Digital Money Pioneer David Chaum Announces New Cryptocurrency Elixxir
Transaction speed is Bitcoin’s biggest shortcoming and one of the pioneers of the crypto movement, David Chaum, has started a project to address this problem. Chaum, who built his own digital currency more than a decade before bitcoin was introduced, reveals a new platform that he says would allow digital money to be traded almost as instantly as physical money.
The platform is called Elixxir.
Elixxir is a blockchain solution that facilitates fast, secure and confidential messaging and payments at minimal cost. The Elixxir blockchain can scale to hundreds of thousands of transactions every second, with every message or payment delivered or confirmed in seconds, effectively enabling use as a smartphone app.
Chaum announced the Elixxir technology today during his keynote address at CoinDesk Consensus Singapore, sharing a technical brief outlining Elixxir’s fundamentally different approach and welcoming participation in the Elixxir community.
Elixxir founder David Chaum says:
âIt is widely recognized that some fundamental solutions are needed for blockchain technology to make the critical leap from store of value to consumer-wide payment and messaging. We wanted the engineering to be complete and the software up and running before we announced our solution to these issues. “
Elixxir builds on David’s creation of eCash, the first cryptocurrency, his pioneering work in pre-bitcoin blockchain, mixed networks and multi-party computations, as well as his recent cryptographic architectures incorporating pre-computation. Elixxir offers a fully scalable, confidential and secure decentralized platform with the speed and privacy consumers expect.
The legendary 63-year-old cryptographer insists on making inroads into the blockchain. According to Chaum, the way digital signatures are calculated in most cryptocurrencies today is just a problem. These signatures are simply too costly in terms of calculations as they stand, Chaum argues. Arguing that the system can perform these public key operations “in advance,” Chaum revealed that by doing this, Elixxir is no less than a thousand times faster than any other blockchain.
Within the Elixxir architecture, Chaum believes âreal privacyCan be achieved through so-called “multi-party calculations” – a term he coined decades ago and a feature that is used to improve privacy in cryptocurrency projects like Zcash and Enigma. The essence of the system is that a group of developers or nodes are involved in a cryptocurrency calculation, but only one person needs to be honest for the calculation to work and the data to remain private.
Chaum recounts this process to a group of people seated around a chart table. Each cuts the game and shuffles it, passing it on to the next person. Let’s say three of them are card sharks who know how to shuffle so as to help them determine the placement of cards in the deck. But if just one of those people is honest and shuffles thoroughly, the card sharks, at the end, are completely in the dark.
Nonetheless, there is skepticism from crypto enthusiasts investigating Chaum’s promises. A notable example is when pseudonymous cryptocurrency blogger WhalePanda dug up the Elixxir website ahead of today’s announcement, expressing concerns about what he found. While Elixxir claims to strengthen privacy, WhalePanda argued that requiring attendees to submit their name and location in a âKYC formâ defeats these goals.