Introducing Whirlwind, a cross-chain mixer based on PLONK.

When we originally started building KelVPN, the zero-knowledge and on-chain mixer ecosystem was at its infancy. Back then, we focused on off-chain privacy as DeFi hadn’t gained traction yet, and on-chain volumes and anonymity sets were too immature to deploy a proper on-chain mixer for. We believe that off-chain privacy solutions such as dVPN’s have immense value for that reason, as they do not require volume and liquidity to work effectively.

But as KelVPN’s development comes to a phase of maturity, and as our developer resources free up, we want to build the ecosystem out to enable a level of privacy unprecedented on any other chain. We believe in the future of a privacy super-app, in which payments, messaging, and browsing all happen with maximum anonymity.

To enable that future, we’ve started the development of whirlwind, based on the research done by the team at Aztec, laid out in the ‘’PlonK: Permutations over Lagrange-bases for Oecumenical Noninteractive arguments of Knowledge’’ paper.

By creating a best-in-class ZKmixer on top of Ethereum and the CellChain that KelVPN is targeting, we are looking to enable applications that utilize both off-chain and on-chain privacy to conceal the identity of its users. Unlike Tornado Cash and its derivatives, where users have to use their own VPN or Onion routing to conceal their interaction with the platform, or where they have to strategically withdraw their ETH from the platform at different time zones to not be identified based on withdrawal behaviour and size, KELVPN and Whirlwind will be baked natively into the Kelvin wallet with functionalities such as pre-scheduled withdrawals and pre-defined withdrawal logic.

Bootstrapping the anonymity set

The biggest problem of any on-chain mixer is the size of the anonymity set. Tornado Cash introduced a revolutionary approach to growing this anonymity set, by providing TORN rewards to people who deposited their ETH into the platform and kept it in there for extended periods of time. KELVPN’s whirlwind will implement a similar form of anonymity mining, but will also support large stablecoin deposits and withdrawals, as the market for stablecoin mixers is significantly bigger than that of an ETH mixer.

We will explain our choice for PlonK over traditional ZK-snarks, ZK-starks, and implementations thereof in future documentation.

About KelVPN

The KelVPN team has been building KelVPN since 2019 — It’s the first deanon-proof and quantum-safe decentralized VPN in prod. powered by the Cellframe Network. For the customer, KelVPN offers one-click access to a new level of privacy and security combined with high-speed data supporting up to 8k+ video streaming.

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