PlatON Network is an internet infrastructure protocol focused on preserving privacy. The network uses cryptographic algorithms, which include Secure Multi-Party Computation (MPC), Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP), Verifiable Computation (VC), Secret Sharing (SS) and homomorphic Encryption (HE).

The decentralized platform uses the technology to ensure the free circulation of data assets around the world.

James QU, chief technology officer at PlatON Network, talks about the issues the platform is tackling, its current focus and future plans, and the company’s vision in a conversation with Cointelegraph.

1. The PlatON Network is largely focused on the concept of trustless computing. Can you explain what trustless computing is and why it is important?

Trustless technology aims to reduce cost and error, make business more efficient with lower costs while protecting your sensitive data.

Any business has costs, such as opportunity finding cost, deal reaching consensus cost, settlement and clearing time cost, error trade risk handling cost, regulation risk cost, and we have to pay these costs every day.

Now, we have entered the metaverse digital era where one physical thing may have thousands of faces, multiple digital IDs trading with each other, and a thousand times more trades performed at the same time.

It reminds me of a so-called "high power money" — the digital money with superfast settlements that have much higher buy power.

Our daily life has been dominated by advanced IoT devices. Data is collected everywhere, consciously or unconsciously. Advanced AI models tirelessly mine huge amounts of information and do federated learning, deep learning to work out accurate digital portraits or portfolios. It brings such convenience and value to our daily life that we can’t even imagine.

But why are so many tech companies breaking regulations and getting penalties? It is because their platforms are not trustless, and we are forced to pay extra costs for the sake of convenience.

How do we redefine a new sustainable and fair distribution model? How can we start trusting data providers? How do we prevent the abuse of data? All these questions boil down to one: how to establish a verifiable “trusted” environment based on “trust” technology? Blockchain, decentralization, privacy computing, verifiable computing have emerged as a result, and this is what we call "trustless" technology.

There are existing trustless platforms, such as commercial banking systems. However, they are centralized, involving high employee pay, tough regulation, and there are licensed markets with restrictions of participation, where we pay commissions for every single trade.

Now, we have Bitcoin, Ethereum, blockchain tech, privacy-preserving, verifiable cryptography algorithms. We could build brand new trustless, emotionless machine learning algorithms based on math without having to pay the middlemen.

2. PlatON aims to build the next-generation privacy-preserving infrastructure. What are the main problems the platform is trying to solve in the current infrastructure?

The first problem is data asset or value protection. It is applied for different types of data and in different stages of the data life cycle.

We refer to data as the new digital oil. If it is not very well protected during its long life cycle, it may get easily leaked, copied, transferred or abused. There will be no way for data asset evaluation. Thus, it wouldn’t add value to the business on data co-operating or computing interoperability, and it may end up left behind or at the hands of tech corporations.

More insights from PlatON Network here

The second one is data computing interoperability, which means generating new value, and keeping easy reach as a privacy AI, or AGI, network based on privacy-protected data.

The third issue is, preventing the abuse of data and safeguarding human's digital rights.

PlatON aims to provide healthy, fair and sustainable, Artificial General Intelligence.

3. PlatON aims to achieve scalability, verifiability, and privacy in trustless computing. Can you explain how you plan to accomplish these three objectives?

This is a big question. Since PlatON's objective is huge and complicated, let me first explain it from a technical point of view.

Our company is working in different directions. First of all, PlatON has three pillars – blockchain, cryptography and privacy AI.

The blockchain serves as a settlement and clearing ecosystem infrastructure. Cryptography, research and engineering are responsible for scalability and verifiable computation. And on the blockchain engineering front, there is an efficient consensus algorithm named Giskard of the CBFT type, working alongside a well-designed PlatON PoS.

Our Giskard consensus algorithm has passed official verification by Runtime Verification.

There is no need to construct layer-2 solutions for performance enhancements at the moment. Moving forward, on-chain WASM supports privacy natively, off-chain verifiable computation supports scalability, and off-chain storage to improve on-chain storage, the blockchain infra will be more secure and fast.

In addition, PlatON is building up an open source global community to gain trust, to get involved with ecosystem use cases and deep academic research.

4. PlatON relies on a combination of blockchain and privacy-preserving computation technologies. Could you explain what these technologies are and how they interact with blockchain tech?

It is a golden combination, in my view. From a digital asset point of view, privacy-preserving is for value protecting, and blockchain is for settlement.

From a technical scalability point of view, blockchain is likely to carry on immutable data forever. It requires a methodology to extend its life as long as possible, and for this, zk-rollups are currently working pretty well.

PlatON is also exploring how to leverage privacy-preserving computation to put business off-chain, verify short results on-chain, which is crucial for blockchain's scalability.

5. You plan to build a DApp ecosystem on the PlatON network. How would that ecosystem interact with other blockchains?

We anticipate that the community will build DApps on top of PlatON. PlatON's privacy-preserving capability will empower their DApps, reborn as something new, providing updated business models with different revenue streams.

There’ll be cross-chain bridges, exchangeable assets, and there will be an option of exporting cryptography to other chains.

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