New MIT Digital Currency Scaling Technology “utreexo” Could Allow Bitcoin and Phone to be Synchronized Directly


It seems that it might be possible for Bitcoin to be synchronized using just a smartphone. According to Tadge Dryja, a cryptocurrency research scientist at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, there is a scaling solution that will make things easier for Bitcoin and it’s called ‘utrexxo.’

The intention behind this proposal is to deal with the storage that the Bitcoin network requires for operating. This initiative would provide developers with new tools to deal with heavy storage requirements related to the Bitcoin network.

At the moment, it is necessary to download the whole Bitcoin network for those that want to be part of it. However, using utrexxo users can verify if the information is correct by using a cryptographic proof. This would minimize storage requirements allowing users to run Bitcoin even using a simple mobile phone.

Although it is in a prototype stage, Dryja and other developers and experts are already working on it. They were already able to create a functioning proof-of-concept code.

Dryja is working with other recognized cryptographers Dan Boneh, Benedikt Bünz and Ben Fisch that want to improve Bitcoin’s network as well. Bünz, for example, worked with Monero (XMR) in order to develop bulletproofs, allowing it to reduce transaction fees by around 96 percent.

It is also important to mention that the network would not need a hard or soft fork to implement this update. It can just only be deployed at the wallet level, reducing complications in the space.

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin history weights 200 gigabytes. That means that conventional laptops can’t just simply store. However, using accumulators it is possible to reduce the amount of data stored by just a single node. Users will be able to run a full node without having to store the data.

Although there currently are mobile full nodes known as SPV clients, they require light wallets to trust other full nodes to have the correct data. This means that there are decreased security assumptions. Accumulators aim to achieve this without having to reduce security levels. This is, having a light node such as an SPV, but with the security provided by a full node.

Both Dryja and Bünz share the same goal, however, they are working in different ways. For example, Dryja’s solution is already being developed and could be deployed very soon. Additionally, it has a working prototype and functioning code.

Bünz solution is more advanced and it could work in a much more efficient way than Dryja’s proposal. Nevertheless, Dryja believes that the proposal made by Bünz is more risky and exotic.

Bünz commented about i:

“The high level differences is [utrexxo] is ready now, it’s based on a simpler thing, it’s based on simple hash function, which is a good thing, but ours has more advanced cool features like batching and aggregating which would be cool at some point.”

In addition to it, Bünz work has already been considered by Ethereum developers and analyzed as a possible implementation in the Plasma upgrade. However, the team behind this project will have to keep working on it to be a deployable solution.

According to Dryja, the solution that he proposed will make it better and easier for slower computers to be running the Bitcoin network. Fast computers would not have a lot of difference.

Furthermore, Bünz said that phones will have to be online at all times if they want to be running the network. Nevertheless, with the necessary research and involvement from developers, this issue can be solved and improved.

Although the market continues to fall and during 2018 it substantially fell, developers and enthusiasts continue to improve Bitcoin and the whole cryptocurrency space.

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