Triptych proposes a mechanism to enhance Monero’s privacy
The new research aims at decreasing the size of trustless logarithmic-size ring signatures
Privacy-centric coins have been in the headlines in the latter part of 2019 with upcoming regulations proposed by the FATF — an intergovernmental organization combating money laundering around the Globe. This means trouble for coins like Monero(XMR), Dash(DASH) & Zcash(ZEC), which operate on privacy mechanisms that avoid any external intrusion or oversight in their transactions.
The unfortunate part, however, is the easy way that some of the crypto exchanges are taking by delisting these coins altogether. I am sure there could be a better way, where if there is a strong case to be made against an individual or an organization trying to launder money using these privacy coins, authorities can work with the exchanges to apprehend the culprit. A blanket ban on privacy coins or delisting them just amounts to choking innovation.
The good thing is that all these negative news hasn’t deterred the developers of Monero from continuing to improve the anonymity features of the leading privacy coin in Cryptos. The Monero Research Lab (MRL) has just released a paper proposing logarithmic-size ring signatures, whose decreased size would enhance the Monero’s privacy even further.
“I can’t reasonably speculate on the likelihood of projects implemented Triptych, since it’s still early work that has not undergone any formal review.”
~ MRL member Sarang Noether
Monero already uses different mechanisms to hide parts of a transaction thus preventing any eavesdropping by an external entity. The process works by employing a set of decoys along with the sender’s actual coins — selected randomly from different points on the blockchain. The current mechanism engages 10 decoys which are added to every transaction by default.
The ring signatures currently employed scale linearly, which hampers the performance if the ring signature size becomes too big. This is where Triptych’s primary innovation comes in handy — it would make the byte size of ring signatures scale logarithmically rather than linearly, thus enabling a dramatic increase in ring size without any major performance issues.
However, the verification time of these ring signatures remains linear and increasing the size of the ring signature too much could choke the blockchain nodes which are trying to verify these outsized transactions. MRL member Sarang Noether reiterated that verification time with Triptych implementation would be still comparable to current verification times — about 45 ms for a standard Monero transaction with 511 decoys.
Noether also states a better version of Triptych could be produced — one which includes a balance test for smaller transactions & multiple keys of proof, as reported by Cointelegraph. For now, the next step would be the peer-review of the proposed paper.