Although the modern internet connects us like never before, one thing that younger generations have never truly experienced is the feeling of genuine privacy. Even older generations have forgotten what life was like before our every thought and action were tracked.

Web3 envisions an open, trustless, permissionless internet where users can interact with each other peer-to-peer without giving up ownership control, privacy or relying on intermediaries.

Underlying that vision, blockchains are one of the most important tools. They eliminate the need for trusted third parties and help to create a direct relationship between users and service providers, recording the rules of engagement on immutable ledgers and even storing direct interactions between them. Blockchains also fundamentally reconfigure the structures and power balances in data ownership.

With blockchains, individuals can now bypass centralized websites and costly intermediaries and interact directly with each other with end-to-end encryption. People can buy assets such as houses or works of art, access public resources, and participate in high-level decisions. Moreover, the control and management of those processes are much simpler using a decentralized platform where third parties are unable to gain access to data unless participants agree to enable it.

That’s the theory.

The reality of blockchain privacy

In reality, today’s blockchains are “pseudonymous,” where users are identified by an alphanumeric string of characters known as a public key. However, associations between the activity in a transaction and…

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