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Researchers claim that 99.9% of Zcash’s transactions are traceable

May 23, 2020

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have published a study on the privacy features of Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), possibly the two most popular crypto assets that claim to offer anonymity to users.

The report notes that Monero’s presentation of strict security and anonymity requirements in its expanded ecosystem has maintained the asset’s status as “effectively untraceable”.

In cross-section, the report concludes that the non-implementation of Zcash’s data protection features by more than 99% of users compromises the privacy of the entire network, although ZEC offers “strong cryptographic features”.

Zcash’s user behavior affects privacy

Researchers claim that 99.9% of Zcash’s transactions are traceable
Researchers claim that 99.9% of Zcash’s transactions are traceable

The report describes Zcash as a Bitcoin (BTC) fork that tries to “completely disconnect the transmitter from the receiver”.

The researchers claim that “Zcash is not currently widespread,” and cite a May 2020 survey of the Darknet markets that found “[Zcash] It is not the preferred cryptocurrency on the dark web. “

By using concise, non-interactive zero-knowledge arguments or SNARKs, ZEC can prevent any interaction between the transaction reviewer and the verifier, “creating a barrier that further impedes address linking efforts.”

However, Zcash offers both protected anonymous and transparent pseudonyms. The researchers found that only 0.09% of ZEC transactions fully used the protocol’s data protection features over a 30-day period.

“”[Aunque] From a cryptographic point of view, Zcash is very solid. Users behave in such a way that they do not take full advantage of the protected sentence and are comprehensible. Since every user in the protected group is linked to the transparent group, the general anonymity of the ZEC ecosystem is reduced as the anonymity is drastically reduced. “

“It appears that the vast majority of Zcash users still do not understand the Zcash operating model,” the study concluded, concluding that the “tiny” group of ZEC users using armored transactions use Zcash ” effectively understandable “.

30% of the XMR transactions were traceable

The report notes that more and more altcoins have tried to brand themselves as data protection currencies, claiming that, unlike pseudonymous transactions made possible by almost all crypto assets, they offer completely private transactions.

The researchers examined many Monero functions that are said to make tracking and linking impossible.

One-way addresses are used for each transaction exit to avoid binding, while traceability is addressed with one-way ring signatures, a form of proof of zero knowledge, along with deception entries, so-called mixins.

The document also examines several additional improvements made to the protocol from 2017 onwards, and concluded that less than 1% of the XMR transactions made in the past two years were believed to be the most understandable analytical method used.

However, one model was able to display transaction data with an accuracy of 30%.

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