Developers originally revealed the uncontroversial hard fork in April this year, completed at block 2,688,888. It was initially slated for July but was then moved to August 13.
One of the fork’s most significant modifications is a jump in Monero’s ring size from 11 to 16. Monero creates a new signature authorizing the transaction by fusing the digital signature of the person signing a transfer with 11 (now 16) additional non-signers to protect user privacy.
Additionally, the network upgrades improved the multisig mechanism and modified the “Bulletproofs” algorithm to speed up transactions and lower transaction sizes by around 5-7%. Along with security fixes and price adjustments, other efficiency improvements include “view tags,” which promise to reduce wallet sync times by up to 40%.
Congratulations on a successful network upgrade! 🎉 #Monero is now more private and efficient with ringsize 16, Bulletproofs+, and view tags!
Make sure your node/wallet is updated to continue using Monero.
Privacy and fungibility matter, and it’s exciting to keep improving!August 13, 2022
The price of Monero, which is currently down about 1.6% on the day and trading at about $166, doesn’t seem to have changed in response to news of the completed network upgrade.
The Privacy Initiatives and Monero
The expansion of Monero’s privacy features follows a rise in regulatory interest in privacy-related technologies. The Netherlands Crime Agency detained an accused Tornado Cash developer last week, while the US Treasury Department sanctioned the cryptocurrency privacy tool Tornado Cash for money laundering. The actions sparked outrage among the crypto community.
Regulators and law enforcement have long been interested in Monero. In 2020, the crypto intelligence company CipherTrace disclosed that it had created tools for tracking Monero transactions at the instructions of the US Department of Homeland Security.
Despite this apparent breakthrough, the IRS then announced a reward for cracking Monero worth up to $625,000. The Norwegian police sought to decipher the privacy coin the year after to track transactions connected to a missing person case.
Due to this regulatory scrutiny, crypto exchanges like Coinbase have hesitated to offer Monero. CEO Brian Armstrong stated in 2020 that officials had hinted in “behind-the-scenes conversations” that “We very much don’t think you should do this.”