Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/580

Omniring: Scaling Up Private Payments Without Trusted Setup - Formal Foundations and Constructions of Ring Confidential Transactions with Log-size Proofs

Russell W. F. Lai and Viktoria Ronge and Tim Ruffing and Dominique Schröder and Sri Aravinda Krishnan Thyagarajan and Jiafan Wang

Abstract: Monero is the largest cryptocurrency with built-in cryptographic privacy features. The transactions are authenticated using spend proofs, which provide a certain level of anonymity by hiding the source accounts from which the funds are sent among a set (known as a ring) of other accounts. Due to its similarities to ring signatures, this core cryptographic component is called Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT). Because of its practical relevance, several works attempt to analyze the security of RingCT. However, due to the complexity of RingCT they are either informal, miss fundamental functionalities, or introduce undesirable trusted setup assumptions. Regarding efficiency, Monero currently deploys a scheme in which the size of the spend proof is linear in the ring size. This limits the ring size to only a few accounts, which in turn limits the acquired anonymity significantly and facilitates de-anonymization attacks.

As a solution to these problems, we present the first complete rigorous formalization of RingCT as a cryptographic primitive. We then propose a generic construction of RingCT and prove it secure in our formal security model. By instantiating our generic construction with new efficient zero-knowledge proofs we obtain Omniring, a fully-fledged RingCT scheme in the discrete logarithm setting that provides the highest concrete and asymptotic efficiency as of today. Omniring is the first RingCT scheme which 1) does not require a trusted setup or pairing-friendly elliptic curves, 2) has a proof size logarithmic in the size of the ring, and 3) allows to share the same ring between all source accounts in a transaction, thereby enabling significantly improved privacy level without sacrificing performance. Our zero-knowledge proofs rely on novel enhancements to the Bulletproofs framework (S&P 2018), which we believe are of independent interest.

Category / Keywords: cryptographic protocols /

Original Publication (with major differences): ACM CCS '19

Date: received 28 May 2019, last revised 9 Apr 2020

Contact author: russell lai at cs fau de, ronge at cs fau de, crypto at timruffing de, dominique schroeder at fau de, sri aravinda thyagarajan at fau de, wj016 at ie cuhk edu hk

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Version: 20200409:211239 (All versions of this report)

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