Blockstream Research Director Working On Increasing Bitcoin Privacy
Andrew Poelstra, the research director at Blockstream is on a mission to increase bitcoin privacy. His aim is to develop scriptless scripts to supplement the privacy of bitcoin transactions.
In his opinion, a lot of modern Internet companies are unscrupulous when it comes to harvesting personal data.
The massive amount of data collection from online websites has worried many experts in the industry.
With widespread data collection, AI algorithms may soon be able to predict people's behavioral patterns when they are online. This is why Poelstra is taking steps to increase the privacy of transactions on the bitcoin network.
To do this, Poelstra has working hard at developing algorithms and coding that will help hide bitcoin trails. Though many people think that bitcoin transactions are anonymous, it is still possible to glean choice bits of information from transactions. This includes a person's identity, what you are buying, and for how much. People can be surprised at what that sort of information can be used for.
It is especially problematic for bitcoin since all this data is available on a public ledger. Users who are not careful can leave clues behind to who they are.
In a statement, Andrew Poelstra said
Those trails that no one thinks about, I wish that they weren't there. I would hope I'm not leaving one and I would hope that no one that I love is leaving one. That's who I'm working for
Scriptless Scripts Project
Andrew Poelstra is not trying to create a truly private system. He is now focusing on ways to reduce the data ‘footprint’ that a user leaves on the network. His current project is known as ‘scriptless scripts’ which are smart bitcoin contracts that do not use a lot of data.
Poelstra based his work on a popular cryptocurrency smart contract called mimblewimble. It works to improve privacy and bitcoin payment scales. Scriptless scripts use Schnorr signatures, which smashes signature data together, enabling smaller data storage requirements. The results are faster transactions combined with increased privacy.
Real World Crypto
This is not the only project that he is focusing on. Poelstra is also working on implementing bulletproofs, which is a new way to simplify and implement confidential transactions. With these, bitcoin user balances are shielded from scrutiny. Poelstra is one of the many researchers working on improving the privacy of bitcoin transaction. Core and wallet developers are also taking steps to ensure that future bitcoin transactions are a lot more private.
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