The patent filed by the payments juggernaut cites the process for transactions going incognito which will obscure the point of origin and the transacted amount
On 6 December, MasterCard filed a patent called Method and System for Anonymization of Electronic Transactions via Blockchain. The firm accounts that more and more payments are done on the blockchain. Due to the general belief of anonymity, this is the preferred mode of payment for a number of users. But MasterCard says because of blockchain’s nature as a permanent record, transactions are not descript and can be tracked through public data.
MasterCard’s method of going incognito will show the recipient sending or receiving money from a number of addresses. These addresses will perform various transactions with other users at the same time. This will cause the data to be ‘innocuous’.
The process involves the use of an intermediary address which connects with a public key. The data of the transaction will then be stored. Though a private key, a new transaction with a new digital signature will be produced. This is where the information of its intended address and payment total are contained.
In employing multiple transfers using various addresses, the sum of money in the transaction can be concealed.
Privacy-Oriented Virtual Currencies
This patent filed by MasterCard mirrors privacy advocates such as Zcash and Monero. The cryptocurrency Monero is untraceable. It is able to achieve anonymity by obscuring public record using stealth addresses, ring signatures, and hiding the IP address of senders and recipients. Transaction amounts are also hidden.
Zcash is another privacy-oriented virtual currency. It uses zk-SNARKs to obscure transactions on its blockchain.
Early this month, the US Department of Homeland Security released a pre-solicitation notice looking for information that can help forensic analytics dissect privacy coins.