underlying the Oasis Network envisioned a new paradigm in which people control their data while allowing data to be used in a privacy-preserving way and obtaining value from it.
After attracting $45 million in investment from venture capital and cryptocurrency investing firms like a16z, Pantera, Polychain Capital, and Accel, the team set out to not only build many of the core building blocks that would become the Oasis Network, but also an innovative new blockchain API product called Parcel. Oasis Network has a very strong partner ecosystem already with key partnerships such as BMW, Nebula, Balancer, Meter, Binance Cryptosafe Alliance, and more.
The Oasis Network is able to support many parallel smart contact environments, each with its own unique design and features. There are several environments currently available for developers to build decentralized applications on including – Parcel and the Oasis Ethereum ParaTime.
Parcel is built on top of the Oasis Network – providing developers with a simple API to interact with blockchain (no smart contracts required!). It is designed to protect and tokenize data — giving you control and ownership of your personal information. Parcel today can be used to grant application users complete control over their data. As the product develops, Parcel will support the ability for these data-backed tokens to be sold, traded, and shared on a decentralized marketplace — even allowing you to earn rewards by staking data with apps that want to analyze it. It is designed to protect and isolate data — giving users control and ownership of their personal information and provides these core benefits:
- Automatically implement data ownership and access policies across your app or organization
- Much easier interface than a smart contract environment
- With support for Typescript, the Parcel SDK can easily be added to your development flow. No custom languages or complex smart contract systems to learn
- Built-in dispatcher, which makes it easy to spin up an isolated environment for privacy-preserving computation
- Immutable, tamper-proof record of actions ensuring user data can’t be misused
The Oasis-Eth ParaTime is a powerful dapp development environment, which is entirely backward compatible with Ethereum. In summary, it offers dapp developers:
- Full EVM and Solidity toolchain support
- Gas fees that are 99% lower than Ethereum
- Much more performant than Ethereum with higher throughput and 6 second confirmation times
- Easy-to-use web-based development environment
Oasis Grants Program
Oasis also offers several funding opportunities for dapp developers looking to build privacy-enabled DeFi and data tokenization dapps. Additionally, there are separate grants for more tailored projects focussed on NFTs and a unique women-led teams grant.
- The $1.5 million ROSE Bloom Grants Program has been developed by Oasis to help kickstart the development of projects in a range of key focus areas.
- Oasis is looking for developers who want to build new NFT applications on the Oasis Ethereum ParaTime.
- Oasis has partnered with Sperax to provide up to $50,000 grants to women-led teams working on stablecoin projects in the blockchain space as part of Sparex’s LIFTED Grant Series.
To apply for grants and learn more head to the official Oasis funding page. Applicants will be notified within 1 to 2 weeks after submission and applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
The ROSE Token
The native cryptocurrency of the Oasis network is the ROSE token which has a capped supply of 10 billion tokens. ROSE is used for transaction fees, staking, and delegation at the consensus layer. Additionally, 2.3 billion tokens will be automatically paid out as staking rewards to stakers and delegators for securing the network over time.
Users that stake ROSE, help secure the Oasis blockchain and can earn rewards in the process. Holders can earn up to 20% annualized staking rewards for “staking” crypto on the network, with the option of “cold-staking” which still allows full control over the tokens. For a more detailed deep dive into ROSE tokenomics, including change logs, fundraising history, check out the token metrics and distribution article on the Oasis Network blog.
Join the Community
The Oasis community is a vibrant growing ecosystem of privacy advocates, decentralized believers, and crypto enthusiasts. They have regular AMAs and townhalls where folks can engage directly with the team and ask questions about the network. If you’d like to get involved, follow them on Twitter or join their Telegram channel.