On Monday, Coinbase, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange globally by trading volume, announced the creation of a novel cryptographic library, Kryptology, as a compendium of tools for blockchain developers. These include secure, audited and easy-to-use APIs as well as a repository of common issues and lessons learned throughout the history of crypto.
Without cryptography, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin would be digital lines of code that anyone can copy/paste. It would be easily replicable and falsifiable, leading to significant issues such as currency double-spending. Recent advancements include Boneh–Lynn–Shacham, or BLS, signatures, which are used to verify senders’ identities and validate transactions while ensuring thei data is safely stored. Another recent adoption is the Shamir Secret Sharing, or SSS, algorithm. SSS divides a secret value among multiple participants, called shareholders, who must work then together to reconstruct the secret. The setup is ideal for storing private keys holding entrance to decentralized finance, or DeFi, pools, and smart contracts that lock a large sum of money.
Then, there are zero-knowledge proofs, which ensure that encrypted messages can be passed on and validated without revealing underlying personal data, making them ideal for use in complex DeFi applications. Finally, the design of new elliptic curves, such as Pasta, could also potentially improve crypto wallets.
One leading area of cryptography innovation is in privacy coins, which can enable users to evade tracking by blockchain forensic firms and prevent outside participants from viewing their transaction details. Law enforcement has shunned such technology due to its ability to promote illicit activities.