Monero [XMR] responds to ‘An empirical analysis of traceability in the Monero blockchain’

Monero [XMR] has responded to researchers who had recently published the second version of ‘An empirical analysis of traceability in the Monero blockchain’. The paper had included several findings, some of which are new, some defined for the first time and others which have strengthened previous research.

Monero, in response to this, has recommended the authors to update wordings regarding selection algorithm that was used between January 2017 and September 2017 to be defined as such, not as the current selection algorithm. They have encouraged the researchers to test the current selection algorithm used by them which was implemented to address concerns.

They suggested that authors acknowledge an earlier expression of zero decoy transaction as a concern and that risk was accurately described in MRL-0004, which was published in January 2015. Agreed that certain additional communications could be made, they encouraged them to focus on this since it was a previous vulnerability which was documented publicly several years ago.

A Researcher, Justin Ehrenhofer‏ wrote

“Monero users should be warned that their prior transactions are likely vulnerable to linking analysis. We mostly disagree with this recommendation. The vulnerabilities of 0-mixin transactions were well-documented and continuously shared…. The first research paper shared in the Monero community (MRL-0001) was published in September 2014. Further, most of Monero’s community growth occurred after these 0-mixin transactions were prohibited across the network.”

He further continued by saying:

“The paper has referred to tracing of transaction in the blockchain as linkability, the authors should be counselled to change the terminology to traceability, since linkability means the ability to comment the crypto-wallet to real time location This will help clear up misinterpretations held by many community members, since the Monero Research Lab[MRL] refers to the connection of funds within the cryptocurrency as ‘traceability’.”

The Monero Project thanked many of the world’s top researchers who evaluated the effectiveness of Monero’s Ring signatures and they reminded everyone that the largest vulnerability which was noted 2 years ago, was mitigated a year before and nearly resolved before the first version of the paper was released.

A Twitterati commented on the finding by saying:

“A very measured and thoughtful response. Thank you for countering the media’s hyperbolic misinterpretation of these results.”

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