On its website, IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology, reports on a new attempt to create an anonymous digital currency. The e-currency is called Zcash.
I have no opinion on Zcash, itself. There are far from enough details in the article to make a judgment---other than to say it is at least a clever attempt to bring true annonomity to an e-currency but I am unconvinced. However, in advancing Zcash, the article does an excellent job of demolishing the idea that Bitcoin is some kind of anonymous currency.
Read this and weep Bitcoin fanboys. The truth is out:
ZCash is identical to Bitcoin in a lot of ways. It’s founded on a digital ledger of transactions called a blockchain that exists on an army of computers that can be anywhere in the world. But it differs from Bitcoin in one critical way: It will be completely anonymous. Although privacy was a motivating factor for Bitcoin’s flock of early adopters, it doesn’t deliver the goods....
Bitcoin, the first and most widely used digital currency established the blockchain as a revolutionary technology. Blockchains provide a way for disparate, mistrustful parties to jointly maintain a public ledger of transactions and to do so in a way that renders all entries permanent.
The problem with Bitcoin as it is implemented today is that the entire history is public. Transactions are attributed to random identifiers that in themselves carry no information about the person controlling the accounts. But if users are not extremely careful, network analysis can reveal both the financial behavior and the real identities of the people behind the accounts. (Several companies, such as Chainalysis, now provide such a service.)-RW