Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/319

PGC: Pretty Good Confidential Transaction System with Accountability

Yu Chen and Xuecheng Ma

Abstract: Due to the public visible nature of blockchain, the seminal cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum do not provide sufficient level of privacy, i.e., the addresses of sender and receiver and the transfer amount are all stored in plaintexts on blockchain. As the privacy concerns grow, several newly emerged cryptocurrencies such as Monero and ZCash provide strong privacy guarantees (including anonymity and confidentiality) by leveraging cryptographic technique.

Despite strong privacy is promising, it might be overkilled or even could be abused in some cases. In particular, anonymity seems contradict to accountability, which is a crucial property for scenarios requiring disputes resolving mechanism, e.g. e-commerce.

To address the above issues, we introduce accountability to blockchain-based confidential transaction system for the first time. We first formalize a general framework of confidential transaction system with accountability from digital signature, homomorphic public-key encryption and non-interactive zero-knowledge arguments, then present a surprisingly simple and efficient realization called PGC. To avoid using general-purpose zero-knowledge proofs (such as zk-SNARK and zk-STARK), we twist the ElGamal encryption as the underlying homomorphic PKE and develop ciphertext-refreshing approach. This not only enables us to prove transaction validity/correctness by using efficient Sigma protocols and zero-knowledge range proofs, but also makes PGC largely compatible with Bitcoin and Ethereum, which could be used as a drop-in to provide confidential enforcements with accountability.

Category / Keywords: applications / cryptocurrencies, confidential transaction, accountability, twisted ElGamal

Date: received 22 Mar 2019

Contact author: yuchen prc at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20190329:125437 (All versions of this report)

Short URL:

[ Cryptology ePrint archive ]