On July 17, the well known Dark Wallet creator and early Bitcoin developer, Amir Taaki, criticized bitcoin privacy methods on Twitter. Taaki claimed that UTXO mixing concepts like Coinjoin were “absolute garbage.” Taaki also knocked other concepts like Mimblewimble and privacy-centric coins like monero as well, claiming that zero-knowledge accumulators will be the “anonymous gold standard” going forward.
Certain methods of privacy-enhancing and transaction obfuscation like Coinjoin were recently criticized by the early Bitcoin (BTC) developer Amir Taaki. The software engineer created the Dark Wallet application with Defense Distributed’s founder Cody Wilson years ago but disappeared for a while.
More recently, Taaki has returned to the crypto community, at least vocally, and he has made a number of critical remarks since then. His statement on Friday was no different, as Taaki tweeted about bitcoin privacy methods and said:
Coinjoin, Coinmix, Coinwhatever – absolute garbage (and I created the first Coinjoin [implementation]). Mimblewimble – interesting but worthless for privacy. Monero – marginally better but not anonymous. Lelantus – decent but still risky. Zero-knowledge accumulators – anonymous gold standard.
In addition to Taaki’s statement, two days later Riccardo Spagni from Monero criticized the Zcash project with a tweet about someone allegedly tracing a z-address to a z-address transaction. An individual was ostensibly able to trace it back to the original t-address. Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn spoke up about the criticism on Twitter in a series of tweets.
“People think that you should *store* your crypto in a transparent blockchain like BTC, ETH, or Zcash t-addresses, and then “move it through” something like a mixer, Tornado, or Monero when you want to “anonymize” it— That’s backwards,” Zooko said.
“If you want privacy, you have to *store* your crypto in a private cryptosystem. You have to *store* your crypto in a private cryptosystem (such as the Zcash shielded pool) if you want privacy. Then it is safe to *move* it through a transparent system,” the Zcash founder added.
The scheme just below Taaki’s “gold standard” method, called Lelantus is an extension of the Zerocoin protocol. According to the white paper, Lelantus “extends the original Zerocoin functionality to support confidential transactions, while also significantly improving on the protocol performance— Lelantus’ proof sizes are almost 17 times smaller compared to the original Zerocoin proof sizes.”
Similar to Lelantus, zero-knowledge accumulators or crypto accumulators are lesser-known forms of privacy schemes. The security and cryptography expert Aurélien Nicolas explained how zero-knowledge accumulators work in a comprehensive technical blog post about the subject back January 2018.
“There is a lesser-known technique on the crypto-developer’s tool belt,” Nicolas wrote. “A cryptographic accumulator is a…