ZCoin Launching Soon: Promises Full, Untraceable Anonymity

ZCoin Launching Soon: Promises Full, Untraceable Anonymity

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When it comes to privacy in the vast realm of digital currencies, non-traceable software is a big deal. On September 28, ZCoin will launch the first cryptocurrency that utilizes the Zerocoin protocol, which promises full anonymity on the blockchain.

Also read: OpenBazaar 2.0 Now Running on Tor Network

A Cryptocurrency Using Zero-Knowledge Cryptographic Proofs Is Coming Soon

zcoin The popularity of anonymous cryptocurrencies is on the rise. The necessity of privacy has become more evident with the advent of multiple blockchain tracking software startups. ZCoin, created by Poramin Insom and Gary Le, claim to enable complete privacy across its distributed ledger. The blockchain amplifies anonymity by using Zero-Knowledge cryptographic proofs.

Unlike Bitcoin, ZCoin reportedly obfuscates all data related to both senders and recipients. When the protocol launches, users will be able to run their wallets on the ZCoin network. The creators say anyone will be able to mine ZCoins, both securing the network and earning cryptocurrency. At the moment, developers say it will be a lot simpler compiling over Linux distribution.

Gary Le spoke with Bitcoin.com and gave us a glimpse at this upcoming release. Le explains how the Zerocoin Protocol is different from all previous approaches, offering a level of privacy not found in any other cryptocurrency.

Le says:

There has been a lot of anticipation in the Bitcoin community for a Zero-Knowledge cryptocurrency, since the invention of the Zerocoin Protocol in 2013. We are glad to finally bring this exciting innovation into the real world.

ZCoin Protocol Offers a Level of Privacy Unseen Today

gary le Zcoin
Gary Le, ZCoin Developer

Many cryptocurrencies that claim to provide anonymity, but most of them are no more than tumbling methods. Other concepts rely on heuristic approximations of the threat model. However, when it comes down to true anonymity, blockchain crawlers and third parties can still track transaction history.

With ZCoin, Le says, all the data tethered to the sender or recipient is entirely unattainable. The Zerocoin protocol’s threat model does not need to rely on significant assumptions. The developer explains, “anyone is able to send private financial transactions with ease, without worrying about a more complicated threat model.”

ZCoin operates on the Bitcoin codebase, but modifies the protocol. Le details how the change adds private transactions through powerful cryptography. This “Zero-Knowledge proofs” protocol has received praise from developers worldwide because it conceals sensitive information.

While discussing the software with Bitcoin.com the ZCoin developers state:   

An often used example demonstrating the power of Zero-Knowledge proofs is Yao’s millionaire problem. The problem discusses two millionaires, Alice and Bob, who are interested in knowing which of them is richer without revealing their actual wealth. With Zero-Knowledge proofs, one can in fact create a protocol that solves this problem.

 Developers Focused on Bringing True Anonymity to Cryptocurrency

zerocoin
Zerocoin: Anonymous Distributed E-Cash from Bitcoin

Gary Le and Poramin Insom have participated in the cryptocurrency community for quite some time. Le currently has a fellowship with the Thiel Foundation, a student fellowship program funded by Facebook investor and billionaire Peter Thiel. Additionally, Le invented a p2p atomic cross-chain protocol for Bitcoin-denominated altcoin options. The team has secured funding from Theil Fellowship grants, the Startup Chile, and investors such as Bitcoin.com owner Roger Ver.

Back in December the team created a testnet for ZCoin and allowed participants to try the network and give feedback. The developers are currently inviting cryptocurrency supporters to participate in their Slack. The team says they will be there for questions, support, and hope to provide the blockChain community a truly private digital asset.

What do you think about the ZCoin launch? Let us know in the comments below.


Editor’s Note 9/19/16: For further clarification, Zcoin is not the same project as Zcash. Both aim to implement the Zero protocol. Zcoin is a rebrand of the Moneta Project. 


Source: Press Release

Images via Shutterstock, Johns Hopkins University, ZCoin Website


Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com owner Roger Ver is invested in ZCoin. 

  • Michael

    Will this coin be the replacement of bitcoin? If so, before next Sunday (25th) there will be an enormous drop in the value of bitcoin)
    Why?
    Why not?

    • why bother

      While I definitely think ZCoin technology is along the right path I never bet on one currency. I don’t expect an overnight drop in Bitcoin due to ZCoin. Furthermore, Bitcoin has a lot of nice infrastructure. What other crypto currency has debit cards? I just used shift fifteen minutes ago to buy my Starbucks breakfast with Bitcoin.

      • ฿rian

        DASH has at least one credit card and more coming this year. they will be instantly funded (instantsend) and some will be interest bearing (pays you) as the card companies set up cold storage masternodes with the pooled balances.
        you can also use shapeshift integrated cards like bitwala.

  • Tuxavant

    http://weuse.cash/2016/06/09/btc-xmr-zcash/
    Not being able to prove the trusted setup data hasn’t been destroyed, how can anyone trust that the holders of that genesis data won’t be able to print zcash at will, without limit, and without making anyone aware of the deed?

    • Daira Hopwood

      The article is not about Zcash.

      • Tuxavant

        Same insurmountable problem exists with all zero knowledge type coins: Trusted Setup and initialization data that cannot be proven to be destroyed.

