The Litecoin MimbleWimble proposal is about Fungibility not Privateness.


A current article entitled “Breaking MimbleWimble’s privateness mannequin” revealed by Ivan Bogatyy has been inflicting a stir because the creator 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 Companies) one thing that leads Bogatyy to conculde that:

“Mimblewimble’s privateness is essentially flawed.” (and) “ought to not be thought-about 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 akin to Monero on this regard, as such Bogatyy’s article engages in a false equivalence fallacy. The issues raised have been already recognized to these engaged on the challenge. David Burkett, a member of the Grin++ workforce who helps lead the Litecoin MW implementation, weighed in through twitter, to handle the state of affairs:

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

A counter article from Daniel Lehnberg, a Grin developer, was later revealed to offer 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 flexibility to hyperlink outputs on chain in a Privateness Primer revealed on its public wiki in November 2018, earlier than mainnet was launched. This downside encompasses Ian Mier’s “Flashlight assault”, which we have now listed as certainly one of our Open Analysis Issues.”
“TL;DR: Mimblewimble privateness will not be “essentially flawed”. The described “assault” on Mimblewimble/Grin is a misunderstanding of a recognized limitation. Whereas the article supplies some fascinating numbers on community evaluation, the outcomes offered don’t truly 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 a lot better privateness, you’ll be able to nonetheless use CoinJoin earlier than broadcasting and CJ works very well with MW as a consequence of CT and aggregation.”

The primary enchantment of MW and the rationale the Litecoin Core workforce need to implement help for it, has primarily been its capability to offer community fungibility, future scalability and ‘larger’ (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 individuals on the community they wont be capable to look again and know the way a lot Litecoin you personal. Scalability however 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 enhance with out the necessity for a contentious arduous fork.

MW provides solely pseudo-privacy and that is what Bogatyy’s article discusses. By snapshotting transactions earlier than they endure the coin becoming a member of course of it’s nonetheless attainable to trace community participant interactions. Customers can privately coinjoin utilizing a trusted occasion earlier than broadcasting, nevertheless, this introduces a 3rd occasion who could then later promote that knowledge on, so it’s removed from an excellent resolution.

Coinjoins mixed with confidential transactions nevertheless, does present an enough stage of privateness over the present state of affairs. The common person doesn’t have the time, assets or know how one can setup such a monitoring system. This doesn’t imply privateness is to not be pursued, for one, MW would not truly use addresses, as an alternative worth is transferred by including one-time outputs to a transaction. In flip offering larger privateness because it turns into not possible to re-use addresses.

One good take away is that it’s unlikely incumbent exchanges will delist Litecoin as a consequence of regulatory challenge individuals have raised and hopefully extra individuals will start to grasp the character of MW. Full fungability continues to be a objective to intention for going ahead and is somthing Lee awknowledges stating:

“There’s a whole lot of work to be carried out. Privateness and fungability will likely be an ongoing battle.”


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