(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Bitcoin is a remarkable, if not revolutionary, technological development, but there are clear limitations to its usability, like the fact that every Bitcoin transaction is recorded publicly on its block chain. Would a company want all its expenditures in full public view? Would a donor to a political campaign be, in effect, forced to disclose the amount donated? Usage scenarios like these illustrate the need for flexible control over privacy for cryptocurrency transactions. Enter XCurrency.
XCurrency is a ground-breaking platform for private transactions, communication, and services. It differentiates itself from other cryptocurrency projects with its boldly pragmatic, real-world approach. It must run (and stake) on mobile phones, therefore it must be bloat-free and eminently scalable. It must be POS-integrated. It must be bulletproof. And it must be flexible. Over the past few weeks XC has rocketed toward these objectives by laying the technical foundations for a versatile platform in the form of a live, working app that demonstrates its privacy technology to the world. And this technology is ground-breaking.
The quest for “anonymity” has taken centre stage of late in altcoin design, and at present several technologies aim to achieve it. However anonymity is a formidable technical challenge, and to date proposed solutions have either caused unworkable blockchain bloat, unwieldy transaction times, or have encountered unexpected forking problems. Here is a summary overview of XC’s solution to these problems:
XC is a network of nodes that (a) use end-to-end encryption to support transaction broadcasting, secure messaging, and true P2P anonymous transactions. (b) Upon this is built an optional mixer that testing has shown to eliminate any record in the blockchain of a link between sender and receiver. (c) This mixer is a revolutionary “multi-path” implementation that employs multi-sig to route fragments of transactions down separate paths through the network, compounding anonymity while adding redundancy and security. (d) Communication between nodes is optionally via TOR, which obfuscates users’ IP addresses. The result is a layered approach to privacy that nullifies each potential attack vector in a flexible, modular fashion.
Several projects’ anonymising strategies currently have an unworkable blockchain bloat problem. Technologies like ring signatures and zero-knowledge proofs currently lack a way of avoiding this. XCurrency uses standard transactions, but multi-path then achieves an extremely high level of privacy with a high degree of prunability, avoiding bloat.
No (semi-) centralization:
Because every XC wallet can function as a node, XC avoids what Bitcoin core developer Gregory Maxwell hasrecently called a security “chokepoint” in some other coins’ use of semi-centralised nodes to forward transactions. This strategy is compounded by the need to hold a very large amount of coins in order for a node to function – a problem which is resolved by the small, random transaction sizes of XC’s multi-path architecture.
No Prisoners’ Dilemma:
Building privacy upon Bitcoin-based technologies by forwarding transactions is problematic because malicious actors can steal transactions instead of forwarding them. Furthermore they can snoop on the broadcasting system and publish the identities of senders and receivers. XC resolves these issues through multi-sig and through end-to-end message encryption.
Not limited to only payments:
Bitcoin’s elegance may be its greatest strength, but it introduces significant challenges in implementing additional blockchain-based functions, like secure messaging and decentralised cloud storage. XC’s “platform” approach incorporates this objective from the outset. As such, XC represents a comprehensive approach to a Blockchain 2.0 architecture.
Development plan and testing:
XC’s roadmap to the public launch of its privacy solution has recently been released. Though XC’s technology is real and free to download, several aspects of it are undergoing early testing. As such it should be treated as a beta release, and proportionate care taken with one’s funds when using it. In the coming months the cryptographic community will be invited to test it to its limits, and there will be a sizable bounty offered to anyone who can provably break XC’s privacy solution.
XCurrency is a five-week-old cryptographic platform for flexible digital transactions that has undergone a meteoric rise in popularity. Due to its newness there is currently a lack of technical documentation of its design, although in the coming weeks its user guides, website, branding, and so forth will be unveiled. Given this, this article is not intended to be a technical explanation or formal defence of the viability of XC’s technology, and as such makes no claim of providing “proof” of this. Note also that XC is committed to the open source model. Open source code is vital for the health and advancement of cryptographic technologies, and so XC will make code available on a delayed timeline. This way, the community will derive the benefit of XC’s ground-breaking technologies, while reducing the incentive for developers to flood the marketplace with clones that lack a long term future. As such, XC stands to enrich the digital currency ecosystem and to spearhead advancements in security, functionality, and flexibility.