        • Daira Hopwood

          ZK proofs don’t fundamentally require trusted setup. There are ZK proving systems that don’t require it; they’re just impractical at the moment. I’d give it an 80% chance that will be fixed in the next few years.

  • Daira Hopwood

    BTW, in case anyone is confused, Zcoin is a renaming of Moneta. It would have been much clearer if the article had said that. It’s based on development of the original Zero*coin* prototype code, and has nothing to do with Zcash.

    Zerocoin/Moneta/Zcoin uses RSA-based ZK proofs. Unlike Zcash, separate parameters are needed for each denomination of coin, and there is information leakage about the denominations used. Proofs are about 45 KiB (not even taking into account the need for multiple proofs for the denominated coins) as opposed to 296 bytes for the raw proof in Zcash.

    • robert

      Information leakage about denominations is completely irrelevant to privacy, because the information about sender and recipients are completely concealed (aka zero knowledge). Also, it appears that you are implying that proof sizes matter, but such an implication is entirely arbitrary. It seems like shiny numbers are being passed around that serve no significant practical purpose.

      • Daira Hopwood

        It is not correct that information about denominations is irrelevant to privacy. It can be used in timing correlation attacks for example, which are more difficult to perform the more information is concealed.

        Proof sizes (or more precisely transaction sizes, which are dominated by proof size if it is 45KiB) matter a great deal to the transaction rate that the network can scale to.

        • robert

          They have mentioned that they can easily prune (mentioned in Satoshi’s whitepaper), so that it is as scalable, or more than Zcash. So the proof size is in fact only marginally relevant.

        • robert

          Also, timing attacks are only usually effective when paired with other identifying information. With Zcoin, all sender and recipient information is concealed. The only time a timing attack could be used is if someone published that they were doing a zero knowledge mint or spend transaction at this time, which is directly against their motivation to make their transaction private. Such an action would be completely illogical.

  • Ryan

    Doesn’t this already exist in ShadowCash & Monero?

  • Samuel Reed

    This looks very suspicious. There is no code provided anywhere, the quotes on zcoin.tech mostly refer to the (outdated) 2013 Zerocoin protocol (which was superseded by Zerocash, the foundation of Zcash), and not the coin itself. Links on zcoin.tech erroneously go to zcoin.cash, which may be a remnant of bad copy-paste.

    Zcoin appears to be an attempt to capitalize on confusion between it and Zcash. There is no code available anywhere and no details. If it is indeed based on Zerocoin (and not Zerocash), then transaction sizes will be at least 50x larger than those on Zcash. This is a coin without a purpose that will be made obsolete as soon as it launches.

    Be very wary. Happy to be proven wrong if there actually is an implementation and satisfying motivation for this coin to exist.

    • robert

      ZCash also had dead links as well, so such an assessment is trivial at best.

      Also, the implication of proof sizes being 50x smaller is significantly better is entirely arbitrary. It seems like shiny numbers are being passed around that serve marginal improvements at best. In terms of practical improvement from a end-user perspective, there is no change at all.

      Also, to accomplish that marginal improvement, there are huge risks. ZCash has a major problem of not being able to detect double spending or other similar bugs, because of the issue that it does not display the amount sent in a transaction. The Zerocash paper has only been peer-reviewed by a few people. We’ve seen several case studies in which risky cryptography has led to a loss in investor funds, such as the whole DAO fiasco with Ethereum. It’s great that ZCoin is taking the more secure approach for zero-knowledge proofs.

      • Samuel Reed

        Any chance you’re the same poster as @dcart?

        • Daira Hopwood

          His posts are using identical wording, anyway. Either it’s the same person or it’s a script that people marketing Zcoin are following.

      • Daira Hopwood

        If you know of dead links on https://z.cash, please report them to the Zcash forum or Zcash Community Slack.

  • Claudio Levrini

    Unfortunately all Altcoin face the same problem. Hash power. Bitcoin was lucky enough to grow to a decent level of de centralization before being famous. Not sure if that can happen again now. Still a very promising concept looking forward to see a bitcoin implementation maybe on dedicated sidechains.

  • robert

    It’s great that ZCoin is developing a much better alternative to ZCash. ZCash has a major problem of not being able to detect double spending or other similar bugs, because of the issue that it does not display the amount sent in a transaction. The Zerocash paper has only been peer-reviewed by a few people. We’ve seen several case studies in which risky cryptography has led to a loss in investor funds, such as the whole DAO fiasco with Ethereum. It’s great that ZCoin is taking the more secure approach for zero-knowledge proofs.

  • ฿rian

    “Many cryptocurrencies that claim to provide anonymity, but most of them are no more than tumbling methods. Other concepts rely on heuristic approximations of the threat model. However, when it comes down to true anonymity, blockchain crawlers and third parties can still track transaction history.”

    Dash De-anonymization Contest

    I (ddink7) have donated $1 to Monero’s development team. I sent 0.25 Dash (TX ID: 59d51690d4b56ddbf1e393fa8d3a49bcfc3247f270f36be3b6ee411802666cba-000) to shapeshift.io, which converted it to Bitcoin and sent it to the official Monero donation address listed at https://getmonero.org/getting-started/donate/.

    I challenge you to de-anonymize this transaction. To make it just a little easier, I only used four rounds of Darksend, so it’s exponentially less private than it would be with the maximum eight rounds.

    Please tell me what address this transaction originated from.

    Cheers!