eCash Digital Money Pioneer David Chaum Announces New Elixxir Cryptocurrency

Digital Money Pioneer David Chaum Announces New Cryptocurrency Elixxir

Speed of transaction is the biggest shortcoming of Bitcoin and one of the pioneers of the crypto movement, David Chaum, has launched a project to address this problem. Chaum, who built his own digital currency more than a decade before bitcoin was introduced, is revealing a new platform that he claims would allow digital cash to be traded almost as instantly as physical cash.

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 each second, each message or payment delivered or confirmed within seconds, efficiently authorizing use as a smartphone app.

Chaum announced the Elixxir technology today during his keynote address at CoinDesk Consensus Singapore, sharing a technical brief laying out Elixxir's fundamentally different approach and welcoming participation in the Elixxir community.

Elixxir founder, David Chaum states:

“It is widely recognized that some fundamental solutions are needed in order for blockchain technology to make the critical leap from store-of-value to consumer-scale payment and messaging. We wanted to have the engineering done and software up and running before announcing our solution to those problems.”

Elixxir builds on David's creation of eCash, the first cryptocurrency, his pioneering work in the pre-bitcoin blockchain, mix networks, and multiparty computations, as well as his recent cryptographic architectures incorporating pre-computation. Elixxir accouches a fully-scalable, confidential and secure decentralized platform with the speed and privacy that consumers have come to expect.

The legendary 63-year-old cryptographer insists to have made blockchain breakthroughs. According to Chaum, the way digital signatures are computed in most cryptocurrencies today is just a hassle. These signatures are just too computationally expensive as is, Chaum contends. Maintaining that the system could carry out 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 “true privacy” can be achieved through so-called “multi-party computations” – a term he coined decades ago and a feature that's used for enhanced privacy in cryptocurrency projects like Zcash and Enigma. The essence of the system is that a bunch of developers or nodes are involved in a cryptocurrency computation, but only one person needs to be honest in order for the computation to work and for the data to stay private.

Chaum relates this process to a group of people sitting around a card table. Each cuts the deck and shuffles, passing it to the next person. Say three of them are card sharks who know how to shuffle in a way that helps them to determine the location of the cards in the deck. But if just one of these people is honest and shuffles amply, the card sharks, in the end, are completely in the dark.

Nevertheless, there's a skepticism on the part of crypto enthusiasts investigating Chaum's promises. A notable example is when the pseudonymous cryptocurrency blogger WhalePanda dug up the Elixxir website prior to today's announcement, expressing concerns about what he found. While Elixxir claims to boost privacy, WhalePanda argued that requiring participants to send their name and location in a “KYC form” runs counter to those goals.

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