The Electrum Personal Server promises a resource-efficient, secure and private way to use bitcoin with hardware and software wallets, connected to full nodes. Developed by open-source programmer Christian Belcher, best known for his contributions to JoinMarket, the Electrum Personal Server directly addresses vulnerabilities with the popular Electrum Bitcoin wallet, while sparing users the significant resource usage of an Electrum server.
In December 2017, an interesting rumor surfaced: According to “sources familiar with the matter,” the messaging app Telegram, very popular among crypto-enthusiasts for its strong encryption and privacy features, would launch its own blockchain platform and cryptocurrency.
Bulletproofs, presented in a paper titled “Bulletproofs: Short Proofs for Confidential Transactions and More,” describe a new zero-knowledge proof system. The proposal uses on-chain scaling for privacy and suggests a new, faster and more compact way to verify privacy-enhancing Confidential Transactions (CTs).
Bitcoin is usually not considered the blockchain best suited for self-executing conditional payments, better known as smart contracts. While it does support basic programmability to enable features like time locks and multi-signature (multisig) schemes, competing projects like Ethereum, Ethereum Classic or Qtum are often expected to better support more advanced applications.
Bitcoin’s capacity is limited. Meanwhile, smart contracts can be resource intensive. So even though Bitcoin has always supported basic smart contract functionality, the two have never been a natural match.
But a recent topic of research spearheaded by Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra could help fix this.
"I was expecting maybe 15-20 people to care about zk-snarks, but wow."
Despite his reservations, the crowd scrambled for seats as zcash researcher Andrew Miller took to the stage at Devcon3 today. But the response, at times elated, perhaps shouldn't have been a surprise as the third day of ethereum's flagship developer conference featured a selection of sessions devoted to zk-snarks and other privacy advances made possible by ethereum's latest software upgrade, Byzantium.
The company behind Wickr, the privacy-oriented instant message app, has been awarded a patent that proposes using blockchain to maintain chat records.
The patent, published on Oct. 31 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enables users to pick up where they left off in their encrypted conversations if the communication chain gets broken.
It's perhaps no surprise Jacob Eberhardt is being given the stage at ethereum's annual developer conference.
With scalability and privacy top of mind for the blockchain network, now valued in the billions, the Ph.D. researcher at the Technical University of Berlin is set to debut a new programming language at the Cancun, Mexico, event, one designed to help ethereum improve on these key weaknesses.
Now you see it, now you don't.
The development firm behind the privacy-focused public blockchain zcash has announced the first integration of its zero-knowledge security layer (ZSL) into an enterprise blockchain, with JPMorgan today revealing it has added the functionality to its Quorum blockchain.
Derived from zcash's zk-snarks technology, the code now integrated into Quorum obscures all identifiable information about a transaction – including the user's public key and the amount transacted – while promising to also give accountants the ability to audit those transactions.
"A myth," that's what one developer called it.
At a meeting of the team behind the monero cryptocurrency last week, suspicion was high about a new item on the roadmap – so-called "zk-starks." Described as a "trustless" solution to a problem that's long prevented anonymous blockchains, to some of the developers assembled it sounded like fantasy.
But while the blockchain industry is certainly no stranger to outlandish claims, the cryptographic technique is perhaps setting records in the levels of eyebrow-raising it has triggered.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in on anonymity-centric cryptocurrencies, calling Zcash the “most interesting bitcoin alternative.”
Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents revealing that the agency had was spying on private citizens who were not the subject of active investigations, now serves as the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s board of directors.
Ethereum users may soon be getting a much-needed privacy boost.
Long a shortcoming for all public blockchain networks, the world's second-largest blockchain is nonetheless aiming for big improvements in its upcoming Byzantium release. For most buy-and-hold users, these limitations might not be apparent, but that's not to say there aren't potential implications that could affect the wide variety of users the network is trying to attract.
The developers behind a bitcoin privacy solution called Dandelion have unveiled a new roadmap that addresses previously discovered code issues.
Originally launched in January, Dandelion modifies the bitcoin network's payment protocol to conceal the original IP address behind a transaction. It does this by breaking that transaction into two parts, nicknamed the "stem" and the "fluff." The "stem" is the single transaction itself, while the "fluff" is an obfuscation method that occurs after the fact.
In preparation for the launch of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency, zcash, the project's developers performed an elaborate ceremony.
No small feat, the proceedings would determine not only the viability and security of the entire network, but require the coordination of six participants in six locations around the world – all of whom needed to be in direct contact to ensure a successful outcome.