Charlie Lee has celebrated new technical advances that could see Bitcoin and Litecoin transactions become much more private.
Lee: Fungibility ‘Only Good Money Feature Bitcoin Lacks’
Summarizing a circular to the Core mailing list by Bitcoin developer Greg Maxwell, Litecoin creator Lee said he “looked forward to adding” any improvements to Litecoin in future.
The issue centers around so-called confidential transactions (CT), which would allow the amounts involved in transactions to be visible “only to the sender, the receiver, and whichever parties they choose to share the information with through sharing watching keys or through revealing single transactions,” Maxwell writes.
Applicable to Litecoin via soft fork, Lee described the improvement as addressing the lack of fungibility which represented “the only feature of good money that Bitcoin/ Litecoin is missing.”
I'm excited to see progress on Confidential Transactions. Fungibility is the only feature of good money that Bitcoin/Litecoin is missing.
I look forward to adding this to Litecoin when it is ready. And this can be done with a soft fork. Stay tuned!
-mdash; Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) November 14, 2017
CT was originally the product of Adam Back in 2013. Having seen considerable progress in the form of its easy dovetailing into CoinJoin, privacy enhancements now also mean “no participant learns which output corresponds to which other participant.”
Now, the bloating of Bitcoin CTs is now also off the table, thanks to breakthroughs reducing the additional data required to “negligible” levels.
Maxwell also includes what Lee described as a “shots fired” challenge to Zcash, the protocol of which he hints is inferior to Bitcoin CT.
“The primary advantage of this approach is that it can be constructed without any substantial new cryptographic assumptions (e.g., only discrete log security in our existing curve), that it can be high performance compared to alternatives, that it has no trusted setup, and that it doesn’t involve the creation of any forever-growing unprunable accumulators,” Maxwell explains.
All major alternative schemes fail multiple of these criteria (e.g., arguably Zcash’s scheme fails every one of them).
The Bitcoin community is meanwhile eagerly awaiting improvements to Bitcoin transactions which will alleviate the practical usage issues more pressing for many. Slowness and high fees currently plague the network, with the “fastest and cheapest” fee currently sitting at an unprecedented 770 satoshis/ byte according to 21.co.
What do you think about confidential transactions? Let us know in the comments below!
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