With a Hard Fork, Monero Introduces Enhanced Privacy Features
Popular privacy coin throughout the weekend, Monero successfully completed a hard fork that included several new privacy and security features.
In April of this year, developers made the initial announcement regarding the non-contentious hard fork, which was finished at block 2,688,888. After being scheduled to take place in July, it was moved to August 13 after being postponed.
The Monero ring size has been increased from 11 to 16, one of the fork’s most significant modifications. Monero creates a new signature that authorizes a transaction by combining the digital signature of the person signing the transaction with the digital signatures of 11 (now 16) other individuals who did not sign the transaction. This is done to ensure the privacy of Monero users.
In addition, the upgrade to the network featured improvements to its multisig mechanism as well as modifications to its ‘Bulletproofs’ algorithm.
These modifications increased transaction speeds and decreased transaction sizes by an estimated 5–7%, respectively. ‘View tags,’ which seek to reduce wallet sync times by up to 40%, as well as security fixes and fee modifications, are other performance optimizations implemented.
Congratulations on a successful network upgrade! 🎉 #Monero is now more private and efficient with ringsize 16, Bulletproofs+, and view tags!
Make sure your node/wallet is updated to continue using Monero.
Privacy and fungibility matter, and it’s exciting to keep improving!
— Monero (XMR) (@monero) August 13, 2022
“Congratulations on a successful network upgrade! #Monero is now more private and efficient with ringsize 16, Bulletproofs+, and view tags! Make sure your node/wallet is updated to continue using Monero. Privacy and fungibility matter, and it’s exciting to keep improving!”
The announcement of the successful network upgrade does not appear to have affected the price of Monero, which is presently trading at around $164.3 and is up roughly 0.8% on the day. The privacy coin is currently being traded on the market.
Monero and other privacy-focused projects
As a result of greater regulatory emphasis being placed on privacy projects, Monero has improved the privacy features it offers to its users. In the past week, the United States Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash’s cryptocurrency privacy tool for its role in money laundering.
The Netherlands Crime Agency arrested an alleged Tornado Cash developer. These actions prompted widespread condemnation from the cryptocurrency community.
The cryptocurrency Monero has attracted the attention of law enforcement and regulators for some time. In the year 2020, a company known as CipherTrace disclosed that it had created a toolset for tracing Monero transactions at the request of the Department of Homeland Security in the United States.
Despite the apparent success of this endeavor, a month later, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a reward of up to $625,000 for anyone who could crack Monero. The Norwegian police spent the following year working on a method to circumvent the privacy coin to track down financial transactions associated with a missing person investigation.
Because of the increased focus from regulators, cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase have been hesitant to offer Monero. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong stated in 2020 that officials had hinted in “behind-the-scenes conversations” that “We very much don’t think you should do this.”