Litecoin creator Charlie Lee has asked his followers to vote on privacy for LTC, and what kind of privacy features they would prefer if it was implemented.
The vote provided options for zk-Snarks, Confidential transactions, MimbleWimble - or to just keep things as they are.
It's got a rememberable name, but all it is in essence is a protocol that aims to provide scalability, privacy and increased fungibility. Setting privacy as a primary goal of the project, and going for a simple easy to maintain design route that is an ASIC-resistant mining algorithm (named the Cuckoo Cycle) has made the project very interesting indeed.
You can see the implementation currently in progress as the Grin project on Github
- Scales by user base, aiming to make a minimal footprint (featuring a tiny under 100 byte kernel)
- Privacy as a default - users choose selectively what they wish to disclose
- ASIC Resistant Cuckoo Cycle consensus engine.
You may of already used Zk-Snarks if you have any Zcash, as it is the first widespread implementation of the technology. A interesting form of highly private, zero knowlege cryptography.
The acronym stands for "Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge,” essentially Zero knowledge proofs allow one party (known as the prover) to prove to another party (the verifier) that a statement is true. The smart feature being in doing this without revealing any information beyond validating that statement alone.
In laymen's terms a zero-knowledge 'proof of knowledge' is where a prover can assure the validity of a proof of a key or piece of information such as a secret number (or transaction), also they can mathematically prove without revealing any information about themself, at anytime without prover or verifier, even needing to interact with one another. The process is autonomous and can be verified at anytime by the networks consensus.
- Implemented in Zcash and being used in Ethereum since the Metropolis (Byzantium) update
- Fully encrypted blockchain, allowing validation by network consensus
- Zero-knowledge proof system that requires no interaction between parties
Confidential Transactions (Bulletproofs)
Preserves anonymity by obscuring transaction values, making amounts transferred only visible to the transactions participants.
Being able to not only obfuscate the values being sent to any third-party, cryptographically ensuring no double spend or fake coins are sent.
The elements project has been working with confidential transactions, in a nearly identical implementation to bitcoin. Users send and sign transactions via the command line interface in much a similar fashion.
One drawback in this solution is that the implementation only currently hides a certain amount of digits, depending on the 'blinding coverage' making the minimum amount 0.0001 BTC. Meaning transactions smaller then this are revealed so sending 123.456789 BTC would appears as ?.?????89 BTC
- Obfuscates blockchain transaction values, so only the send and receiver can see the actual amounts
- Has a minimum of 0.0001 BTC, any amount below the minimum is revealed
- Has a maximum of 500k to 5M BTC that would reveal information also