Privacy on Ethereum: Aztec Protocol Launches on Mainnet

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The Aztec privacy network has officially launched on the Ethereum blockchain on Feb. 1.

Using Zcash-based technology, it introduces confidential tokens where all amounts are cryptographically hidden.

The Aztec protocol, just like Zcash, uses Zk-SNARKs to validate encrypted transactions.

When generating a transfer, a proof of correctness is generated as the amount gets encrypted.

The system hinges on Aztec's Cryptography Engine smart contract, which can be used to validate the transactions.

Unlike Zcash Aztec currently does not hide the money's sender and recipient.

Like Zcash, Aztec needed to conduct a trusted setup ceremony.

Aztec's goal is to deliver its "Triptych of privacy," which would completely hide a particular portion of the Ethereum blockchain.

The next step is to hide senders and recipients, while the final achievement is making smart contracts completely private.

"Our priority is to deploy PLONK to ACE in 2020. PLONK is the superfast Universal SNARK developed by AZTEC CTO Zac Williamson and AZTEC Chief Scientist Ariel Gabizon, which will eventually allow private smart contracts to execute with just one trusted setup."