Dialogue between Matthew To and Justin Sun
Matthew To：TRON Great Voyage 4.0 gave birth to the first smart contract virtual machine that supports privacy computation in human history, namely TRONZ. It is also by far the safest and most efficient privacy protocol with the least resource consumption. Among all other privacy computation protocols, why do you bet on TRONZ?
Justin Sun：I think TRONZ smart contract privacy protocol enjoys the following key advantages that set it apart from other privacy protocols:
1. It delivers fully private transactions with addresses and amounts being completely shielded.
2. It is widely applicable, supporting TRC20 tokens of all standards.
3. It is flexible and practical, supporting transfers of any customized amount.
4. It is fully open-source and developer-friendly.
5. It charges an extremely low handling fee, which is only one third of what Tornado Cash (Ethereum’s smart contract virtual machine) charges on average; at its lowest, the ratio is 1 to 575.
We were able to achieve this thanks to one prerequisite, which is that TRONZ is running on TRON’s Mainnet. So it’s a perfect fit to what we need.
Matthew To: What impact will the birth of TRON smart contract privacy protocol have on the entire TRON ecosystem?
Justin Sun: Over the past three years, TRON has been gaining unparalleled growth momentum and has made many accomplishments along the way.I’ll give you a brief update of some of our impressive stats.You can follow me on Weibo and Twitter for more stats on TRON’s performance.
TRON Mainnet wise, the total number of TRON accounts has exceeded 6.6 million; TRON block height has surpassed 21 million and the total number of transactions reached over 1 billion; TRON also beats Ethereum and EOS in single-day transfers and total number of users respectively.
And there’s more. Recently, TRON earned a place in world-renowned blockchain media CoinDesk’s CoinDesk 20 as one the top 20 assets that matters most in the crypto world.
This is a very reputable ranking and we are the only Chinese project to be on the list. The ranking is the investment reference source for financial institutions on Wall Street, the S&P index for blockchain so to speak.Also, the ranking is not purely based on market cap, as we can see many high market-cap projects are not included.
In DeFi, both TRON and Ethereum have built an established USDT ecosystem. But TRC20-USDT is attracting more and more users with its low fee and fast transfer, boasting over 400,000 unique addresses and 2.8 billion circulation, exceeding OMNI-USDT and accounting for 29% of total USDT supply and 55% of Ethereum-based USDT. We will strive to surpass ERC20-USDT this year.The other twin in TRON’s dual stablecoin system is USDJ, which is generated by collateralizing TRX in JUST and demonstrates higher level of security and flexibility. There are over 4.2 million USDJ circulation and over 1 billion TRX (around 15 million USD) locked up as collateral.
TRON 4.0 Great Voyage era kicked off with TRONZ privacy protocol. It unveils a new chapter for the TRON ecosystem, a new era with a new vision and goal: to become the next-generation financial infrastructure.
Justin Sun: Next, would you please share some technical details of TRONZ with us?
Matthew To: Sure.
Justin Sun: One of the defining features of TRONZ privacy protocol is the three transaction types that it supports: Mint, Transfer and Burn. Could you talk a little bit about them?
Matthew To: The three transaction types TRONZ privacy protocol supports are very important. They pave the way for TRONZ mass adoption.
Mint, Transfer and Burn are the three core functions of shielded TRC20 contracts. Mint is to transform public TRC20 tokens to shielded ones with hidden ownership and transaction amount. Mint has only 1 public input and 1 shielded output. Transfer is used to shielded transfer where the sender’s, recipient’s addresses and the transfer amount are hidden. It allows up to 2 shielded inputs and outputs respectively. Burn is used to convert shielded tokens to public TRC-20 tokens. It allows 1 shielded input, 1 public output and 0/1 shielded output.
