The famous Bitcoin educator, Andreas Antonopoulos, live-streamed a Q&A session on YouTube on 7th July. Speaking about various aspects related to the crypto market, he mentioned that he wished to see more privacy features for Bitcoin.
He said that Bitcoin wouldn’t be likely to implement privacy features on the lines of Monero (XMR). He also stated the reason that it would create a lot of controversies if Bitcoin was to indeed go ahead and implement such privacy features.
Antonopoulos said that with the kind of structure Bitcoin has, it is almost impossible to add extra privacy features. The ring signatures and stealth addresses are not possible to create or include in Bitcoin’s model. He said that we might see other developments such as Schnorr, Taproot, and Tapscript, which will bring more opportunities for improvement. However, these do not include zero-knowledge proofs, stealth addresses, and ring signatures.
He concluded the issue with a single line saying ‘Bitcoin is not a privacy coin’.
This brings us to the question of the effectiveness of Bitcoin’s privacy features. If we take a look at the three features, Schnorr, Taproot, and Tapscript he referred to, we can notice that others from the crypto community have also mentioned these as a means to improve Bitcoin’s privacy.
Bitcoin and Privacy- Is it Possible?
Andrew Poelstra, the director of research at Blockstream, said that Taproot could be capable of making one transaction ‘indistinguishable’ from the other. While that sounds promising, the transaction graph and amounts are still out in the open. Poelstra said that handling these is going to be difficult.
Talking about Schnorr, he said that MuSigns or Multisignature Schemes are another option to consider increasing privacy for Bitcoin. MuSigns do not provide the number of signers nor does it reveal the original set of signers for transactions.
Earlier, sometime in Feb 2020, Poelstra said that Zero knowledge proofs (ZK-Proof) systems can be termed as the ‘exciting areas of development’ in the crypto community.
Not just that, more than a year ago, in Feb 2019, he talked about how ZK-Proof could make Bitcoin gain a few functionalities of altcoins. This would need a lot of work, he said. But if done, ZK-Proofs would bring quite a change to the Bitcoin platform.
With features, possibilities, and concepts still being worked out in the backend, we can, for now, say that Bitcoin is going to stay as it is for a while. It wouldn’t be fully private, as Andreas Antonopoulos made it clear, but it would probably have better privacy features shortly.
In Other News- Bitcoin Hashrate Grows
If we take a look at the data shared Glassnote, Bitcoin has been showing a steady bullish trend for about six weeks. The hashrate of the network is climbing up without a break. It is said to have reached 123.4exhash per second (EH/s) on Monday.
Glassnote predicts a price breakout anytime, based on the stability in the price in recent times. That sure is something to cheer about for crypto lovers.
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