Privacy Optimizing Bulletproofs Now Live on Monero

Privacy Optimizing Bulletproofs Now Live on Monero

In Monero’s latest scheduled hard fork, the coin’s developers activated Bulletproofs, a genre of zero-knowledge proofs that facilitate efficient confidential transactions wherein the sums transferred can be obscured. 

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Monero Gets That Much More Private

On October 18th, Monero (XMR) underwent a scheduled hard fork, and, among other notable updates, saw Bulletproofs activated on its mainnet.

Bulletproofs are a form of zero-knowledge proofs that allow lean, confidential transactions in which cryptographic proofs are used to ensure the validity of the transactions. The tech was formally outlined in a whitepaper co-authored by Stanford University, University College London, and Blockstream back in 2017.

The activation of the privacy tech marks a replacement of the fatter and more inefficient Borromean range proofs Monero had previously relied upon.

Monero continues gunning toward superior privacy.

Now, Monero’s Bulletproof transactions are set to be around 80 percent smaller than they were before the October 18th hard fork — a dynamic that, in extension, will push down XMR transaction fees.

The coin’s community began a concerted campaign to prepare and inform users about the upgrade two weeks prior, on October 5th. The milestone marks the first, and largest, cryptocurrency to completely embrace Bulletproofs to date.

The Other Upgrades at Hand

Beyond the long-awaited Bulletproofs, the latest Monero hard fork activated three other major upgrades.

The first of this lot was the cryptocurrency’s routine Proof of Work shift, which the coin’s community holds to in order to mitigate the specter of ASIC miners overpowering GPU miners on the network.

The final two major upgrades were related to ring size. The new hard fork has set 11 as the new minimum ring size for transactions. Lastly, that minimum figure is now fixed.

Monero relies on ring signature cryptography, wherein a group of keys is used to obscure transaction signers.

Bulletproofs on Bitcoin’s Horizon

There are many promising technical developments on Bitcoin’s roadmap, including Schnorr Signatures, Mimble Wimble, and beyond.

Bulletproofs are among these developments. And, while they may not be coming to BTC immediately on the heels of their XMR appearance, Bulletproofs would bring similar benefits: improved privacy, leaner transactions, and smaller fees.

Relatedly, Greg Maxwell said he’d be spending more time working on Bulletproofs going forward when he stepped down as Blockstream’s chief technical officer in January 2018:

“I’m very excited about all the new and interesting technology that is coming to production–Bulletproofs / CT, signature aggregation, improved propagation and synchronization–as well as the continuing maturation of Bitcoin as a viable subject matter for academic researchers. I’ll be spending more time helping with these and other things.”

What’s your take? Do you think Monero just took a major step forward? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Images via Pixabay

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