American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz or a16z has announcement the creation of a tool that aims to improve consumer protection, increase security, and protect the privacy of investors in crypto airdrops, using zero-knowledge proofs.
a16z brings the built-in zero-knowledge proof tool
Sam Ragsdale, engineer at a16z, wrote a blog that reveals his team has built a tool to close another door to attackers through zero-knowledge proofs.
Traditionally, in crypto airdrops, the distribution of tokens to public addresses exposes the entire holdings and financial history associated with the recipient accounts, leading to technology that is ill-suited to criminal enterprises. The famous “transparency” that accompanies Blockchain technology should not lead participants to give up their privacy.
Notably, crypto airdrops are a popular way for Web3 projects to showcase and launch networking capabilities by incentivizing attendees, contributors, and early adopters.
New tool removes the requirement for a public key per airdropper, with zero-knowledge proofs allowing people to selectively view specific parts of information, allowing them to profit from encrypted airdrops without letting anyone doxx their financial history .
How it works?
To understand it in a simple way, the a16z tool mixes the public addresses of recipients with those of all users. Individuals can regain control of their data under the new approach and selectively disclose information about themselves at their convenience. The state of the art in airdropping is more closely aligned to the core concept of Web3 with this technology. This is how it works:
- Airdrop recipients provide a message called an engagement on an official project channel.
- Airdropper would then build a Merkle tree of those engagements to deploy the smart contracts.
- Potential recipients can claim their share of the airdrop by providing a zero-knowledge Merkle proof to verify that they are the authors of an engagement, without revealing which one.