Smart Vault

A decentralized datastore for keeping protected information confidential


Lightstreams has developed the Smart Vault, a decentralized datastore with privacy controls for sharing and selling digital content. Applications can easily integrate the Smart Vault into their designs for managing both public and private data.

What is the Smart Vault?

The Smart Vault is a decentralized datastore with privacy controls.

Applications can use the Smart Vault to:

  • Sell digital content (e.g. video, music, images).

  • Transfer ownership of digital assets (e.g. land titles, vehicle registrations).

  • Trace the custody of goods within a value chain. (e.g. the supply chain of food).

  • Share content within a private group.

  • Store a user's personal information and activity.

The Benefits of Using the Smart Vault

Eliminate the Cost of Blockchain Data

Storing data on the blockchain is both impractical and expensive. By using the Smart Vault you can store your application's state information on a decentralized datastore that is managed by smart contracts. Storage costs are eliminated since users of your application store and manage data within a Smart Vault that they own.

Eliminate Data Liability

As a developer, you must ensure that your application complies with data privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA regulations when handling the personal data of users. By letting users store and manage data using a Smart Vault, you eliminate your compliance burden and the liability associated with protecting and securing this sensitive data.

Control Data Access for Private Groups

Some decentralized datastores provide privacy controls using encryption without restricting access to the encrypted data. The encrypted data is accessible to anyone to download, regardless of having permission or not.

The Smart Vault provides applications with granular control over access permissions to protected data. No one can access data unless they are granted permission. This includes not permitting access to encrypted data. The data owner has control over who has access, when access was approved and can revoke access at any time.

Sell Content. Transfer and Track Assets

‌The Smart Vault enables you to develop peer-to-peer business models for selling digital content and transferring assets. Digital content (video, music, art, games) can be sold by content producers in a peer-to-peer manner giving greater control and a reduction in cost. The sale and transfer of ownership of digitized assets (e.g. land titles, vehicle registrations) can also be executed directly between parties without requiring an intermediary.

How Does it Work?

Data is stored in a distributed manner by Smart Vault nodes that have been granted permission. Data owners manage access permissions using smart contracts.

The Smart Vault uses the InterPlanetary File System(IPFS) and open standard for storing and transmitting data in a distributed manner. The IPFS protocol provides redundancy and availability of data by permitting multiple computers to host the same file and serve the data in parallel to a client application. The protocol provides a paradigm shift from traditional internet designs where one entity usually hosts user information and content.

Lightstreams has extended the IPFS protocol so that Smart Vault nodes which are connected to the network only transmit files to other Smart Vault nodes that have been granted permission to access the protected data.

The default IPFS protocol has no security mechanism for restricting access to data. The Smart Vault extends the IPFS protocol with a security layer for controlling access to protected data.

Ethereum Smart Contract Permissions

The Smart Vault can integrate with the Ethereum mainnet or any Ethereum-compatible blockchain such as Lightchain. Permissions to access a file are managed by a smart contract that is controlled by the data owner. A user could have multiple blockchain accounts associated with their Smart Vault node.

Smart contracts enable the management of file access permissions in a decentralized manner. They provide granular control when granting permissions to a single entity or a private group.

Smart contracts also ensure transparency and traceability for when, by whom, and to who permission was granted.

Distributed Peer-to-Peer Transmission

A file that is stored in a Smart Vault is broken into blocks of data. When a block of data refers to a protected file then transmission will only be permitted by verifying that the blockchain account requesting the data has been granted permission.

Data blocks are transmitted in a peer-to-peer manner simultaneously by nodes. A Smart Vault will receive data blocks from the network in parallel from multiple Smart Vault nodes adding redundancy to the system if a Smart Vault is not online or available.

Protected data blocks are also transmitted in a peer-to-peer manner but only from Smart Vault nodes that have fetched the data after being granted permission to other nodes that have been granted permission.


You can see a demonstration of the Smart Vault as follows: