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After first being announced in September, Monero’s network upgrade, code-named “Oxygen Orion”, went live on October 17th. The new upgrade comes as the answer to ever-growing scrutiny from the IRS and other law enforcement agencies as well as to the latest developments from competitors. The Monero cryptocurrency news has already caused a price rise and saw the XMR become the best performer among the top 15 coins over the last few days.
The latest upgrade is supposed to improve the time and size of transactions and add several minor security updates. The improvement in performance and security are the consequences of the one major change this update brings: a new ring signature construction, CLSAG. The new feature will make the transactions lighter and faster by reducing the sizes of transactions by 25% and increasing the verification times by 10%. It’s an update of the previous ring signature feature, MSLAG, which allowed users to hide the identity of their transactions by mixing it up among many signatures preventing the third party to know where exactly the transaction came from.
So, these changes will in no way jeopardize Monero’s strongest suite, transactional privacy. The upgrade includes a number of security improvements that mostly have to do with Dandelion ++, a solution used for hiding users’ IP addresses. Unlike the previous updates, the Monero’s mining algorithm will not change.
Monero’s latest upgrade is technically a hard fork, so all network participants will have to update their software. The software update was released a month earlier, in September, so all of the users had a chance to update their systems on time. Those using hardware wallets for XMR storing will have to install the latest firmware. Still, even though the upgrade is a hard fork, the blockchain won’t split and there will be no new coins.
Monero’s upgrade comes at a time when the currency is under pressure from several sides. This September, the IRS has announced that they’re offering a $625.000 bounty to anyone who can break Monero’s coins privacy. The IRS is looking for a solution that will help identify transaction times and wallets, as well as the amounts transferred. Also, Europol has expressed concerns about the illegal use of Monero coins and their role in the Darkweb transactions.
Cipher Trace, the blockchain analytics company, already claims that it has developed a way to trace Monero coins, although its success rate is yet to be confirmed. The new tool was supposedly in development for over a year and will be used by the Department of Homeland Security.
Nevertheless, the Monero community has been keeping busy. Besides the latest upgrade, there’s plenty more going on in Monero’s camp. Earlier this month, they have announced that the Monero Atomic Swaps have been fully funded reaching 2727 XMR or $300.000. This is a community Monero project that will allow users to quickly exchange Monero for other cryptocurrencies.
• Source: Amid IRS bounty and competitor progress, Monero developers ship a major update From Cointelegraph.com On October 17, 2020.