Pavol Rusnak, CTO of Satoshi Labs, said that his friend and ‘ethical hacker’ Dusan Klinec was making great progress sending a new pull request to the Monero GUI in testing, as the security-focused firm’s addition of XMR onto its hardware wallet platform moves closer.
— Pavol Rusnak⚡stick (@pavolrusnak) March 17, 2019
Monero is a privacy coin, meaning that it is anonymous and untraceable by design. After it was created in April 2014 under the original name of BitMonero, the code base was forked and became the open source project dubbed “Monero” that is live in implementation today.
The privacy-focused project is based on the CryptoNight Proof-of-Work (PoW) hashing algorithm, which entails three key features to ensure economically incentivised consensus as well as providing anonymity:
- Ring Signatures – which are used to mix the spender’s address with a group of others, making it more difficult to trace transactions.
- Stealth Addresses – which are generated for each transaction and make it impossible to track its actual destination by anyone other than the two parties involved in it.
- Confidential Transactions – which are used to conceal the transferred amount.
Over the past few years, XMR’s focus on privacy helped it to stand out from other cryptocurrencies and become a relatively popular means of payment within dark net markets like Alphabay and Oasis. In 2016, partly due to being integrated on those trading platforms, XMR experienced more growth in market capitalisation and transaction volume than any other cryptocurrency – with an annual price appreciation of close to 30x.
Privacy is not for bad guys, it’s what protects you from bad guys.
— Conner Brown ⚡️ (@_ConnerBrown_) March 15, 2019
Taking it to the community
Following his news, Rusnak took to Reddit to read through comments from the community regarding how the code should be tested before the official release. He confirmed that testing had been conducted by pointing at the two code repositories and stating: “The whole source code is open source, you can build it now and start testing [yourself].”
Recently, Satoshi Labs’ main competitor, Ledger, has taken aim at Trezor by posting a report highlighting five vulnerabilities in the firm’s products. However, the company later rebutted the claims, saying that while Ledger did report and communicate with it over the suspected vulnerabilities, “some of the facts are represented differently”, which has led to “an alarmist interpretation of the vulnerabilities”.
Atomic swaps and the Lightning Network on the way
In the recently released Monero official year in review, the team discussed details of upcoming plans with Tari Labs developers “to create and implement an atomic swap mechanism that will initially allow for atomic swaps between Monero and other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin.”
Other plans with Tari researchers also include a Lightning Network router implementation that the team said supports “both Bitcoin and Monero, allowing Monero to benefit from the added off-chain privacy that LN provides.”
Just this past weekend, the Layer-2 scaling network celebrated reaching a remarkable network capacity high of 1,000 BTC and 40,000 active payment channels.
Privacy as the new focus for cryptocurrencies
Over the last few months, we have seen a real shift in the focus of many open and public blockchain projects now viewing privacy as a key part of any upcoming protocol changes. This change in technical direction (away from just looking at transaction scaling or speed) has seen currencies like Litecoin explode back above the price points of November 2018 – prior to the market-wide sell-off of Bitcoin between $6,000 and $3,000.
As one of the original and most widely adopted ‘anonymous’ tokens in the market today, the addition of XMR support to popular hardware wallets shows the favourability that the mainstream cryptocurrency ecosystem is giving to privacy-focused projects like Monero, which says it is on the “road to being the most private cryptocurrency [in the world]”.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.