Monero: Triptych could increase anonymity and scalability

  • Researchers from Monero Labs have developed a new system called “Triptych”, which should further improve the anonymity of Monero.
  • The technology is based on ring confidential transactions and allows the byte size of the ring signatures to be scaled logarithmically with the number of decoys.

Monero researchers have designed a new concept called “Triptych” that could improve the privacy and scalability of Monero. On 6th January the Monero Research Lab (MRL) published a study that could lay the theoretical foundations for possible improvements. To date, Monero is using three main technologies: Ring Signatures, Stealth Addresses and Ring Confidential Transactions (Ring CTs) to conceal the transaction amount as well as the sender and receiver addresses.

The aim of ring CTs is that only the participants in the transaction can see the amount being transmitted. For third parties the amount is hidden. At the same time, it is also necessary that the network can confirm the validity of this initiated transaction. To prove this, the sum of the input of the transaction must be equal to the sum of the output.

Ring CTs work by combining real XMR of a sender with a number of other transactions selected semi-randomly from other points in the blockchain. Currently there are 10 decoys by default for each transaction.

Triptych’s primary innovation is that the byte size of the ring signatures is scaled logarithmically with the number of decoys, rather than linearly. This would allow a dramatic increase in ring size without major performance issues. The verification time for ring signatures remains linear. Triptych could thus allow Monero to process 512 decoys instead of 10. According to the developers, this is only 45 milliseconds on average.

Furthermore, Triptych has another advantage. Monero does not require a trusted setup like Zcash, as it did before. This, according to the researchers, represents an additional security risk, since it is necessary to rely on the proper execution.

Implementation still unclear

It is not yet clear whether the Monero developers will implement Triptych. The technology is still in the research phase. Other improvements are currently being considered, including RingCT 3.0, CLSAG, Lelantus and Omniring.

Most recently, a Europol official, Jerek Jakubcek, explained during a Blockchain Alliance webinar on Privacy Coins that Monero transactions still cannot be traced or analyzed. According to Jakubcek, various investigations and cases have shown that the use of Tor and Monero makes it impossible to trace the suspects’ funds. Neither the IP address nor the transactions themselves could be traced.

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About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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