Virtual currencies are quickly becoming very popular due to their superiority over traditional methods of exchange. Prior to Bitcoin, the largest problem for these virtual currencies was the prevention of double spending attacks. In short, double spending is the malicious act of executing multiple transactions using the same units of currency (the equivalent of counterfeiting paper money). Bitcoin was able to solve this major issue by integrating a public ledger of all previous transactions known as a block chain. Each member of Bitcoin’s network has the ability to analyze every transaction ever executed, allowing them to see if coins had been previously spent before accepting any new transactions. Unfortunately, as one may be able to easily deduce, a block chain such as Bitcoin’s does not allow for native anonymity or privacy. The public nature of a block chain allows anyone to observe the entire transaction history and holdings of every participant.
On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 12 states:
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
Nearly 67 years later, we believe this declaration to be more important than ever. To help protect this most basic right to privacy, The Shadow Project is building an encrypted, digital ecosystem. Cryptographic innovations will catalyze the evolution of communication, commerce, and currency. Shadow’s mission is to remain at the forefront of this evolution with it’s decentralized privacy platform, made available to all operating systems.