Developers of the Monero Network have announced that the privacy-focused blockchain protocol has reached a community consensus in which a mainnet hard fork will be implemented at block height 2,668,888.
The update to Monero’s mainnet will see an increase to the chain’s ring size, going from 11 to 16, while also adding view tags for outputs that would result in a drastic reduction to its wallet scanning time. The hard fork will also introduce full implementation of the protocol’s bulletproofs, or short non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs that require no trusted setup, as well as changes to the network’s fee structure.
Monero ($XMR) is rapidly increasing in its number of users, as the crypto and blockchain space also grows by comparison. Privacy and security among crypto protocols has been a hot topic, ever since the proliferation of hacks, especially in the decentralized finance sector. Concerns about Monero’s status as a “safe haven” for criminals, however, has prompted some to criticize the network’s design.
According to the Monero network developers, the hard fork is aimed at improving the base protocol, but will not in fact create a new coin out of the fork, a major contention among blockchain protocols that have been forced to split because of hard forks, like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash/BSV.
The Monero blockchain community’s decision to raise the number of ring signatures will result in larger and more effective anonymity sets for transactions, essentially hardening the network’s security by complexifying the sources of a transaction. Monero’s core developers have pointed out that view tags would effectively reduce network scanning time by up to 40%, a measure that would downsize the time for deriving the output public key for every anonymous transaction. The changes, and the fee values by extension, have been approved to a growth rate of 14x per year, in place of previous proposals for 32x per year, in order to accommodate the growth’s scale and avoid imbalance in the network.
Monero’s Bulletproofs zero-knowledge proofs system will also later be implemented as the hard fork is released, and will then be used for range proofs, providing faster encryption and verification processes on Monero’s privacy-first blockchain.
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