This week’s protagonist is Ethereum (ETH). Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin introduced a new feature that could bring Stealth Addresses to the network. Also, researchers discovered a consensus-level attack where miners could cheat the system to earn more.
Stealth AddressAn address is a blockchain equivalent to a bank account number in the traditional financial system, or an email address.... More with zk-SNARKs
Ethereum developer Anton Wahrstätter (Nerolation) proposes to use zk-SNARK technology to increase the privacy of NFT exchanges. zk-SNARK is a privacy system for cryptocurrencyA digital currency running on a blockchain and built with cryptography. Contrary to central-bank issued currency, cryptocurrency issuance rules are... More networks.
In Ethereum, there is currently only one private key for each address. Therefore, receiving an NFT at a new address requires creating a new private keyA cryptographic key that is used with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt data. A cryptocurrency private key lets you... More. With the zk-SNARK technology, a hidden address could be generated, derived from a hashA hash is a mathematical function that turns a set of data into a short string of random numbers and... More of the user’s original public address.
Vitalik Buterin agrees to grant privacy to NFT exchanges with this Ethereum feature. But, he’s not on board with using the zk-SNARK technology because he thinks the current technology of ERC721 tokens is enough.
At the same time, he is concerned that using stealth addresses will significantly increase network fees.
Consensus-level attack on Ethereum
On the other hand, a research paper published by the Hebrew University of Israel recently reported finding “the first consensus-level attack on a major cryptocurrency”.
To discover this vulnerability, the research team used public data from the Ethereum blockchainBlockchain is a type of database storing an immutable set of data, verifiable to anyone with access to it —through... and the open sourceSoftware that is open for anyone to modify, copy, share or build upon. The code for blockchains like Ethereum and... More base of the cryptocurrency. However, the research still requires peer review.
In a tweet thread, Aviv Yaish, one of the authors, recounted how F2Pool miners changed blockA collection of cryptocurrency transactions. Every few minutes (or seconds, depending on the blockchain) one miner or validator verifies the... More timestamps to increase their rewards. Basically, the consensus level attack allows miners to change the timestamp of a mined block to avoid further network distress.
Yaish also remarked in an interview that:
For each successful instance of the attack, F2Pool earned 14% more from block rewards, and in addition earned all the transactionA cryptocurrency transaction is an entry on the blockchain ledger, noting sender, receiver and number of coins transacted. More fees contained within.Aviv Yaish, The Hebrew University.
The researchers informed the Ethereum foundation and offered a patch to fix the issue before publishing the research results.
Ethereum mining July performance
According to data from Glassnode, July was more profitable for Ethereum miners than for BitcoinBitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. It was created in 2009, by an anonymous founder or group of founders... More miners. July would be the second month in which Ethereum miners make higher profits.
Ethereum miners generated $652 million in monthly revenue. For their part, Bitcoin miners received profits of $597 million. However, the firm does not attribute these Ethereum revenues to the consensus-level attack.
This week the focus is on Ethereum because it was recently its anniversary. In addition, we are waiting for The Merge, an update that will allow the migration of Proof of WorkProof of Work (PoW) lets one party proof the execution of an algorithm to another party. In the Bitcoin PoW... More (PoW) to Proof of StakeProof of Stake (PoS) was created as an alternative to Proof of Work (POW), supporting cheaper and faster transactions. It... More (PoS).
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