Finally! Real privacy for Bitcoin transactions from some Core developers

Greg Maxwell made a VERY exciting announcement for some real cutting edge stuff: a way to get full privacy with transactions in Bitcoin!

The great thing about this is, unlike ZCash, this new method:

  • Doesn't use untested new cryptography
  • Can be high performance (compared to alternatives)
  • Doesn't require a trusted setup
  • Doesn't break pruning

There is a video here that describes confidential transactions in more detail. But the exciting announcement today is a way to make confidential transactions work with a size overhead only 3 times that of normal transactions. When combined with the further privacy improvement of CoinJoin or ValueShuffle, there is virtually no size overhead and no trusted third party or sharing of private data is required!

Thank you Greg, Pieter, and other Core team contributors for this excellent work on confidential transactions, coinjoin, and working on the theory and engineering to bring this to Bitcoin! Exciting developments! Thanks also Benedikt Bünz, Jonathan Bootle for your discovery of BulletProofs and Dan Boneh, Andrew Poelstra for your work on this.

Update: As /u/pwuille pointed out, while the size overhead is 3X (or less per transaction w/ coinjoin), the CPU overhead for verification is still an order of magnitude higher than regular transactions. But we'll know more once they start working on an implementation.

submitted by /u/fortunative
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ICYMI: Another attack on bitcoin coming from Congress (bill would ban “aggregated transactions,” attempts to make “concealment” of data a crime, proposes freezing bank accounts, and would require individual users of “digital currencies” to be regulated to the same level as banks).

The whole text of their proposal: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1241/text

If in the U.S.: Write your representatives to oppose S.1241: https://democracy.io/

Write to Administration to demand a veto of S.1241 or anything like it if it were ever to reach the White House for signature or veto: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

An opposition letter to S.1241 has been developed by the Bitcoin Foundation, but I don't think it goes far enough. I think any organizational opposition letter (e.g. from EFF, Bitcoin Foundation, or other org) should call for total and absolute death by fire of S.1241 or anything like it. (See second season of Stranger Things if you have any question about what I mean about death by fire.) https://bitcoinfoundation.org/redraft-%c2%a71241-combating-money-laundering-act-2017/

(The following is my recent letter over the weekend sent to the U.S. Administration regarding S.1241, requesting that a position be taken on the bill to announce that a veto would be provided if the legislation were to be advanced. Please feel free to copy and paste from it or develop your own.)


This is regarding S.1241 – the so-called "Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017."

This proposal is a sick joke. Its proponents have given a fancy name to something that simply put, is designed to attack the American worker and would do absolutely zero in relation to what the title implies.

The bill would brings cryptocurrencies under the umbrella of civil forfeiture. It also would require the DHS to provide, within 18 months of ratification, a report on strategies to detect cryptocurrencies at border crossings, which would be impossible since there is no technology that can do that.

I can put a bitcoin on a paper wallet or memorize seed words in my brain that represent a whole wallet and cross borders physically or virtually, then later reproducing the wallet at will. This law would attempt to prohibit me from exercising my memory to access my resources across borders, a ridiculous approach to finance. Finance is of course cross-border and private.

Section 13 of the proposed Act is just one particularly vicious aspect of it, constituting nothing less than an attack upon the American worker.

Sec. 13 of S.1241 seeks to define anyone issuing, redeeming, or cashing bitcoin as a financial institution, requiring them to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, 31 U.S.C. §5312 and requiring INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL BUSINESSES to adopt the same formal reporting procedures as financial institutions for the purpose of reporting suspicious financial transactions.

In effect this Act would treat INDIVIDUALS as though they were BANKS and impose the same financial licensing and reporting obligations on them.

Please communicate to those who are pushing S.1241 forward that it will get nothing but a Veto.

Thank you.

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