Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, has alluded to a possible privacy feature in the future for his token as he also made comments regarding Monero’s security issues.
The initial foray into the privacy discussion began following a research paper entitled: “FloodXMR: Low-cost transaction flooding attack with Monero’s bulletproof protocol.” The piece illustrates the security concerns and the possibility of a ‘flooding attack.’
According to reports, a flooding attack is where an attacker floods the network with personal transactions and then eliminates “mixins from transaction inputs.” consequently, the attacker potentially traces nearly 50 percent of inputs at a cost of less than $2,000.
It was Buterin’s response to this piece which sent tongues wagging in the community. The Ethereum founder, a man known to have a sharp tongue, especially on Twitter, claimed that privacy based coins were getting ‘weaker and weaker.’
The strong words from Buterin could suggest that he has a problem with Monero and the privacy based tokens. However, it is his clarification response which revealed more about his feelings and a possible future path for Ethereum.
The tweet read:
“I hope Monero overcomes its obstacles by switching to privacy schemes that make the anonymity set for each transaction be the set of all Monero users! The above wasn’t even intended to be against Monero in any way. I’m following this debate between different privacy tech mainly with an eye to seeing what privacy schemes to help support as layer 2’s for Ethereum.”
Is Ethereum eying private transactions
This response was not the only time in the past week that Buterin has discussed the possibility of privacy for Ethereum. In a twitter exchange with none other than Elon Musk, he posted 13 different projects and updates that can be built for and on Ethereum.
It would appear that Buterin wishes to use ZK-SNARK technology, the one used by Z-Cash. It is thought that it can have a big impact on Ethereum. The main one being the improvement of scalability to approximately 500 transactions per second (tps) compared to its current capacity of approximately 15 tps. The ZK-SNARK would also allow it to scale, something that differs from other privacy based blockchains.
This tactic would set it apart from other privacy based tokens. Monero uses bulletproof protocol. The Litecoin platform, which is adding a second-layer payment solution, Lightning Network, is also wanting privacy. Litecoin is looking at the integration of Mimblewimble tech for privacy.
The Ethereal Summit revealed that Ethereum 2.0 and the move to the proof-of-stake protocol was at least two years away, according to Messari CEO, Ryan Selkis. This means that a privacy future for Ethereum may also be a considerable time away.