Zcash Privacy to Have Vulnerability, Researchers Say

Four researchers from University College London have identified patterns in certain kinds of Zcash transactions that weaken their anonymity
10 May 2018   2077

George Kappos, Haaroon Yousaf, Mary Maller and Sarah Meiklejohn found that when coins move from "unshielded" to "shielded" and back to "unshielded" addresses, they lose much of the anonymity that zcash users expect. The team noted that "relatively simple heuristics ... reduce the size of the overall anonymity set by 69.1 percent." This is reported by Coindesk.

Note that ZCash, positioned as one of the most promising and respected confidential crypto currency, offers two types of addresses: "T-addresses" are transparent and unprotected, transactions and balances are publicly available. In turn, "Z-addresses" are protected and invisible to the general public.

Thus, transfers from one unprotected address to another are completely public, whereas transactions between protected addresses are almost anonymous (only time marks and commissions related to mining are displayed).

At the same time, researchers found that transactions involving different types of addresses are much less confidential. So, if you want, you can get information even about Z-addresses, the report says. 

Our heuristics would have been significantly less effective if the founders interacting with the pool behaved in a less regular fashion. In particular, by always withdrawing the same amount in the same time intervals, it became possible to distinguish founders withdrawing funds from other users.
 

The University College London Research Team

These transactions (as well as similar ones carried out by the miners) are caused by the necessity of holding ZCash coins through secure Z-address pools before they can be used for other operations.

Researchers also noted that they told the founders about the problems found before the publication of the report, which has already led to a change of patterns. In turn, the founder of ZCash Zooko Wilcox and marketing director Josh Swihart in the reciprocal message congratulated the university team.

It is valuable to understand how much privacy is lost when using shielded addresses as a pass-through mechanism, but using it in that way is not recommended. Instead, store your Zcash in a shielded address.
 

Zooko Wilcox and Josh Swihart

Zcash

Wilcox and Swihart said that planned upgrades to the zcash protocol would lessen the risks to anonymity identified in the reasearch.

Messari to Issue "Crypto Theses for 2020"

According to the report of the analytical startup, Binance and Twitter CEOs Zhao and Dorsey are the top "people to watch" next year
18 December 2019   297

The analytical startup Messari presented a rating of persons and trends that will predetermine the further development of the cryptocurrency market.

Binance Exchange CEO Changpen Zhao is on the first place among people. Researchers responded to the active development of the site and the huge influence of Zhao himself on the opinion of the crypto community.

Second place went to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who opened a cryptocurrency branch in his payment company Square and promoting the ideas of bitcoin to the masses.

Researchers awarded third place to lawyer Brian Klein, who is currently running the case of Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith, accused of violating US sanctions laws. According to them, in the next decade, the cryptocurrency industry will face many lawsuits.

In fourth place was the director of strategic development of CoinShares investment company Meltem Demirors, who used the term “shtcoin” at the Libra vs. USA congress.

Fifth place went to US Congressman Brad Sherman, who, according to Messari, poses a threat to cryptocurrencies, calling them a tool of terrorists and tax evaders.

Morgan Beller, co-founder of the Libra project from Facebook, took the sixth line of the rating.

MakerDAO Foundation CEO Rune Christensen, who influenced the DeFi ecosystem and managed to solve several critical problems in his own project, is in seventh place.

On the eighth line is Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox, who continues to contribute to maintaining confidentiality in the cryptocurrency market.

The ninth place is held by the founder of TRON, Justin Sun, thanks to the successful acquisition of BitTorrent, Poloniex and Steemit, as well as a scandalous dinner with Warren Buffett.

On the tenth, host of the popular Bitcoin podcast, Peter McCormack. Researchers noted his significant contribution to the popularization of cryptocurrencies and the educational content of his programs.