Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Co-Authors Paper on Blockchain Privacy and Compliance

Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, along with researchers and privacy advocates, published a paper on September 6, 2023, titled “Blockchain Privacy and Regulatory Compliance: Towards a Practical Equilibrium.” The paper introduces “Privacy Pools,” a smart contract-based protocol designed to reconcile financial privacy with regulatory compliance. The news was shared to Blockchain.News by Ameen Soleimani.

Key Details

Authors: Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum Foundation), Jacob Illum (Chainalysis), Matthias Nadler (University of Basel), Fabian Schar (Center for Innovative Finance, University of Basel), Ameen Soleimani (Privacy Pools)

Publication Date: September 6, 2023

Abstract: The paper focuses on “Privacy Pools,” a protocol that employs zero-knowledge proofs to allow users to prove the lawful or unlawful origin of their funds without revealing their entire transaction history.

Keywords: Blockchain, Privacy, Regulation, Smart Contracts, Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Full Paper: SSRN

Additional Information: Dropbox Paper

Protocol’s Objective

The paper aims to address the perceived incompatibility between privacy and regulatory compliance in blockchain transactions. It introduces “Privacy Pools,” a protocol that uses smart contracts to enhance privacy while allowing for regulatory oversight.

How It Works

The protocol enables users to publish a “zero-knowledge proof” to demonstrate that their funds do not originate from known unlawful sources. This is achieved without revealing the user’s entire transaction graph, thereby maintaining privacy.

Implications for Users

Honest Users: The protocol incentivizes honest users to prove the origin of their funds, separating them from dishonest users who cannot provide such proof.

Regulatory Compliance: The protocol can be adapted to meet various regulatory requirements, making it easier for users to comply without sacrificing privacy.

Future Outlook

The authors view this paper as a stepping stone towards a future where financial privacy and regulatory compliance can coexist. They aim to foster a constructive dialogue on this subject, shifting the conversation in a more positive direction.

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Vitalik Buterin Moves 999 ETH Following Depositing 1,602 ETH to Bitstamp and MKR Dump

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has recently been active in moving and selling assets, including Ethereum and Maker. He transferred 999 ETH to a different address and has been involved in depositing ETH to Bitstamp, according to Spot On Chain. These transactions have been tracked over the past month and are noteworthy given Buterin’s influential role in the crypto space.

Key Data

The most recent Ethereum transaction involved a transfer of 999 ETH from address 0xD04daa65144b97F147fbc9a9B45E741dF0A28fd7 to address 0x5567A4bE2D5b77F5Fd870f99Ed9167Feab8831B1. The transaction ID for this move is 0xa1111970c149cbd1f5782f9dadd977439eba1ec2c25fe8ccfdc9bb6003d06664.


999 ETH transaction. Source: ethplorer

Prior to this, Buterin had deposited 1,602 ETH to Bitstamp, an action that was also conducted through the address 0x5567A4bE2D5b77F5Fd870f99Ed9167Feab8831B1. Additionally, 100 ETH were sold for 173,000 USDC via the same address.

In terms of Maker tokens, as reported by Blockchain.News, Buterin sold 500 MKR from address 0x1Db3439a222C519ab44bb1144fC28167b4Fa6EE6 for 353.4 ETH. The transaction ID for this sale is 0x11296c8c2554d256f802a8af9ab0f20628f6f9403e6592a1b80a91861fbe28fc

Ethereum Transactions

The latest transaction ID for the ETH transfer is a long alphanumeric string, and the addresses involved in the transfer are from a better-known address to another address. The amount transferred was 999 ETH. In terms of previous activity, 1,602 ETH were deposited to Bitstamp and 100 ETH were sold for 173,000 USDC via a different address.

Maker Transactions

The transaction ID for the MKR sale is another long alphanumeric string. The addresses involved in this transaction were from one address to another. The amount sold was 500 MKR for 353.4 ETH. This is noteworthy as it’s the first MKR sale by Buterin in two years.


The transactions, while not revealing the underlying reason, indicate a series of calculated financial moves. The deposit of 1,602 ETH to Bitstamp and the sale of 100 ETH for USDC are particularly significant.

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Breaking: Vitalik Buterin’s First MKR Sale for ETH in Two Years Sparks Market Speculation

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, just executed a significant transaction involving the sale of 500 Maker (MKR) tokens, valued at approximately $581,000, in exchange for 350 Ether (ETH). The transaction was conducted through the decentralized exchange CoWSwap and marks the first time Buterin has sold MKR tokens in two years. Following the sale, the received ETH was transferred to the address prefix 0x3f6. 

The transaction has drawn attention due to its potential implications for both MKR and ETH markets.

Market Context

At the time of writing, Maker (MKR) is trading at $1,142, while Ether (ETH) is priced at $1,635, according to Binance.