To make it easier to understand, below is a diagram that shows Mint, Transfer and Burn processes: Suppose Alice has some TRC-20 tokens. She can Mint them to the shielded TRC-20 contract, so that public TRC-20 tokens now become shielded. And then Alice Transfers her shielded tokens to Bob. Now that is a shielded transaction where the sender, receiver and transfer amount are all hidden. At last, the shielded tokens can be Burnt from the shielded contract back into TRC-20 contract and become public TRC-20 tokens again.
Justin Sun: Other well-known shielded tokens on the market are also technically mature, including Coinjoin technology by DASH and Ring CT protocol by XMR. They are all very unique, so why are you so confident about TRONZ privacy protocol?
Matthew To: The Coinjoin technology that DASH relies on has its limitations. It only fuzzifies the source of tokens on the blockchain, but the sender and recipient are still public. Therefore it provides a weak privacy protection. XMR’s Ring Signature and RingCT technology on the other hand have poor performance compared to other privacy technologies.
In comparison, TRONZ privacy protocol offers a solution to these problems, satisfying users’ diverse needs of privacy protection and returning the right of privacy to users themselves.
Justin Sun: As far as I know, TRONZ privacy protocol is built primarily with zk-SNARKs. And it’s shown to be a close to perfect solution to privacy, offering great advantages in terms of security and performance. I believe TRONZ privacy protocol will gradually become THE option for the general public.
Matthew To: Correct! TRONZ privacy protocol is designed with zero-knowledge proof technology, which is used by Zcash to conduct transactions. In comparison, TRONZ achieved a major breakthrough in implementing zero-knowledge proof technology inside virtual machine and conducting shielded transactions with zero-knowledge proof commands. TRONZ privacy protocol marks a breakthrough of historic significance for the entire blockchain industry.
Justin Sun: Agreed! On top of these zero-knowledge proof commands, TRONZ privacy protocol proposes a standard for shielded TRC-20 contracts to implement privacy protection on the contract level, which supports shielded transactions of any TRC-20 token and is therefore more flexible.
Matthew To: At the same time, TRONZ privacy protocol is developer-friendly, allowing developers to create shielded contracts that cater users’ needs without having to study the complex algorithms behind zero-knowledge proof. This significantly promotes the privacy feature of zero-knowledge proof.
Justin Sun: Aztec is dedicated to building itself into the privacy engine for Ethereum. What are TRONZ’s advantages and disadvantages in comparison with Aztec?
Matthew To: Aztec adopts Pedersen commitment scheme, Boneh-Boyen signature and Sigma zero-knowledge proof protocol. In comparison, TRONZ privacy protocol is easier to implement. Furthermore, TRONZ privacy protocol hides both the sender’s and recipient’s addresses and the amount of the transactions while Aztec conceals only the amount of transactions, which is not perfect in safeguarding privacy.
Justin Sun: In that sense, TRONZ provides better privacy protection. However, some global exchanges can not launch anonymous tokens due to compliance issues. Will the trend of exchanges becoming more compliant have an impact on anonymous tokens?
Matthew To：We foresee some impacts on listing anonymous tokens, but in terms of TRONZ privacy protocol, it does not issue any additional TRC-20 tokens. It makes possible for TRC-20 tokens to be transferred anonymously. Users are free to choose whether they want to complete the transaction publicly or privately. If these private transaction-compatible TRC-20 tokens are to be listed on exchanges, exchanges can choose to let users only conduct transfers publicly.
Matthew To : In the future, our team will step up its R&D and make private transactions possible for TRX and TRC-10 in order to better protect user privacy on the TRON network. Meanwhile, we will dive even deeper into the cutting edge cryptographic technologies including the latest zero knowledge proof and secure multiparty computation (MPC). Our current plan is to develop the zero-knowledge proof virtual machine to implement universal security measures to DApps. Our list also includes MPC-based private computation and on-chain privacy engine. We are dedicated to make more contributions to the privacy protection of blockchain.
Justin Sun: That concludes our AMA. Thank you Matthew To, head of project TRONZ, for your introduction. We really learnt a lot about TRONZ private protocol.
Matthew To:Thank you Justin for doing the AMA with me. See you guys soon.