Manta Network Says We Need More Scalable Solutions for Privacy in Web3
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Manta Network’s Chief Operating Officer Kenny Li has highlighted the need for a solution to the problem of scalability in web3 privacy. In a round table discussion at DeFiCon with several prominent leaders in the web3 space, he argued there’s a danger of privacy becoming a luxury that not everyone can afford.

Li’s comments came during a panel discussion alongside Obscuro Project founder James Carlyle, Carter Wetzel from Secret Foundation, and Kai from Railgun that focused on the subject of Privacy Finance, or PriFi, which is an emerging niche within decentralized finance.

One of the central themes of the discussion was about how current conversations around privacy in web3 need to be elevated beyond general criticism over how anonymity helps to facilitate crime. As such, participants chose to highlight some of the genuine reasons why confidentiality must be a key element of web3. Carlyle said:

"Privacy matters fundamentally, although people say if I’m not doing nothing nefarious I don’t care if people see what I’m doing. But, I think it’s more fundamental than that. I don’t want the world to know what my bank transactions are and what I’m spending my money on.”

Carlyle’s peers were in full agreement of the need for greater privacy. The difficulty though is to enable privacy for all web3 users. At present, one of the biggest challenges is the cost of privacy, as Li pointed out. Li said:

"I think the gas cost is definitely a factor, because at the end of the day if gas fees are high, privacy is no longer a utility — it becomes a luxury. That’s why we’re all trying to figure out a solution to accommodate and make privacy work in a more frictionless manner, and I think we’re all taking different approaches to that."

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Whatever Manta Network comes up with will likely be in the best interests of its users. After all, there are few blockchain projects that can claim to be more democratic. Last year, the Manta Network community famously shot down plans for Calamari Network’s IDO.

Calamari, which is Manta’s canary-net that serves the Kusama blockchain, had announced an IDO on MISO that was supposed to happen late in September. However, the community quickly voiced its disapproval of the idea on Discord and Telegram, leading to a vote where the idea was firmly rejected. Calamari’s team, which was all for the idea, nevertheless accepted the community consensus and canceled the IDO.

While we’re still likely to be several years away from the realization of web3, it’s encouraging to see there’s a growing consensus. Privacy must be one of the central pillars of web3 and it also must be accessible to everyone. Now, it’s up to the community to make it happen. Li said:

"The original philosophy of Bitcoin and pure transaction focused on a peer-to-peer manner. The idea of privacy wasn’t there beyond pseudonymity, but things have definitely evolved since then, and the needs are evolving as well."

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