Railgun is an intricate smart contract system that provides privacy to cryptocurrency and decentralized finance users via zero-knowledge proof (zk-SNARK) technology. Railgun users will be able to enjoy adding liquidity with decentralized applications, using leverage platforms and privacy while trading. Railgun has features to accomplish this, such as the removal of wallet addresses from users’ actions and transactions. This feature gives users the desired privacy that other popular apps do not provide, where information is available to anyone. Railgun guarantees privacy, anonymity, flexibility, and most importantly convenience.
Railgun is fairly easy to use, whereby users who are familiar with MetaMask or any other popular wallets would have no problem navigating Railgun because these wallets are transparently similar. Users would not have to worry about the efficiency of the zk-SNARK proofs or take extra steps to send, receive or transact with privacy. These counterparts are handled behind the scenes and “open-source,” which means anyone can audit and find it is working as intended. The zero-knowledge protocol is a method we use to protect Railgun users’ privacy and anonymity. The essence of zero-knowledge proofs is that while it’s trivial to prove that one possesses knowledge of certain information by simply revealing it, the challenge is to prove such possession without revealing the information itself or any additional information.
This is optimized in Railgun through methods such as splitting and swapping, where users can prove that they own the input notes and that these notes have not been used before, without revealing the note or themselves. Splitting can be co-opted as a way to transfer funds by setting a different owner in one of the newly created notes, whereas for swapping, a non-zero note has to be exchanged for an empty note. This helps to hide the precise intent of the split.
Relayers are intermediaries between Railgun and its users, and allow users to send transactions without using their account. Railgun’s system operates with a zero-trust model when it comes to relayers, in that they cannot corrupt proofs. In addition, Railgun users will have the ability to select their preferred relayer, so they would have to work to build a reputation as trustworthy or they won’t receive transactions to collect fees from.
Railgun is permissionless, so it does not only support popular tokens such as Tether (USDT). In fact, most ERC-20 tokens will be natively usable in Railgun and untraceable, without any additional developer input required to support the tokens, and this applies to DApps as well. Railgun is a layer-one system so it has full computing power, security, reliability and liquidity behind Ethereum, with no side-chain or second layer.
There are a few ways in which you can use Railgun:
- Perform dark pool-style trading where nobody can copy your farming strategies.
- Make confidential payments to your attorney when seeking legal advice on personal disputes.
- Enter into new coin investments without alerting those who follow your wallet.
- Build a shielded balance without outsiders knowing the specifics of your diamond handbags.
- Receive donations without outsiders being able to view your donation history.
- Prevent spying and data collection on one’s transaction and DeFi habits
- Prevent advertisers or fraudsters from targeting you based on your DeFi habits.
- Support the concept of DeFi, security of blockchain technology and maintain the privacy that non-DeFi institutions provide.
Railgun’s RAIL acts as a governance token and can be staked to gain voting rights on upgrades to Railgun, where staked tokens will gain yield from protocol fees. RAIL can also be purchased on DeFi exchanges such as Uniswap. Governance could vote to establish weekly and/or monthly rewards for staked users, pay grants, vote for fee changes or burn the remaining unminted maximum supply. Owning the RAIL token will also give users the ability to propose and have their favorite ERC-20 token supported by Railgun.
Furthermore, Railgun is for the people, by the people. Owning RAIL will give you the ability to contribute to the future direction of Railgun. The developers of Railgun have no special privileges that supersede any governance of the Railgun system by RAIL token holders.