The Litecoin MimbleWimble proposal is about Fungibility not Privateness.

2 views 5:13 am 0 Comments June 10, 2023


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

“Mimblewimble’s privateness is basically flawed.” (and) “ought to not be thought-about a viable various to Zcash or Monero on the subject of 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 equivalent to Monero on this regard, as such Bogatyy’s article engages in a false equivalence fallacy. The considerations raised had been already identified to these engaged on the challenge. David Burkett, a member of the Grin++ staff who helps lead the Litecoin MW implementation, weighed in through twitter, to handle the scenario:

“Actually superior write-up, however none of that is “information”. I’m really stunned solely 96% was traceable. There are a selection of the way to assist break linkability in Grin, however none are carried out 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 printed to supply additional clarification and dispel the factual inaccuracies and sensationalised claims:

“This isn’t new to anybody on the Grin staff or anybody who has studied the Mimblewimble protocol. Grin acknowledged the power to hyperlink outputs on chain in a Privateness Primer printed on its public wiki in November 2018, earlier than mainnet was launched. This downside encompasses Ian Mier’s “Flashlight assault”, which now we have listed as one among our Open Analysis Issues.”
“TL;DR: Mimblewimble privateness shouldn’t be “basically flawed”. The described “assault” on Mimblewimble/Grin is a misunderstanding of a identified limitation. Whereas the article gives some attention-grabbing numbers on community evaluation, the outcomes introduced don’t really 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 principally Confidential Transactions with scaling advantages and slight unlinkability. To get significantly 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 staff wish to implement assist for it, has primarily been its means to supply community fungibility, future scalability and ‘better’ (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 alternatively comes from the massively pruneable nature of the protocol and the truth that, when paired with extension blocks, the Litecoin community may have a blocksize improve with out the necessity for a contentious arduous fork.

MW affords solely pseudo-privacy and that is what Bogatyy’s article discusses. By snapshotting transactions earlier than they bear the coin becoming a member of course of it’s nonetheless doable to trace community participant interactions. Customers can privately coinjoin utilizing a trusted get together earlier than broadcasting, nonetheless, this introduces a 3rd get together who could then later promote that information on, so it’s removed from a perfect answer.

Coinjoins mixed with confidential transactions nonetheless, does present an enough stage of privateness over the present scenario. The typical consumer doesn’t have the time, sources or know find out how to setup such a monitoring system. This doesn’t imply privateness is to not be pursued, for one, MW does not really use addresses, as an alternative worth is transferred by including one-time outputs to a transaction. In flip offering better 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 problem individuals have raised and hopefully extra individuals will start to grasp the character of MW. Full fungability remains to be a objective to intention for going ahead and is somthing Lee awknowledges stating:

“There’s a number of work to be finished. Privateness and fungability can be an ongoing battle.”



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