Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), published a blog post in which he advocates the creation of “stealth addresses” to improve blockchain privacy. This system would allow users to generate encrypted public addresses to receive funds anonymously.
The privacy problem on Ethereum
In a blog post titled “An Incomplete Guide to Secret Addresses” (or stealth addresses in the original), Vitalik Buterin proposed a new system to improve privacy transactions on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.
To begin, the co-founder of that blockchain introduces his blog post by explaining that confidentiality “one of the biggest challenges that remain in the Ethereum ecosystem.” Basically, everything on a public blockchain is accessible to everyonewhether financial transactions, ENS domain names or NFTs.
In other words, any individual can – with some blockchain skills – have access to a lot of information about you, your life and activities on chain. Vitalik Buterin recognizes this: it is an important problem that needs to be dealt with.
It is for this reason that Buterin introduces a new system to increase privacy on the Ethereum network : with them stealth addresses, or secret addresses. But what is it and how does it work? We will explain everything to you.
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Application of stealth addresses
The system of stealth addresses based on a mechanism that allows anyone generate a generic public address to get signs on it, as well as expenditure key (ie expense key) to access and retrieve funds.
In concrete terms, this provides the same level of confidentiality as if the person generated a new address for each transaction. So, this makes it very difficult to track everyone’s transaction history.
Currently, there are already solutions to achieve a high level of confidentiality, such as cryptocurrency mixes like Tornado Cash. However, their use has become difficult because they raise serious confidentiality issues.
As a reminder, on August 8, 2022, Tornado Cash approved by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)the financial regulatory agency of the United States Treasury.
Therefore, Vitalik Buterin would like to implement this functionality natively on Ethereum or within a wallet that allows interaction with the network:
“Basic stealth addresses can be implemented fairly quickly today and could provide a significant privacy boost to Ethereum users. They require some work on the wallet side to support them. »
It will be interesting to watch the impact this news will have on the corners of blockchains with a profession of anonymity such as Monero (XMR) or Zcash (ZEC) which greatly benefited from the aforementioned OFAC sanctions. Conversely, it will be important to monitor regulators’ responses to this new system.
👉 Also read – Tornado Cash: proof that you can’t kill a decentralized application
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Source: press release of Vitalik Buterin
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