How Does Zion Work?

The Zion Relay integrates transactions of content into the architecture of the Lightning Network, a "Layer 2" scaling solution for the Bitcoin blockchain.
Zion leverages the functionality of the Lightning Network, the “Layer 2” scaling solution built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Each Zion user is linked to the network via a decentralized web node that acts as a secure, private server (accessible only by private key), granting individuals absolute and irrevocable custody over their data. This means that no individual user can use another’s data to manipulate their experience on the platform. Instead, each Zion user has an equal opportunity to earn income by bringing value to the network: whether an artist drops a hotly-anticipated track or a fan posts a clever meme, both are incentivized to upload content that other users love.
Our relay combines 3 core elements that are currently broken on the centralized web.
  • Identity
  • Messaging & Data Storage w/ Decentralized Web Nodes
  • Payments using The Lightning Network
Zion's tech stack
Identity on the centralized web is broken, as the w3 foundation outlines, the vast majority of these globally unique identifiers are not under our control. They are issued by external authorities that decide who or what they refer to and when they can be revoked. They are useful only in certain contexts and recognized only by certain bodies not of our choosing. They might disappear or cease to be valid with the failure of an organization. They might unnecessarily reveal personal information. In many cases, they can be fraudulently replicated and asserted by a malicious third-party, which is more commonly known as "identity theft". This is the core of how censorship begins on the web and our solution enables you to own your identity online for the first time.

Introduction to Decentralized Identifiers

Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) are a new type of identifier that enables verifiable, decentralized digital identity. A DID refers to any subject as determined by the controller of the DID private key. In contrast to typical, federated identifiers, DIDs have been designed so that they may be decoupled from centralized registries, identity providers, and certificate authorities. Specifically, while other parties might be used to help enable the discovery of information related to a DID, the design enables the controller of a DID to prove control over it without requiring permission from any other party. DIDs are URIs that associate a DID subject with a DID document allowing trustable interactions associated with that subject.

Introduction to Decentralized Web Nodes:

Most digital activities between people, organizations, devices, and other entities require the exchange of messages and data. For entities to exchange messages and data for credential, app, or service flows, they need an interface through which to store, discover, and fetch data related to the flows and experiences they are participating in.
A Decentralized Web Node (DWN) is a data storage and message relay mechanism entities can use to locate public or private permissioned data related to a given Decentralized Identifier (DID). Decentralized Web Nodes are a mesh-like datastore construction that enable an entity to operate multiple nodes that sync to the same state across one another, enabling the owning entity to secure, manage, and transact their data with others without reliance on location or provider-specific infrastructure, interfaces, or routing mechanisms.
Source: DIF Spec

Introduction to Payments using The Lightning Network:

The Lightning Network acts as Zion’s native payment infrastructure on our mobile app and relay. Because exchanges of content are secured by the same cryptography that underpins financial transactions, all payments on Zion are instant, immutable, and untraceable.
Nodes connected to the Lightning Network route high volumes of instant micropayments directly between peers, without relying on facilitation or custody from a third party.
The innovation of the Lightning Network is the use of time­ locked transactions and cryptographic nonces to allow many two ­party payment channels to form a connected network where payments can be sent over many channels without trusting the intermediate nodes. The topology is similar to IP networks like the internet: packets are routed over many physical links, and the communicating end nodes don't worry about the route as long as data gets to the destination. This works via a decrementing time­ lock that permits every intermediate node along the routing path to accept funds only if they forward it along to the next participant, using disclosure of pre images of cryptographic hashes. In the Lightning Network, nodes are not able to seize funds traveling through their channels even if they fail to forward payments or refuse to perform any actions. A node operates without custody of third party funds, which is enforced by a time­ limited cryptographic script.

Advantages of Zion

  • No trusted authorities or subjective consensus
  • Identifiers are self-generated and self-owned
  • Persistence of identifiers can be maintained by users themselves with private keys stored on the mobile device
  • Highly resistant to all forms of censorship IDs in the system are universally indexed and discoverable across different applications
  • Use your DID for password-less authentication and one-click user registration