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What Is Monero's "Bulletproof" Technology That Just Went Live? - Monero (XMR) News. Friday, October 19th

19 october 2018, 23:14 by Jesús S. Affigne

Monero’s next big update goes live

It enables the “Bulletproof” technology

Users of the privacy-focused blockchain Monero are used to see regular hard forks of the mainnet, due to new implementations, features and tweaks to improve stability, usability and overall experience, all according to the main goal of providing an anonymous way of sending and receiving funds. And today, October 19, the blockchain sees the roll-out of yet another update, but with a big feature.

Beryllium Bullet, the name given to Monero’s next hard fork, has finally gone live on the mainnet. The long-awaited update brings several important changes to the protocol, such as less storage space required for a transaction, and lower fees for processing them, among others. 

But the main addition to the privacy-focused blockchain that comes with the v8 update is the “Bulletproof” feature. 

What is Bulletproof

Bulletproof is a technology developed by Benedict Bünz and Jonathan Bootle, and has been on Monero’s testnet since at least December 2017. This new technology promises to reduce transaction costs and storage space massively. And because of the less space required, transactions will experience an increase in confirmations speed 

It also facilitate scalability on privacy features of this blockchain – more specifically, the Monero Ring Confidential Transaction (RingCT) technology. Along with stealth addresses and ring signatures, the aforementioned feature conforms the anonymity trident of the protocol.

Now, the main function of RingCT is to obscure the quantity of money that is being sent in a transaction, and in order to fulfill the effectiveness of this work, it uses ring signatures to mix different outputs together, so that no one can track the origin of the funds. However, this bring the issue of people trying to print money out of thin air and adding it to the transaction so it can be confirmed. Monero counters this with its zero-knowledge range proof, but the way it works makes a transaction too large in size. And here’s where Bulletproof makes its entrance.

By ditching the current linear scaling of transactions in favor of a logarithmical scaling, the size of a transaction is drastically reduced. Sarang Noether, a mathematician working for the Monero Research Lab, explained this feature back when it was going live on the testnet: 

“With our current range proofs, the transaction is around 13.2 kB in size. If I used single-output bulletproofs, the transaction reduces in size to only around 2.5 kB! This is, approximately, an 80% reduction in transaction size, which then translates to an 80% reduction in fees as well.”

With the release of Beryllium Bullet today, Monero has become the first blockchain protocol to ever implement this new technology. Whether it will remain true to its promise, it is yet to be seen. As for the community and members of the dev team, they have great faith in the benefits that will represent for their blockchain protocol.

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