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Top Crypto News Today: Vitalik Buterin Proposes Stealth Addresses for Private NFT Ownership

Top Crypto News: Buterin on Private NFT Ownership

Similar to ERC20, there are various other ERC protocols in place that cater to their own requirements. One of the other variants is ERC721. Proposed by Anton Wahrstätter, an Ethereum researcher, the ERC721 Extention help users in transferring NFTs with only the new owners being able to see who owns the NFTs. 

As an alternative to this, Vitalik Buterin proposed a “low-tech approach” to incorporating privacy features into a nonfungible token, or NFT, transactions. As the report by CoinTelegraph states, Buterin took to on the Ethereum research channel and implied that Merkle trees and Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge, or zk-SNARKs, were a more complicated method for stealth addresses for ERC-721 tokens. While stating an issue, he also mentioned a solution of his own. The Ethereum co-founder suggested instead that smart contract wallets could include a method that would allow the sender to essentially mask their address to third parties.

The news also stated that ‘finding the balance between semi-anonymity and transparency on the blockchain has been a challenge for many as the crypto space continues to grow. In January, Cointelegraph reported there were cases of users swiping IP addresses off of NFT marketplace OpenSea as well as MetaMask.’

One of the most important discussions taking place within the crypto ecosystem in today’s time is circling around the Ethereum merge. The ongoing process since 2020, which is set to transition ETH’s current Proof of Work consensus mechanism to a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. However, NFTs; which are basically built on the ETH blockchain using the ERC protocols set in place, have been a source of various discussions for the ETH developers. 

Additional Read: Ethereum Merge


A token in the crypto space is usually the asset that is used for various transactions on a blockchain. A token represents a tradable asset or utility that is applicable on its own blockchain and allows the holders of the token to use it for various investment or economic purposes. 


An ERC token is generally an Ethereum Request for Comment token which proposes certain procedures, following which when a token is launched, they are named accordingly. For example, tokens that are launched following the steps suggested by the ERC20 executed standard are known as ERC20 tokens. 

Additional Read: Introduction to ERC tokens

What are zk-STARKs?

ZKPs or Zero Knowledge Proofs are a type of cryptographic protocols that, as their name implies, prevent meddlers from getting their hands on another’s data or violating privacy throughout the process. A zero-knowledge proof often referred to with its abbreviation; ZKP; is a cryptographic approach that allows one person, who is the prover, to verify a claim made by another without the prover disclosing any supporting information.w

An interesting fact about who invented ZKPs? In the 1980s, Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micali and Charles Rackoff of MIT proposed the idea of “zero knowledge technologies.” 

The CoinTelegraph news also stated, “Buterin posited that using this method, senders would need to include “enough ETH to pay fees 5–50 times” through the transfer chain. However, he added that “maybe there is a better generic solution that involves specialized searchers or block builders somehow.

Source: CoinTelegraph, BeinCrypto

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