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Wuille, Maxwell and others offer improved privacy technology

Bitcoin can be one step closer to providing users improved confidentiality.

15.Nov.17 12:18 AM
By Daria Zaytseva


Wuille, Maxwell and others offer improved privacy technology

Offered in a new article created by heavyweight cryptographers, including Dan Boneh, Pieter Wuille and Greg Maxwell, “Bulletproofs” describes a new technique that would reduce the size of the so-called "confidential transaction" code that has long floated as a possible way to protect transaction amounts that are published on the blockchain, globally distributed ledger of cryptocurrency.

A rough sketch of the idea of ​​confidential transactions was first proposed informally at the popular bitcoin forum in 2013 by Adam Back, general manager of bitcoin startup Blockstream, and although the technology was continued for many years, it still carries a high cost. Transactions using this technology take about 16 times more space in the blockchain than regular bitcoin transactions.

Because of this, the idea was rejected as too cumbersome for a live bitcoin network, which already facing much-discussed scaling problems.

But the new document, co-authored by Benedict Bunz, Jonathan Bootle and Andrew Poelstra, argues that “Bulletproofs” will reduce the size of confidential transactions to the level of a normal transaction.

Nevertheless, Maxwell noted that, despite the fact that the idea of ​​confidential transactions is moving forward, there are still problems that can be mitigated. First, the time needed to verify a confidential transaction is still a “bottleneck” developers are continuing to chip away at.

And while researchers cannot yet hint when the code can go live, the strength of the team hints at a growing realization that some social blockchains are lacking in privacy.

For example, confidentiality has become a hot topic during the Devcon3 annual development conference this year, with the protocol aimed at integrating zk-snarks, the technology for anonymous cryptocurrency zcash. This example also serves to highlight various approaches to the problem that arises in communities.

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