by Andrew Poelstra | Oct. 6, 2016
A follow-up to the pseudonymously published Mimblewimble proposal, this paper fleshes the ideas for enhancing Bitcoin privacy with a new transaction protocol. The paper presents a trust model and cryptographic primitives for Mimblewimble. It then discusses how to uses these to construct a payment system, focusing particularly on the consensus mechanism.
Mimblewimble is a design for a cryptocurrency whose history can be compacted and quickly verified with trivial computing hardware even after many years of chain operation. As a secondary goal, it should support strong user privacy by means of confidential transactions and an obfuscated transaction graph. However, to achieve these goals, Mimblewimble cannot support a general-purpose scripting system such as that in Bitcoin. This precludes such functionality as zero-knowledge contingent payments, cross-chain atomic swaps and micropayment channels. Further research is needed to emulate these functionalities on top of Mimblewimble.
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