Ring Signature, Explained

(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?

Definition From Wikipedia – free encyclopedia

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.

About the author

Born in Illinois and the third oldest child of 10 children. Gail learned many lessons in life that would serve her well in her future. Patience, sharing, compassion, understanding, love, and acceptance were a way of life. Family is significant to Gail as a mother of three herself.
Gail lives by the motto "live and let live," and she takes pride in helping others. Educated, yes, but believes life is the best teacher and learning depends highly on an open mind.


  1. I have heard of Ring Signatures before but never Googled it or researched it to find out myself what the meaning of Ring Signatures was all about.
    This line in your post Gail made a lot of sense to me because that is what I am use to knowing.
    ” Ring Signatures are related to multiple parties signing a check from a joint bank account.”
    well all the rest also sunk in as well. Thanks Gail.

  2. There is so much to learn in this Crypto world, I feel like I am back to school , but in a different Matrix. Well I guess I am in a way . Ring Signature is another interesting read Gail and again I learn every time I read a new blog posted in here. The blog explains in easy terms what Ring Signature is performed.

  3. Thank you, Gail, your blogs are always so full of knowledge, and I love that. I have learned so much by just reading these blogs and commenting! Everyone can join in. I didn’t know what Ring Signatures were, but I do now.

  4. I really appreciate this further education on what Ring Signature is, Gail. It’s definitely promising with respect to up-levelling the privacy of cryptocurrency transactions, and preventing piracy by veiling the original transactors with unrelated signatures. I wonder how many platforms will adopt this, or similar features in the coming days. It seems to answer so many dilemmas faced by crypto platforms, and fill the gaps for all concerned!

  5. Another great blog with great info, what a clever way to do a transaction I like the way you explain everything step by step it really helps to understand it better, this seems like it is more secure, I am really surprised at all the technology being developed so quickly in cryptocurrency.

  6. As usual Gail, your blogs continue to teach on topics that are brand new to me and explained in a way that is fairly easy to understand (actually none of this is easy for me). “Mulitple signers signing a check from a joint bank account” is the key phrase that explains it in understandable terms for me. I understand why it was created but not yet clear on why it is necessary. Like all of your posts, I have to read several times to get all of the detail, but one thing is for sure….I know that all of the detail is there.

  7. Very interesting blog about this Ring Signature. Never heard it before, but it seems to be increasing the privacy of cryptocurrency transactions, and that is very important to most. It is difficult to keep up with all
    the new technology being developed constantly in the cryptocurrency world.

  8. Gail, your blog is very informative,the digital world is like a deep sea,every day new information is received,ring signature is new for me, as far as i understand,ring signature, performed by any member of the group and all members have the key,ring signature provides security for transaction, privacy is very important in the crypto world.Thank you Gail.  

  9. very good read here — it is so true that it sure appears that every day new technologies are developed and put on display in this crypto / cyber world — and ring signatures are what i would think good security — sorta like having family biz where nothing is bought or done without all members agreeing — — thank you Gail —

  10. Into the keeper file of definitions and usages for the crypto world go “Ring Signatures” I like the fact that new ways of security keep coming up to keep this world more anonymous. This particular method seems to really help keep transactions more private by requiring multiple user’s partial digital signatures to be combined to create a unique group of signatures that can only be used once. Anything that works to prevent hackers is very welcome!

  11. Gail, thanks for all of your blogs. I believe that each one makes the readers more knowledgeable about the crypto world. I hope that everyone is reading and keeping copies of this information so when Compumatrix kicks off we will be able to use this knowledge to keep our assets safe. Thanks again for all the information that you share.

  12. Well, another new term to learn about is always coming forth in the crypto world. All of this is happening so fast it is hard to keep up with everything. Thank you for keeping us informed about various aspects of our business.
    It feels like it is all so over my head, but with your explanations it really helps me to understand more.

  13. Thank you Gail. I really appreciate those who have worked on enforcing our privacy and security in the scary crypto world. Our cyber world is continually under threat and we need all the security we can get. Ring Signatures help us all knowing our assets are secure.

  14. Cryptonote Coin is using more privacy with its ring signatures creating anonymity! I bless the day I involved myself in Compumatrix as God knows I would not be getting this amazing education anywhere else! Here we are, involved in blockchain giving transparency and then at the same time screaming for privacy. It’s a hoot! Yes, please, give me more anonymity in being the originator/signer! Trick or Treat don’t double charge me; use the Ring Signature and the Cryptonote Blockchain! Wow, what a read!

