Research proposes new crypto airdrop model for the privacy-minded

A new paper by a team of Stanford University researchers, and Lightning Network, proposes the use of a private genesis airdrop as a form of incentive for the privacy-conscious, increasing new user recruitment.

An airdrop is a cryptocurrency giveaway intended to encourage new users to join. So far, airdrops have offered little privacy, leaking data on recipients who claim their funds. 

An example is the Tezos Foundation Faucet, in which users need to repeatedly provide a telephone number and receive a security code, to be able to claim 0.01 XTZ (Tezos) over a certain amount of time.

The new research states that it is possible to create a private airdrop, where the verification process utilizes the so-called Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), or Rivest-Shamir-Alderman (RSA) user credentials, for instance.

The proposed model uses a zero-knowledge proof of knowledge (ZKPK) of the factorization of a committed secret whole number in a private genesis airdrop scheme that is designed to handle millions of recipients at a go, each with possibly hundreds of mixed types of keys like RSA, ECDSA, etc. Through this scheme, the airdrop sender can prove the total value of the airdrop while the recipient can prove non-payment in the case of a dishonest sender. 

Their implementations are publicly available under open-source licenses. However, as some commentators have noted, token withdrawals may still require KYC (know your customer) credentials.