Cloudflare, one of the largest web service providers, may soon start working alongside members of the Ethereum development community. The head of Cloudflare cryptography, Nick Sullivan, extended his hand on Twitter last week with the following message:
"Dear Ethereum researchers, Cloudflare is very interested in working with you on how to bridge the gap between traditional and decentralized Internet."
So far, the company has received answers from a number of major developers, including Nick Johnson, who proposed to integrate DNSSEC with the chain trials of Ethereum and Virgil Griffith, which offered assistance with Cloudflare's IPFS gateways.
The most significant answer, however, comes from the creator of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin, who expressed interest in a particular Cloudflare project that deals with privacy and tracking of CAPTCHA users.
Buterin Interested in the privacy pass
In his response to Sullivan, Buterin praised a Cloudflare product called the Privacy Pass. Buterin exclaimed: "This is fantastic!" And he approved the product privacy model, so he expressed interest in integrating the ETH token with the platform.
Cloudflare's privacy pass essentially covers CAPTCHAs, which are currently used to distinguish humans and robots. Bots are blocked or limited to prevent DDOS attacks that could force an offline website. This type of DDOS protection is one of the main services offered by Cloudflare.
Unfortunately, CAPTCHAs pose strong demands to end users, who may have to solve several CAPTCHAs on various sites every day. Cloudflare's privacy pass eliminates this problem by allowing users to resolve a single CAPTCHA and get tokenised approval for different sites: 30 passes are released for each completed CAPTCHA.
As the name suggests, Privacy Pass is implemented privately. Privacy Pass makes use of tests with zero knowledge, thus allowing to verify sensitive data without being exposed. In the cryptocurrency, a derivative of zk evidence is often used as a basis for undetectable secret coins. Although Privacy Pass uses the zk tests a bit differently, it also prevents users from being monitored.
In addition to approving the privacy aspects of the project, Buterin also suggested that the micro-transfers of Ethereum could be used to purchase Privacy Pass tokens. Sullivan replied that he was "open to the possibility" of allowing "separate portfolios" to buy tokens. Finally, Buterin suggested that burns of anonymous reputation could be used to revoke an attacker's reputation without knowing their identity.
Suggested reading : Check out the safest Zcash portfolios.
Privacy Pass and other projects could unite the decentralized world of blockchain and the traditional web sector. However, the image of Couldflare has been in contrast with the values of supporters of decentralization for some time now. The company's DNS and CDN services are used by a large part of the websites, with respectively 15% and 21% of market shares.
In the eyes of his critics, Cloudflare has accumulated too much control and has abused its power. In recent years, Cloudflare has undergone major security attacks and data leaks and has been criticized for its censorship practices, all of which are quite troubling issues given the company's significant market share.
But in the last year, Cloudflare has reshaped its image: the company has introduced IPFS gateways that provide decentralized and uncensored web hosting. This new product has been adopted by some parts of the crypto world, although others remain skeptical about Cloudflare's dedication to the IPFS platform. However, it seems that the decentralized and traditional network leaders are genuinely interested in working together.