NavCoin, an Established History of Innovation
Ever since our full emergence as NavCoin in 2016, we have sought to provide the cryptocurrency space with value by developing a suite of solutions that push forward the boundaries and usage of digital currencies. We also pride ourselves on remaining community focused, and place a strong focus on creating easy to use, user centric solutions that allow anyone to make peer to peer (P2P) transactions that are free from any intermediaries, and also allow users to uphold their own personal privacy if they so wish. With new developments soon to be released, we would like to highlight the past development work that underpins our network and provides the solid foundation that will support all future innovations.
Privacy Focused Technical Innovations
For the greater cryptocurrency community, NavCoin is a “privacy” project that allows users to make anonymous transactions by obfuscating the key transaction details involving the sender and recipient thus keeping transfers completely private.
While this is true, NavCoin has been at the forefront of the “crypto privacy” movement since 2016 and has also pioneered a number of technological solutions. This began with work to remove the links between coins sent and those being received, and resulted in the launch of our own unique and completely self-developed privacy protocol called Boneh-Lynn-Shacham Confidential Transactions (blsCT). Our blsCT protocol works to maintain users’ privacy by combining two leading technical solutions.
What is blsCT?
Our blsCT protocol combines the benefits of Boneh-Lynn-Shacham (BLS) Signatures and Confidential Transactions (CT). BLS first emerged in 2001, and enables a group of signatures to be compressed into a compact signature that can be used to authenticate the entire group.
The BLS Signature scheme is an alternative to other signature schemes like ECDSA (currently used in Bitcoin and NavCoin public transactions) or Schnorr (proposed to be added in an upcoming Bitcoin protocol upgrade). One of the differences between BLS and ECDSA/Schnorr is the elliptic curve which it uses. Both ECDSA/Schnorr use the secp256k1 curve, while BLS instead uses the bls12–381 curve, which is very well suited for pairing operations, a requirement of the BLS signature scheme.
The bls12–381 elliptic curve has been designed by the Zcash team for use in their zk-SNARK Elliptic Curve Construction, and in addition to Zcash, Ethereum will also use both this curve and the BLS signature scheme in their awaited 2.0 upgrade. However, the most significant difference between ECDSA/Schnorr and BLS, is the way that BLS enables a group of signatures to be compressed into a compact signature that can be used to authenticate the entire group. This enables the signatures of the inputs of a transaction to be aggregated to reduce the required storage, and consequently, multiple transactions and signatures can be aggregated together into a single instance allowing the inputs to be shuffled, hence in practice “mixing” the coins and breaking the link between which inputs pay which outputs.
Confidential Transactions is now known to be a well established cryptographic protocol which encrypts transaction value amounts, while still allowing for the fact that no coins can be created or destroyed within a transaction to be verified. Confidential Transactions is used in well established projects like Monero, Grin, Beam, the Lelantus protocol from Firo, and Liquid from Blockstream.
NavCoin’s blsCT innovates by combining both methods to create a new protocol which allows to mix inputs from different transactions while keeping the amounts hidden in a trustless way, backed by mathematics.
Additionally, our blsCT protocol prevents an observer from being able to tell if a transaction has been aggregated or not while also providing our network participants and node runners the opportunity to earn by offering their coins for mixing participating in the aggregation market. Here, our community is directly involved in the daily operations of the network and are compensated accordingly for their participation.
The Comprehensive xNAV Privacy System
Our commitment to continuous innovation has led to the successful development of xNAV which is both a new privacy enhanced token and mixing protocol created on top of blsCT and Dandelion++.
Dandelion++ improves upon current privacy protocols and was originally developed for Bitcoin by a research team at the University of Illinois. It makes changes to how transactions propagate through a blockchain network in order to make it even more difficult for anyone to link a single transaction, or group of transactions, to a specific IP address.
It is used to broadcast transactions and requests for coins. Here, nodes simply send an encrypted message to other nodes asking for coins to mix in with whenever they want to send a private transaction using xNAV.
As a result, xNAV can be viewed as a trustless, decentralized version of CoinJoin enhanced with obfuscated amounts while every node holding xNAV participates in the mixing process. CoinJoin is a popular method of making a Bitcoin transaction more private and involves multiple parties contributing to transactions so that addresses can be mixed making the coins more difficult to trace.
When using xNAV to transact a node just needs to pick some coins from the list it has already compiled automatically, aggregate them together, and then send them on to be included in a block. Additionally, the inputs and outputs can be further shuffled before submitting the block thus adding an extra layer of obfuscation, and the NavCoin Core wallet picks up to 5 coins from a list by default each time it sends an xNAV transaction.
This entire process is carried out by the NavCoin wallet in the background, and when completed no one can surmise which wallet holder is asking for coins nor which coins are given to any wallet holder, not even the user offering the coins.
This allows our users to benefit from using cutting edge privacy protocols in an efficient, and painless manner, and make use of a trustless and decentralized system which is free from any intrusive intermediaries.
User Focused Innovations
Our development work with the blsCT protocol, implementing Dandelion++, and launching xNAV enable users to transact freely as they desire with their personal privacy being fully upheld. At the same time, we strive to create solutions that put users first and simplify the practice of making privacy enhanced cryptocurrency transactions as much as possible.
Maintaining one’s personal privacy doesn’t need to be complicated for the end user and the NavCoin Core wallet has been designed to be easy to use and to make conducting private/public transactions, participating in coin mixing, and staking accessible for all our community members regardless of their technical experience.
Our innovations also extend to providing inclusive protocol governance via our Proof of Stake (PoS) system which allows wallet holders to “stake” their NAV to help validate transactions and to also take part in voting on any network governance proposals. As a result, all of our work is designed to further the use of cryptocurrencies, and equip our users with the means to explore their financial liberties as they so desire.