(please note – what I blog about is only a peek into what’s out there in the crypto-world)
Noteworthy advances in privacy chrysalis allow for improved anonymity in digital value exchange. Particularly, a disruptive technology is known as Ring Signatures mainly used in CryptoNote Coins, who emerge as leaders in privacy solutions.
What is CryptoNote Protocol?
Background in Ring Signature Protocol
First introduced VIA Asiacrypt, Ring Signatures were created by Adi Shamir, Ron Rivest, and Yael Tauman and consist of cryptographic digital signatures.
Ring Signatures are comparable to group signatures; however, the original signer of a Ring Signature remains unidentifiable because of the use of an arbitrary group of users incorporated in the Ring Signature. No extra setup is required.
The Ring Signature technology has undergone various accretions and optimizations since the original papers were proposed.
How Do Ring Signatures Work?
As pointed out antecedently, Ring Signatures are very much like group signatures. However, Ring Signatures take this idea further to create greater privacy for the users.
With the P2P format, Ring Signatures protect the sender by shrouding a transaction’s input side with multiple users’ partial digital signatures. These come together to create a unique ring of signatures used to sign a transaction. This makes the transaction quixotic computationally, and the sender remains anonymous.
By employing multiple users’ partial digital signatures, this creates a more intricate strategy than is used in other digital currencies such as ECDSA or Schnorr signatures.
Ring signatures may require multiple public keys for verification because the ring is chosen arbitrarily from other users’ outputs on the Blockchain.
Theoretically, Ring Signatures are related to multiple parties signing a check from a joint bank account. However, digital cryptographic approaches are added so that the actual signer is not recognized.
How this works using Monero as an example:
- User A wants to send 10 Monero from his wallet to User B
- The digital signature is a one-time spend that initiates from an output from User A’s wallet.
- Past transaction outputs (non-signers) that are arbitrarily chosen are added to the Ring Signature and act as “decoys” in the transaction.
- Since all ring members are tenable signers of the transaction, it becomes very difficult to impossible for a third party to determine the original signer.
- User A’s public key could possibly be used then to “muddy” other transactions in a Ring Signature.
Unique one-time usage of transaction keys ensures users privacy and is facilitated by optimization of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange.
This approach also is a prevention of “double-spending” which can be an issue in Bitcoin. The use of key images (a cryptographic key) along with the Ring Signature scheme is used in every Ring Signature transaction.
The Ring Signature is unique and only used one time and a full list of the images are maintained on the blockchain. Attempts at using a counterfeit key image are automatically rejected as an attack to double-spend.
Thanks to the cryptographic key images, the correlation between the user’s output and the blockchain key image create a desirable privacy for a user.
We can Conclude This:
Ring Signature protocol is an important ingredient for several privacy-centered cryptocurrencies and therefore should be considered more as a standard for usage in digital signatures for those users who desire a higher degree of anonymity.
There are several factors in creating as well as maintaining a cryptocurrency ecosystem which offers user anonymity. As greater adoption of cryptocurrencies evolve, more emphasis will likely be placed on privacy for the user.
It is exciting and very interesting to watch as more technology develops that could prove as game changers in our lives.