Maker (MKR) is a governance token associated with MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization on the Ethereum blockchain. MKR has seen a significant price fluctuation over the past few months, surging over 100% from its lowest point of $511 on June 10, 2023, to a peak of $1,370 on August 20, 2023. This dramatic surge in MKR’s value has been linked to market maker DWF, who is characterized as a “bad guy” in the industry.

Historical Significance

The trading activities of Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum Foundation have historically been key indicators for the cryptocurrency market. Sales by Buterin have often been followed by market downturns, making this recent transaction particularly noteworthy.

Market Implications

Buterin’s decision to sell MKR could be seen as a bearish signal for the token. However, the fact that he chose to exchange MKR for ETH complicates market sentiment. This dual action could be interpreted in various ways, but it generally suggests that MKR may be overvalued, while ETH could be undervalued.

Vitalik Buterin’s recent MKR sale and subsequent ETH acquisition could sparke discussions about the valuation of both tokens. While the market has yet to show a significant reaction, the transaction serves as a focal point for ongoing analysis and speculation.

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Vitalik Buterin Holds Taiwan Employment Gold Card

During a discussion in which Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Matters’ co-founder and current CEO Zhang Jieping, and Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin participated, an unexpected finding was made.

When Minister Tang was discussing Taiwan’s policy on the distribution of 6,000 yuan, he made a slip of the tongue that revealed Vitalik Buterin’s status as a bearer of the Taiwan Employment Gold Card. This information was made public by mistake.

The Taiwan Employment Gold Card is a one-of-a-kind program that was developed to persuade talented individuals from other nations to come to Taiwan and contribute to the economy of the country. This program was meant to attract workers who had degrees or certifications in a certain field.

The Card is a comprehensive document that integrates four essential permits: a work permit, a residence visa, an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), and a re-entry permit. This integration allows the cardholder to legally work, live, prove their residency status, and travel in and out of Taiwan without the need for separate documents.

Cardholders can reside in Taiwan for a period exceeding 180 days. The card itself is valid for a duration ranging from 1 to 3 years. One of the significant advantages of this card is the flexibility it offers in terms of travel. During its validity period, the holder can exit and re-enter Taiwan an unlimited number of times without any restrictions.

This integrated approach simplifies the administrative process for professionals, making it more convenient for them to work and live in Taiwan. It reflects Taiwan’s commitment to attracting and retaining global talent by offering a streamlined process.

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Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Discusses Worldcoin’s Biometric Proof of Personhood

Co-founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin explored the idea of biometric evidence of personhood, a subject that is gaining popularity in the Ethereum community, in a blog post from July 24, 2023. The article “What do I think about biometric proof of personhood?” examines the possible benefits and difficulties of decentralized proof-of-personhood solutions.

According to Buterin, proof of personhood is a kind of real-world identification that claims a certain registered account is run by a real person, preferably without disclosing whose actual person it is. The “unique-human problem” is addressed by this idea, which has become the subject of various initiatives, including Proof of Humanity, BrightID, Idena, and Circles.

One of the most ambitious projects in this space is Worldcoin, co-founded by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. Worldcoin’s approach to proof of personhood is unique as it relies on sophisticated biometrics, scanning each user’s iris using a specialized hardware called “the Orb”. The goal is to distribute these Orbs globally, making it easy for anyone to get an ID.

Buterin acknowledges the criticisms Worldcoin has faced, including privacy and security concerns around the Orb, design issues in its “coin”, and ethical issues around some choices the company has made. He also discusses the broader concerns about whether biometrics are a good idea at all and the potential risks of proof of personhood in general, such as privacy leaks, coercion by authoritarian governments, and the challenge of maintaining security while being decentralized.

The blog post also explores the importance of proof of personhood, stating that it is valuable because it solves anti-spam and anti-concentration-of-power problems, avoids dependence on centralized authorities, and reveals minimal information. Without proof of personhood, decentralized governance becomes easier to capture by wealthy actors, including hostile governments.

Buterin also discusses the potential applications of proof of personhood, which include airdrops for token distributions, voting in DAOs, protection against bots/sybil attacks in social media, and an alternative to captchas for preventing DoS attacks, among others.

Despite the potential benefits, Buterin acknowledges the challenges that biometric proof-of-personhood systems face, including privacy concerns, accessibility issues, and centralization risks. He also explains Worldcoin’s solutions to these problems, including as its long-term dedication to decentralization, its use of ZK-SNARKs and other cryptographic tools to safeguard users’ anonymity, and its possibility for auditing Orbs to make sure they are constructed appropriately.

In conclusion, Buterin’s paper offers a thorough examination of the idea of biometric evidence of personhood, as well as its possible advantages and drawbacks. It presents a fair viewpoint, taking into account both the necessity for major issues to be addressed as well as the potential for these systems to tackle important problems.

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Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin Engages in Spirited Debate on Wallet Security

In a recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Twitter, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin fielded various questions from the cryptocurrency community. The session largely revolved around the pros and cons of MPC-based (EOA) wallets versus Smart Contract wallets, providing intriguing insight into Buterin’s perspective.

