Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have made enormous leaps and bounds. Today thousands of cryptocurrencies are available for purchase, each offering its own unique solutions to issues posed by rapidly expanding technology. However, we at Abelian feel there are two rather unique issues that have gone unsolved, which need solutions built from the ground up — the need for better privacy and the ever-looming threat of quantum computers.
Let’s first take a second to understand the difference between pseudonymity and anonymity. Pseudonymity is when a user has a consistent identifier that is not their real name. Take the popular artist Banksy for example, Banksy can communicate to others under the name Banksy and people will know it’s him, all while keeping his true identity hidden. On the other hand, anonymity is when a user is completely unknown and cannot be identified by another user. A good example of this is online message forums such as Reddit. Individuals can communicate to others under the name anonymous, which cannot be distinguished from others operating under this anonymity. It might seem like quite a small and nuanced difference. But in the context of blockchain, it has a substantial impact.
Bitcoin and most popular cryptocurrencies proclaim privacy under the guise of pseudonymity-based anonymity. This is a rather weak form of anonymity, that offers its users little in terms of privacy, as a result of its core values of traceability and linkability. Because all transactions that have ever taken place on the network are public, and each transaction you make is under a unique pseudonym, transactions can be linked back to a unique origin and final recipient. You might be thinking, so what? They know my pseudonym, but they can’t link it back to my true identity. I’m like Banksy, and no one knows who he really is. Well, not exactly. Using financial forensics and personal information obtained from crypto exchanges, it is possible to make this link between pseudonyms and true identities. There is little individuals can do to mitigate against this other than to continuously create new wallet addresses, which is tedious and cumbersome for users and not a real solution to the problem. Moving into the next digital age, what is at stake is beyond the next innovation but the right to privacy.
If we want to achieve full privacy which means true anonymity, we must make coin addresses untraceable and unlinkable, and make transaction amounts hidden. Although we don’t really notice it, the level of privacy and liberty we are permitted in both the real world and Web 2.0 is steadily shrinking. Privacy is a fundamental right that everyone should have access to in the web 3.0 space.
In addition to untraceability, being able to transact without worrying about disclosing each transaction amount is also a crucial feature for a cryptocurrency to achieve full privacy. The challenge of achieving amount-hiding is tremendous as it is equally prominent for the crypto network to ensure that double spending is also detectable and can be deterred. All in all, a fully private cryptocurrency should be able to ensure the anonymity and untraceability of the addresses of both sender and receiver, and at the same time, protect the transaction amount of the transaction from prying eyes.
Our solution? Abelian makes use of Linkable Ring Signature to hide the sender coin address and amount in a group of five other coin addresses. So, on the blockchain we see an amount has been sent by one of the five-coin addresses, but we do not know which one. This allows the sender to remain totally anonymous. On the receiver side, every receiver coin address is a one-time address, newly generated for every transaction, such that the receiver also stays completely anonymous. Abelian also makes use of a commitment scheme and a zero-knowledge proof system to hide the transaction amount while preventing double spending from happening.
Our team of experts is continuously working and improving on Abelian so that it truly fits our vision. Stay tuned for more updates.
Abelian is a post-quantum Layer 1 blockchain led by a group of lifetime cryptographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists. A combination of our quantum-resistant cryptographic technology and privacy-enhancing features enables us to offer unparalleled levels of both security and privacy to our users. By embedding these qualities at the core of Abelian, it is primed to foster a prosperous, scalable ecosystem and exciting community.