  15. Thank you for all the informative blogs you post. Although all information can be found online – it is not easy to know where to start looking for it. You have made such great efforts to find, compile, and present the information step by step making it easier to understand!

  16. Thank you Sophye for yet another great educational blog.Makes it easy to understand the concept of Cryptonote/Ring Signature and realize this to be more secure platform. Wonder how will this affect Bitcoin in the long run as you gave an example of Monero.Your assessment of that would be most welcome

  17. Way to go with this blog Sophye. Had not come across the Ring Signature before. I realize that several miners go through transactions but this is the first time I see how the system works. I can see where a lot of the info in the blogs is going to help with new folks just coming into our program.

  18. Another very informative blog Gail. I had no idea about Ring Signatures but it makes so much sense. Being able to have the privacy and anonymity can be used in many situations. It IS more exciting as more technology is developed!

  19. Thank you for this information Gail. For me, it is something new. I never heard about it and since it has to do with security and privacy it is a subject that I will Google and read about. In the past, you had more subjects that I was not aware of so for me your posts are very useful.

  20. Thank you, Gail. This blog, as you explain about the ring signature, appears to be about more security for the blockchain and the security of processing our cryptocurrency transactions. You bless us with a wealth of knowledge concerning the technology and technological uses concerning the blockchain and crypto world. With all the signatures, blocks, uncles, keys, etc. how would anyone dare invade these security measures on the blockchain?

  21. Ring Signatures? well, you got me there. It is the first time I hear about it. If it does bring more security and privacy to the Blockchain then it must be put to the attention.
    I hope our Devs are learning all this tech stuff, to implement and make our system more and more secure.

  22. Everytime I read one of your blogs I am so impressed by your vast knowledge of the crypto world and how it works. I thank you for writing your articles in such a clear way that even I can understand them. I like the comparison of the ring signatures to a family or company who have a joint account requiring them all to sign the check before it’s cashed.

  23. Another Great Blog Gail. As usual your blogs continue to teach on necessary topics and explained in a way that is fairly easy to understand. Mulitple signers signing a check from a joint bank account” is the key phrase that explains it in understandable terms for me. I understand why it was created but not yet sure why it is necessary. Like all of your posts, I have to read several times until I totally understand.

  24. I’m always amazed by new technology and its usefulness. I have never heard of Ring Signatures, but I can see the importance of this technology in providing user anonymity. User privacy is always a concern and we certainly do appreciate any mechanisms that can be put in place to protect it.

  25. The idea that Ring Signatures are very much like group signatures and that a type of digital signature can be performed by any member of a group that have keys would seem to be useful with the cyber safety and security of the members of the group. As there have been instances of cyber attacks that have affected our cyber world, this would be very useful.

  26. I believe the idea of ring signatures offers a good solution or alternative for group or organizational security. I like the idea of digital signatures and how it can work to protect provide information. I think that if it is something that could be beneficial for Compumatrix, I am confident that our company leaders will find a way to incorporate it and make it available as required.

  27. This is a fantastic blog post thank you so much, Gail. The ring signature is very very similar to what we call here as “Benami” which is used by politicians to create multiple bank accounts under servant, driver, or relative names to circumvent legislative restrictions and tax implications. However, I see the major difference between this and Ring signature is that the trust, this seems to be a trustless transaction where you can rely on code as law and enforcer of the law. Humans tend to have a habit of becoming greedy or corrupt over time when there is no overseer or oversight.

  28. This article was very informative in educating myself on ring signatures. I had never really heard of this, so this article helped me learn about it. I think it is important for everyone to learn about as many processes that they can that can help secure their bitcoin. The more we know about helping further ensure security helps everyone better protect their accounts.

  29. I’m going back to reread your blogs Gail. You have great information which the first time around can be confusing to me…but as I read them again they make a lot of sense. The Ring Signature sounds like the way to go for privacy and much needed security in this day and age.

  30. Thanks Gail. Always learning from you and your blogs. I had never heard of Ring Signatures. It seems that privacy is the key feature, protecting individual’s privacy via multiple signatures. This was always a practice in non profits that I worked with. I alone could not be a signer on an account and needed additional signatures. The purpose while similar, in protecting the accounts, is of course, different in the digital currency world.

  31. Have returned to this blog to read again and assimilate further insight into the importance of Ring Signatures and a higher level of
    privacy and security it will provide and also eliminating chances of double spend. I will wait and see when this concept is adopted by various crypto currencies.

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