Buterin pointedly criticized MPC-based Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs), stating that they are “fundamentally flawed” because they cannot revoke keys. Resharing the keys, he argued, is not a valid countermeasure since the original key holders could still recover them. He went on to imply that Smart Contract wallets should be the go-to choice, though his declaration elicited a range of responses.

One Twitter user, identified as Trevor, contested Buterin’s assertion. He argued that key revocation wouldn’t be a problem unless there’s a colluding quorum of old key holders, suggesting that resharing could provide the necessary security. However, Buterin was not swayed, stating he didn’t want to “trust a quorum forever.”

Ouriel from ZenGo, a keyless crypto wallet, interjected with several perceived flaws of Smart Contract wallets. He pointed out that these wallets are limited to ETH/EVM, are relatively expensive to set up and recover on Layer 1 (L1), and that smart contracts could potentially be revoked.

Buterin rebutted these points, noting that Bitcoin needs a tech upgrade, a viewpoint he stated has been known for over five years. Regarding the costliness of L1 setup and recovery, he acknowledged that it is an issue and further emphasized the need for Layer 2 solutions (L2s) and more in-protocol support for smart contract wallets. As for the potential revocation of smart contracts, Buterin sought clarification on what Ouriel meant, leaving the point unresolved during the AMA.


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Blockchain and Human Consciousness

Emerging technologies such as blockchain are changing the way we interact with the digital world, and the potential impact on human consciousness is a topic of growing interest among thought leaders both inside and outside of the tech industry. On April 25, the reState Foundation hosted a virtual talk on this subject, featuring Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder and inventor of Ethereum, and Sadhguru, the founder of the Isha Foundation and an Indian mystic.

During the talk, Buterin and Sadhguru discussed the intersection of technology and human consciousness, exploring how new technologies like blockchain may prompt a shift in the way we understand and experience the world around us. They touched on a range of topics, from the role of technology in spirituality to the potential for blockchain to create a more equitable and decentralized global economy.

For Buterin, blockchain has the potential to transform the way we think about money and power. He argued that the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) on blockchain platforms could create a more equitable and democratic financial system, one that is less reliant on centralized institutions like banks and governments. This, in turn, could lead to a broader shift in the balance of power between individuals and institutions, ultimately changing the way we understand our place in the world.

Sadhguru echoed this sentiment, highlighting the potential for blockchain to create a more just and compassionate society. He argued that new technologies like blockchain could help to eliminate corruption and create a more equitable distribution of resources, ultimately leading to a more peaceful and prosperous world. He also emphasized the importance of cultivating a deeper understanding of human consciousness, one that is informed by both spirituality and technology.

Overall, the talk between Buterin and Sadhguru highlighted the complex and evolving relationship between technology and human consciousness. As new technologies like blockchain continue to emerge and evolve, they are likely to prompt a fundamental shift in the way we understand and experience the world around us. Whether this shift will be positive or negative remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the intersection of technology and human consciousness is an area ripe for exploration and reflection.


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Vitalik Buterin Proposes Zero-Knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines on Ethereum Layer 1

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has suggested implementing zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines (zk-EVMs) on the Ethereum base layer to accelerate the verification process on the blockchain. Buterin’s proposal seeks to solve “The Verge,” a part of the Ethereum roadmap that aims to make verification at the base layer easier.

In a post on March 31, Buterin explained that it is possible to integrate a zk-EVM on the base layer without compromising on decentralization and security. The technology enables Ethereum Virtual Machines to execute smart contracts on the blockchain with ZK proofs. Ethereum was developed with a “multi-client philosophy” to ensure decentralization at the protocol level. By integrating zk-EVMs at the Ethereum layer 1, it would be the third type of client, along with the consensus and execution clients.

Buterin considered the advantages and drawbacks of treating the layer 1 as a “clearinghouse” by pushing almost all activity to layer 2. He concluded that many layer 1-based apps would become “economically nonviable” and that small funds worth a few hundred dollars or less may get “stuck” in the event that gas fees grow too large.

Buterin prefers the zk-EVM approach because it wouldn’t abandon the “multi-client” paradigm, and an open zk-EVM infrastructure would ensure that new clients could be developed, which would further decentralize Ethereum at the base layer. In his post, Buterin explained that zk-EVMs would need to be “open” in that different clients each have different zk-EVM implementations and each client waits for a proof that is compatible with its own implementation before accepting a block as valid.

The implementation of zk-EVMs at the Ethereum layer 1 could cause data inefficiency and latency issues, but Buterin believes these challenges would not be “too hard” to overcome.

In conclusion, Buterin’s proposal for zk-EVMs on the Ethereum base layer seeks to accelerate the verification process while maintaining decentralization and security. The integration of zk-EVMs at the Ethereum layer 1 would be the third type of client and ensure that new clients could be developed, further decentralizing Ethereum at the base layer. The proposal is not without its challenges, but Buterin believes that they can be overcome.


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