The Monero team, on their website, states that the cryptocurrency is ‘fast, private and secure’. They also say that ‘you are your own bank’ and ‘others cannot see your balances or track your activity. However, there have been allegations against Monero that their transactions are no longer private and that it can be traced.
In a paper titled ‘An Empirical Analysis of Linkability in the Monero Blockchain’ which was released in April 2017, Andrew Miller, Malte Moser, Kevin Lee and Arvind Narayanan came up with a report that empirically evaluates two weaknesses in Monero’s ‘mixin’ sampling strategy. ‘Mixins’ are fake coins which are used by users to obscure the transactions.
A website named ‘monerolink’ claimed to have identified the real coins in about 62% of all transactions excluding the ones in which real coins are used. They found out that among these coins, the newest ones are the real ones 90% of the time.
The paper stated:
“About 62% of transaction inputs with one or more mixins are vulnerable to “chain-reaction” analysis — that is, the real input can be deduced by elimination.”
It continues to read:
“This becomes possible as the mixins they include are spent by 0-mixin transactions. Second, Monero mixins are sampled in such a way that the mixins can be easily distinguished from the real coins by their age distribution; in short, the real input is usually the “newest” input.”
As a response, the Monero team came up with the idea of ‘RingCT’, a confidential signature technology, which became mandatory through the September hard fork in 2017. But, this time, a bigger team of people published another paper titled ‘An Empirical Analysis of Traceability in the Monero Blockchain’ which found out the importance of mining pools and the former anonymous marketplace AlphaBay (a Dark Web market) on the transaction volume. After removing mining pool activity, there remains a large amount of potentially privacy-sensitive transactions that are affected by these weaknesses.
Gingeropolous, the core developer of Monero commented on the article:
“…should read – Cryptonote is less untraceable than it seems, so monero has been altruistically making improvements”
Justin Ehrenhofer, a developer stated as a response to this paper that the vulnerabilities were found out two years which were mitigated over a year ago and was resolved before the first edition of the paper was published.
The paper also fails to take into account the full effectiveness of RingCT where it almost completely reduced the instance of linked transactions and the upcoming hard fork will eliminate those instances altogether. Moreover, Monero developers stated that the algorithm used by the paper’s research team was outdated.
However, the recent paper mentions Monero’s RingCT and provides a number of recommendations for improving Monero’s future. A new algorithm is suggested which could reinforce the existing ring signature scheme and a new ‘mixin’ method for sampling random inputs. Other methods include avoiding payouts from public pools and notifying the users that transactions prior to early 2017 are vulnerable to tracing analysis.
A Twitteratti says:
“Someone is trying hard to bring down @monerocurrency price further! Just ignore the FUD”
Another Twitteratti commented:
“lmao unfortunately true. But the point is its been resolved and we have our private blockchain back on track. Anyways it was a bit frightful.”
Bitfinex partners with EOSIO as a Blockchain Producer
Bitfinex, headquartered in Hong Kong is the largest Bitcoin trading platform with over 10% of the exchanges’ trading. They offer state-of-the-art services for digital assets and liquidity providers. While their search for advanced technologies with the capacity to meet high-demands of a high-volume blockchain both legally and technically was in process, they came across EOSIO community to which they believe they can contribute significantly.
Latest tweet by Bitfinex:
“Bitfinex is pleased to present itself as an EOS Block Producer candidate.”
Bitfinex will act as an incubator to fund, nurture and advise teams that are serious about the future of EOS. Their team is an assortment of more than 100 experts from the industry including a highly versatile development team, legal experts, technical support agents, and industry advocates.
“Our team has gained invaluable industry experience along the way, and we aim to make use of this to enrich the teams around us — sharing information and providing guidance whenever possible.”
Being a block producer candidate, they pledge to grow the open-source nature of the decentralized digital asset space. This is done through intense research, collaborations, and community development. They aim to combine the potential of EOSIO with their own terms of research, development, and adoption at a much higher level.
A high-performance decentralized exchange platform, EOSfinex also aims to combine the scalability and potential of EOSIO. It is built on EOSIO technology, along with the financial/development expertise of the Bitfinex development team. EOSfinex looks forward to delivering a highly-scalable, on-chain trading platform.
“EOSfinex has been developed by considering speed, transparency and scalability and will be the first trust less exchange to be implemented on EOSIO-based networks.”
Apart from the development of a trustless exchange, EOSfinex will be leading the development of a secure and intuitive EOS wallet as well. The partnership is meant to leverage EOSIO’s platform for horizontal scaling of DApps. As their continuous search led them to the EOSIO platform, they aim to process tens of thousands of transactions per second with the lowest fees.
Judy Steven, a Bitfinex user says:
“This is exciting. I’m interested in learning more about this “intuitive wallet” you are developing.”
Ariana Paul, a speculator says:
“Congrats Bitfinex! Looking forward to seeing what great accomplishments Bitfinex will bring to the EOS ecosystem. I can see a three-digit price for EOS soon.”
Lessie Grundon, a market observer said:
“Honestly, I don’t think this is good. To me decentralisation is all about random people having a right to produce blocks and vote the way ahead.”
EOS has been one of the top gainers in the market that has turned bearish recently displaying significant volume gains up to 52% and currently trading at $13.19. The market cap has also noticeably gained and is worth $10 billion roughly as seen at press time.
Jed McCaleb talks about the foundation of Stellar Lumens [XLM]
The BayPay Thought Leadership event was held on 19th April, where Jed McCaleb, the Co-Founder, and CTO of Stellar Development Foundation spoke about the past, present, and future of Stellar.
He started by explaining how the transactions on Stellar work and about how they get banks on board. He says that banks are not the first ones to take up this system of transaction. However, smaller financial institutions like money transfer operators that focus on payments will be more open to adopting this method of sending money.
“We are working with a few banks and none of them are in production. I don’t think of the banks using cryptocurrency are in production… I don’t think they’re going to do anything until they see a lot of money flowing somewhere else in the ecosystem first because they are the most risk-averse, they have the most to lose essentially.. we spend most of our time outside the US – mainly focus in South Asia, Africa.”
He further explains that there is a lot of friction in places where people do not have bank accounts, wherein the adoption of the Stellar network makes it easier for them to adopt the system.
When asked about how much responsibility they have as a network to allow ICOs to function, Jed talks about the company being unable to stop anyone from issuing a token on the network but they wouldn’t be involved in the same. However, he says “Our responsibility falls on the ones that we do work with.. we want to make sure there is reputable and valuable projects”.
He also says that people need to be careful while investing in ICOs as these are the early days in the space, due to which there are a lot of scams and fraudulent activities.
A crypto enthusiast commented:
“This was a great discussion. I loved how Jed did a great job answering the questions even though they were irrelevant. I think it could have been more detailed about the backstory of Stellar and the challenges the faced instead of talking about Jed’s life history. Im sure the audience wanted to know more than just unnecessary things.”
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