Return of the Chaum: Examining the Digital Cash OG’s MixxChain
Inventor. Godfather. OG. However you put it, David Chaum was a vanguard pioneer in digital cash. Interestingly, then, Chaum’s making a re-entrance in the arena as his MixxLabs team has developed a new privacy play, MixxChain. Some have already cast skepticism toward the project, but the verdict’s still out for now.
Update 9/20: Chaum’s MixxChain has formally announced itself as Elixxer.
Also see: CTOR, Huh? Yeah! What Is It Good For?
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From DigiCash to MixxChain
As happens with people who become titans in their field, cryptographer David Chaum has spawned the adjective Chaumian, most commonly used in the phrase “Chaumian ecash.”
The deferential entitling is well placed, as Chaum was the key innovator at the genesis of the field of digital cash, his early work being conventionally regarded as giving life to the cypherpunk movement and as forerunning today’s lot of cryptocurrencies.
His DigiCash electronic money play was a decade or two ahead of its time, and withered accordingly. In the ensuing years, Chaum’s legacy has been touched on again and again as bitcoin, the de facto decentralized answer to the question DigiCash asked, has risen in prominence.
Now, interestingly, Chaum’s back in the space — this time guiding a new privacy-focused project called MixxChain.
‘Privacy Meets Scalability’
DigiCash is said to have failed because the appetite for digital money didn’t exist yet.
But bitcoin has been PoWing for almost a decade now, and a fledgling cryptoeconomy has given rise to that aforementioned appetite. Cue in MixxChain, then. The new privacy project is being developed by MixxLabs, a blockchain development company steered by Chaum.
So what’s the elevator pitch?
“MixxChain is working to increase transaction speed and anonymity to give blockchain technology the best possible opportunity to break into the mainstream,” the project’s media team noted on Twitter days ago.
On MixxChain’s site, the project is said to be focused around confidential transactions, network throughput well into the thousands-per-second range, and “seconds-long transactions.” That all sounds good, of course.
On the flip side, some, like cryptosphere pundit WhalePanda, have already cast skepticism on the project. Earlier on Twitter, WP highlighted that MixxChain requested prospective betanet node runners let the team “store and process your personal data.”
“Looking forward to opening up the dialogue soon,” the fledgling privacy play responded back. The team alluded to offering more information on the new project at the Consensus Singapore conference, which starts September 19th.
Good morning! We are excited to share more in Singapore. Looking forward to opening up the dialogue soon. Thank you for your curiosity and patience while we get to know the community in Asia. (And way to find us early!)
— Elixxir (@elixxir_io) September 16, 2018
MixxChain’s builders are going to make their first public case for their vision then, it seems. How the various factions of the cryptocurrency ecosystem respond to said vision will be a thread to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead.
What’s your take? Will you be keeping an eye on MixxChain going forward? Let us know why or why not in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay