The startup is releasing its first round of software tools to let developers write private applications for the web using a new programming language called Leo, as well as integrate these tools into pre-existing browsers’ functions.
“I think it’s become very clear that the internet is broken,” said Aleo co-founder Howard Wu on a phone call. “As users of the internet, we give up our personal data in exchange for services from providers. This model is really outdated. It’s an antiquated one. For us, the goal is to provide a new type of model where this incentive can be aligned for both sides.”
Aleo leverages zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), a cryptographic technique that allows two parties on the internet, such as an app and a user, to verify information with each other without sharing the underlying data related to this information.
If you think about it in the context of logging into a website for example, it would verify who you are without sharing info such as your password, geolocation data or other information that can be used to suss out additional details about yourself that you aren’t aware you might be giving up.