A blog post published on Ripple’s official website on 20th July 2020, titled, “How UBRI Supports Critical New Research into Blockchain Anonymity” discusses the shortcomings of the present blockchain models, and suggests a means to test anonymity on the XRP Ledger.
Going by the publication, blockchain is extremely difficult to hack due to its decentralized nature. But the digital assets and wallets built on the nascent technology are vulnerable for hackers to manipulate, which has been giving the organizations behind the projects sleepless nights on how formidable security will be built around them.
In the blog post, Stefanie Roos, an assistance professor for distributed systems at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, stated that blockchain industry will soon have to give equal attention to privacy concerns.
About the Anonymity of Bitcoin Transaction Details
Regarding the anonymity of Bitcoin transaction details, the assistance professor Stefanie Roos averred that the transactions on the Bitcoin network are not really private as opined by many crypto pundits.
Stefanie Roos noted:
“Because you don’t have to enter your real name, people believe that Bitcoin is very privacy preserving. But when someone keeps reusing the same information, it’s possible to track everything they do. If you can link that profile to a real person then you can see all their activity.”
Stefanie further added, “Think of systems where anonymity is temporal. “You get privacy for the time that you need it. If you want to have transparency later on, you can reveal the relevant cryptographic keys to demonstrate that you complied with regulatory requirements, show off your high-quality suppliers or to prove a patent case.”
Looking At Anonymity on the XRP Ledger
The blog post reveals that some of Stefanie’s students are starting to consider anonymity on the XRP Ledger, which is part of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).
The report points out that a student is already looking at XRP Ledger’s consensus algorithms, while another is busy working on a new way of testing for “security vulnerabilities when a theoretical blockchain model is translated to code on complicated, large scale projects.”
Stefanie Roos said:
“The two students obviously benefit from the UBRI grant. But they’re also able to talk with people at Ripple about their ideas and whether they could actually be part of the system. It’s great motivation for this type of project, if you know there is a chance it can become a real product.”
Conclusively, Stefanie Roos stated that their connections with UBRI have so far been helpful for the students to implement the applications on the XRP Ledger.
Putting their work to test, Stefanie said “One team created a bill splitting system, where one person pays a bill in the restaurant and the rest settle it using the XRP Ledger.”
However, Stefanie stated that the outbreak of coronavirus that initiated the shutdown of all restaurants is standing on their ways, “but hopefully they can test the theory in a real-world scenario soon.”