Anonymity is one of the key factors of blockchain technology, which pushes more users to choose in favor of DeFi. On Monday, August 8th, Vitalik Buterin came up with a new idea to contribute to the privacy of NFT transactions. Ethereum co-founder revealed a concept of stealth address implementation for ERC-721 NFTs. This was preceded by Buterin’s remark regarding Merkle trees and Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge, or zk-SNARKs, being a more complicated method for stealth addresses for ERC-721 tokens compared to his brand-new solution.
The news about Vitalik’s concept arrived via his official Twitter post with a link to the ethresear.ch page. It allows hiding the public identity of an NFT recipient for everyone except for the new owner. Besides anonymous transfer, users could also mint and burn NFTs with relative privacy. Thus, “the Father of Ethereum,” explains this as follows: “A low-tech approach to add a significant amount of privacy to the NFT ecosystem. So you would be able to eg. send an NFT to vitalik.eth without anyone except me (the new owner) being able to see who the new owner is.”
This concept, by the way, caused a wave of discussion in the NFT space. Thus, the backers say in one voice that transparent blockchains are not the thing everyone has been striving for and that there simply has never been an alternative solution for data masking. While others believe that stealth addresses run counter to the main purpose of the blockchain. Some also blame Vitalik for not understanding the NFT collectors’ needs and worry about the hardening of the stolen tokens’ searching process. Moreover, there are some NFT holders who express doubts on the matter of stealth addresses concept and its impact on royalties.
Nevertheless, regardless of the community reaction, Vitalik Buterin’s stealth address idea is not in conflict with his vision of a decentralized society (DeSoc). On top of that, this totally outstanding low-tech concept will definitely take quite some time for testing and implementation.
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