Many ethereum stakeholders and developers have been pushing for changes to ethereum’s privacy features to make it more like the token Monero. Unfortunately, many privacy techniques are rarely utilized as higher transaction costs and larger storage requirements are needed.
During the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium last week, two researchers presented their findings on a technique called Mobius, which mixes information to secure the payment information of ethereum transactions. Transactions that use Mobius cost only a little more than a typical ethereum transaction and takes milliseconds to execute. Mobius not only conceals sender and receiver addresses but in a way cryptographically trustless as well.
Building the privacy technology into ethereum poses many advantages and not just for ethereum transactions.
Ethereum already has a huge network of people who hold ETH, and the thing is it’s ERC-20 compatible, so if you have tokens you can use them in this way…The whole idea is reducing friction from what people are already doing into what they ideally would like [to do], which is exactly what they’re doing, but with privacy.
Whether implementing decentralized or centralized solutions there are specific tradeoffs associated with each. The goal of Mobius is to question which trade-off is necessary. The researchers however, found a way to avoid these tradeoffs by building a cryptographic device named a ring signature into an ethereum smart contract, which mixes up payment information by mixing it up with other participants.
Although the technology is viable, researchers are unaware as to the time frame it will be implemented into the blockchain. Pushing Mobius to the public would not be all that difficult, however, making the technology accessible to the public will be a complex task.
For mass adoption I guess you’d need some sort of user interface that’d literally just pick an anonymity set, and the back-end would just check if you were doing anything weird, and then you could just click through and make the transaction.