Summarizing and Analyzing the Privacy-Preserving Techniques in Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies


Bitcoin and many other similar Cryptocurrencies have been in existence for over a decade, prominently focusing on decentralized, pseudo-anonymous ledger-based transactions. Many protocol improvements and changes have resulted in new variants of Cryptocurrencies that are known for their peculiar characteristics. For instance, Storjcoin is a Proof-of-Storage-based Cryptocurrency that incentivizes its peers based on the amount of storage owned by them. Cryptocurrencies like Monero strive for user privacy by using privacy-centric cryptographic algorithms. While Cryptocurrencies strive to maintain peer transparency by making the transactions and the entire ledger public, user privacy is compromised at times. Monero and many other privacy-centric Cryptocurrencies have significantly improved from the original Bitcoin protocol after several problems were found in the protocol. Most of these deficiencies were related to the privacy of users. Even though Bitcoin claims to have pseudo-anonymous user identities, many attacks have managed to successfully de-anonymize users. In this paper, we present some well-known attacks and analysis techniques that have compromised the privacy of Bitcoin and many other similar Cryptocurrencies. We also analyze and study different privacy-preserving algorithms and the problems these algorithms manage to solve. Lastly, we touch upon the ethics, impact, legality, and acceptance of imposing these privacy algorithms.

Chaitanya Rahalkar
Graduate Student

Masters in Cybersecurity student at Georgia Tech.