The Litecoin MimbleWimble proposal is about Fungibility not Privateness.


A latest article entitled “Breaking MimbleWimble’s privateness mannequin” revealed by Ivan Bogatyy has been inflicting a stir because the writer claims of a “new assault” that ‘traces 96% of all (MimbleWimble) sender and recipient addresses in actual time’. The assault prices $60/week of AWS (Amazon Internet Providers) one thing that leads Bogatyy to conculde that:

“Mimblewimble’s privateness is basically flawed.” (and) “ought to not be thought of a viable various to Zcash or Monero relating to privateness.”

The issue is that no MimbleWimble (MW) developer has ever claimed the protocol was personal or that it was on par with an asset comparable to Monero on this regard, as such Bogatyy’s article engages in a false equivalence fallacy. The considerations raised have been already identified to these engaged on the mission. David Burkett, a member of the Grin++ workforce who helps lead the Litecoin MW implementation, weighed in through twitter, to deal with the scenario:

“Actually superior write-up, however none of that is “information”. I’m really shocked solely 96% was traceable. There are a variety of the way to assist break linkability in Grin, however none are applied and launched but. As I at all times say, don’t use Grin should you require privateness — it’s not there but.”

A counter article from Daniel Lehnberg, a Grin developer, was later revealed to supply additional clarification and dispel the factual inaccuracies and sensationalised claims:

“This isn’t new to anybody on the Grin workforce or anybody who has studied the Mimblewimble protocol. Grin acknowledged the power to hyperlink outputs on chain in a Privateness Primer revealed on its public wiki in November 2018, earlier than mainnet was launched. This drawback encompasses Ian Mier’s “Flashlight assault”, which we’ve listed as considered one of our Open Analysis Issues.”
“TL;DR: Mimblewimble privateness isn’t “basically flawed”. The described “assault” on Mimblewimble/Grin is a misunderstanding of a identified limitation. Whereas the article offers some fascinating numbers on community evaluation, the outcomes offered don’t really represent an assault, nor do they again up the sensationalized claims made.”

Litecoin creator Charlie Lee adopted in a tweet of his personal stating:

“This limitation of MimbleWimble protocol is well-known. MW is mainly Confidential Transactions with scaling advantages and slight unlinkability. To get significantly better privateness, you’ll be able to nonetheless use CoinJoin earlier than broadcasting and CJ works very well with MW because of CT and aggregation.”

The primary attraction of MW and the explanation the Litecoin Core workforce wish to implement assist for it, has primarily been its capability to supply community fungibility, future scalability and ‘better’ (not full) privateness.

Fungibility is derived from the inclusion of confidential transactions (CT) whereby the worth despatched over the community is hidden but verifiable. This implies when interacting with different folks on the community they wont be capable to look again and know the way a lot Litecoin you personal. Scalability alternatively comes from the massively pruneable nature of the protocol and the truth that, when paired with extension blocks, the Litecoin community could have a blocksize improve with out the necessity for a contentious laborious fork.

MW provides solely pseudo-privacy and that is what Bogatyy’s article discusses. By snapshotting transactions earlier than they bear the coin becoming a member of course of it’s nonetheless doable to trace community participant interactions. Customers can privately coinjoin utilizing a trusted social gathering earlier than broadcasting, nonetheless, this introduces a 3rd social gathering who might then later promote that information on, so it’s removed from a perfect resolution.

Coinjoins mixed with confidential transactions nonetheless, does present an ample stage of privateness over the present scenario. The typical consumer doesn’t have the time, assets or know the right way to setup such a monitoring system. This doesn’t imply privateness is to not be pursued, for one, MW would not really use addresses, as a substitute worth is transferred by including one-time outputs to a transaction. In flip offering better privateness because it turns into unimaginable to re-use addresses.

One good take away is that it’s unlikely incumbent exchanges will delist Litecoin because of regulatory concern folks have raised and hopefully extra folks will start to grasp the character of MW. Full fungability remains to be a objective to purpose for going ahead and is somthing Lee awknowledges stating:

“There’s numerous work to be achieved. Privateness and fungability will probably be an ongoing battle.”


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