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Incentivising Privacy in Cryptocurrencies

Azouvi, S; Yousaf, H; Hicks, A; (2018) Incentivising Privacy in Cryptocurrencies. Presented at: OPERANDI 2018: Open Day for Privacy, Transparency and Decentralization, Barcelona, Spain. Green open access

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Abstract

Privacy was one of the key points mentioned in Nakamoto's Bitcoin whitepaper, and one of the selling points of Bitcoin in its early stages. In hindsight, however, de-anonymising Bitcoin users turned out to be more feasible than expected. Since then, privacy focused cryptocurrencies such as Zcash and Monero have surfaced. Both of these examples cannot be described as fully successful in their aims, as recent research has shown. Incentives are integral to the security of cryptocurrencies, so it is interesting to investigate whether they could also be aligned with privacy goals. A lack of privacy often results from low user counts, resulting in low anonymity sets. Could users be incentivised to use the privacy preserving implementations of the systems they use? Not only is Zcash much less used than Bitcoin (which it forked from), but most Zcash transactions are simply transparent transactions, rather than the (at least intended to be) privacy-preserving shielded transactions. This paper and poster briefly discusses how incentives could be incorporated into systems like cryptocurrencies with the aim of achieving privacy goals. We take Zcash as example, but the ideas discussed could apply to other privacy-focused cryptocurrencies. This work was presented as a poster at OPERANDI 2018, the poster can be found within this short document.

Type: Poster
Title: Incentivising Privacy in Cryptocurrencies
Event: OPERANDI 2018: Open Day for Privacy, Transparency and Decentralization
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Dates: July 23, 2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://petsymposium.org/2018/workshop.php
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088531
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