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Privacy Coin Upgrades

From a technological upgrade and usability standpoint, it has been a great month for privacy coin enthusiasts. A few days ago, Monero activated “bulletproofs,” which significantly reduced transaction sizes and fees. ZCash, which is arguably XMR’s biggest competitor, followed suit by completing the much-anticipated “Sapling upgrade” to its network. Unlike Monero, ZCash’s privacy is optional, which means that ‘non-shielded’ transactions are almost similar to Bitcoin’s. However, the percentage of shielded transactions has been almost insignificant so far as the computational requirements and time for creating a shielded transaction are really high. This precluded a lot of major exchanges and wallets from using shielded transactions, resulting in low adoption for ZCash’s private transactions.

With Sapling, the time and computational requirements are reduced significantly, which should result in the growth of shielded transactions in the ZCash network. To quantify the degree of improvement, proving time has been reduced from 37 secs to 7 secs while computational requirement has been reduced from a ginormous 3 GB to a manageable 40 MB (over 98% reduction). This vast improvement in size should drive the growth of shielded transactions and makes the ZCash the privacy coin significantly more compelling to use from the perspective of daily transactions. About time too as a number of competitors, such as Grin (mimblwimble) and Beam are slowly gaining mindshare in secrecy coin discussions, if not actual wallet-share yet.

In our opinion, two things make secrecy coins stand apart from stablecoins or security tokens; They are an indisputable business case for cryptocurrencies, and they are fundamentally anti-fragile, especially once they hit a certain scale; if some Government wants to ban Monero or ZCash for instance, it would not take long for forks of these under a different name to crop up, and it would be a perpetual game of whack-a-mole with the technologists always at least one step ahead.

Meanwhile in Crypto Wonderland….

“Johnny Depp Enters Crypto Space” Hollywood star Johnny Depp has signed a deal with a new cryptocurrency platform called TaTaTu. TaTaTu is a platform that rewards users in tokens, as payment for interacting with certain content like movies and games. Depp will work alongside Andrea Iervolino on the project. The pact calls for the two sides to develop and produce film and digital content together, with Depp working via his Infinitum Nihil production banner.

“Visa: Crypto Not a Threat. Yet.” In an interview with CNBC, Visa CEO Al Kelly said that cryptocurrency wouldn’t “in any way” pose a threat to the titanic payment processing multinational “in the short to medium-term” until it moved from being “more of a commodity” to “actually, really, being a payment instrument.” He did, however, admit that Visa would consider jumping on the bandwagon if the crypto market grew in size to that of fiat currency.

“Europe Bank Offers Crypto Services” Expobank CZ in Europe is offering account holders the opportunity to perform crypto-related transactions alongside traditional banking activities. The new service called Neo is based on the bank’s online platform Expobanking. It gives users full control over their financial activities, including those related to cryptocurrencies through partnerships with two companies.

“Ukraine Initiates Crypto State Policy” The Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine has initiated a “state policy” for the classification and legalization of crypto-related activities. The Ministry has reportedly issued an official press release stating that its purpose is to “create understandable conditions for conducting activities in the field of virtual assets and virtual currencies,“ and to usher in “adoption of the concept of a state policy” for crypto

.“Jason Hsu Pushes for Crypto Regulation”Taiwan’s “Crypto Congressman” continued his push for more modernized regulation around the tech by proposing new rules for token sales. On Friday, Taiwanese legislator Jason Hsu published a list of policy recommendations aimed at aiding cryptocurrency startups, including one that would see the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) create a new business category, as well as a new legal framework for security tokens.

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