Stanford University’s Applied Cryptography Group (ACG) is proposing Bulletproofs, a way to drastically minimize blockchain information, roughly ten-fold. The ACG group argues how making use of aggregation for transaction proofs and minimizing block size will result in two targets long sought in Bitcoin, confidentiality and speed.
Also read: Engineers Demonstrate Zcash/Bitcoin Atomic Swaps
Bulletproofs: Efficient Range Proofs for Confidential Transactions is a functioning publication from Stanford University’s Applied Cryptography Group. The project is overseen by professor Dan Boneh, and it involves PhD students and researchers from Stanford, University College London, and Blockstream. “Bulletproofs are created to allow effective confidential transactions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” a background abstract starts.
A widespread misconception is transacting in bitcoin is somehow anonymous, confidential. The press usually touts it as such, specially in the service of crime.
The irony of payment systems in the digital age is how public they are. Whole industries have been built up about gathering payment details, habits. Bitcoin is a step, for certain, toward thwarting institutional electronic payments’ invasiveness, but it is a lengthy way from the anonymity of cash, for example.
“Confidential transactions hide the quantity that is transferred in the transaction,” the paper continues, “Every confidential transaction contains a cryptographic proof that the transaction is valid. Bulletproofs shrink the size of the cryptographic proof from over 10kB to less than 1kB,” they claim.
Practically nothing in the paper overtly refers to the ongoing scaling debate, other than Bulletproofs assisting in scaling as a general thought. These championing huge block sizes have done so below the criticism of slow transaction occasions and greater costs. Meanwhile, status-quo arguments revolve about a bitcoin not reserved for micropayments, far more for a settlement standard and shop of value.
“If all Bitcoin transactions have been confidential and used Bulletproofs, then the total size of the blockchain would be only 17 GB, compared to 160 GB with the currently used proofs,” authors Benedikt Bünz, Jonathan Bootle, Dan Boneh, Andrew Poelstra, Pieter Wiulle, Greg Maxwell insist.
zkSNARKs, popularized in ZCash, are precursors to Bulletproofs. However, “Bulletproofs are short non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs that call for no trusted setup,” which is the case with SNARKs.
“A Bulletproof can be employed to convince a verifier that an encrypted plaintext is well formed. For example, prove that an encrypted number is in a provided variety, without having revealing something else about the quantity,” the ACG team asserts. The tradeoff in utilizing Bulletproofs is in verification, as it is “more time consuming than verifying a SNARK proof.”
Block efficiency usage signifies the ACG proposal can “have a lot of other applications in cryptographic protocols,” they write, “such as shortening proofs of solvency, short verifiable shuffles, confidential wise contracts, and as a general drop-in replacement for Sigma-protocols.”
What do you think of Bulletproofs? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos courtesy of: Pixabay, Remington, Twitter.
Published at Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:55:42 +0000