The OAN Partners with University of Waterloo on Privacy Research

This blog was originally published on Medium.

We are excited to announce today a collaboration with the University of Waterloo to investigate solutions to the challenge of preserving privacy in the context of Open Applications on blockchain networks.

At the heels of our recent announcement of a privacy-focused Test-Network (Tetryon), The OAN-Waterloo partnership is part of our broader commitment to accelerate academic research and technical development in the field of Open Application privacy.

The OAN will contribute $300,000 CAD with an additional $250,000 CAD in engineering and research capabilities to support the partnership over the first three years. The OAN will further support Waterloo’s Guang Gong, Professor and University Research Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, in applying for matching funds through federal and provincial funding. If successful, these matching funds could bring the total project size to over $1,000,000.

The Open Application Privacy Partnership will focus on the development of cryptographic techniques such as Zero Knowledge Proofs and Fully Homomorphic Encryption, to enable privacy-preserving interactions between user data and applications operating on this data.

“We are excited to collaborate with the University of Waterloo to accelerate academic research, technical development, and innovation in the field of Open Application privacy,” said Matt Spoke, co-founder and CEO of The Open Application Network. “This partnership reinforces our commitment to leading the industry in building Open Application architecture and enabling new capabilities such as the ability for developers to build privacy guarantees into Open Apps.”

Waterloo is a leading research university in Canada, with a deep history of producing theoretical breakthroughs and entrepreneurial innovation.

When applying blockchain technologies to various application environments (e.g., health, transportation, asset and big data managements, etc), the privacy of blockchain becomes an inevitable key requirement. The collaborated project with Aion for investigating privacy preserving logic in blockchain systems aligns well with my research interests in applying blockchain for securing Internet-of-Things (IoT) in which sender and receiver’s privacy as well as transaction confidentiality are guaranteed (currently supported by NSERC SPG). — Dr. Gong

Dr. Guang Gong, who heads the Communication Security Lab at Waterloo, will lead the Open Application Privacy research efforts. Dr. Gong, a member of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, brings more than 25 years of experience in applied and theoretical cryptography to this research effort. Dr. Gong has also authored two books and more than 250 publications in communication systems security and applied cryptography. Recently, her work has focused on security and privacy in Internet-of-Things (IoT), Blockchain and Machine Learning (ML) systems.

“The Open Application Network is thrilled to be part of a new paradigm to build systems and economies for the common good; a place where applications can be developed that are truly open and outside the bounds and economic interests of overly dominant platform companies,” said Ian Chan, COO of The Open Application Network and former partner at Deloitte.

Click here to see the official Newswire press release.

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