Bitcoin Bulletproofed: Wuille, Maxwell and More Propose Scalable Privacy Tech

Bitcoin may be one step closer to offering users improved confidentiality.

Proposed in a new paper authored by heavyweight cryptographers including Dan Boneh, Pieter Wuille and Greg Maxwell, “Bulletproofs” outlines a new technique that would reduce the size of so-called “confidential transaction” code – long floated as a possible way to shield the transaction amounts currently public on the blockchain, the cryptocurrency’s globally distributed ledger.

A rough sketch of the confidential transactions idea was first proposed informally on a popular bitcoin forum in 2013 by Adam Back, CEO of bitcoin startup Blockstream, and while the technology has been iterated on over the years, it still comes with a high cost. Transactions that use the technology take up about 16 times more space in the blockchain than normal bitcoin transactions.

Because of this, the idea has been dismissed as too bulky for the live bitcoin network, which is already facing much-discussed scaling problems…

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