Privacy coin Firo, previously known as Zcoin, has launched the new protocol Lelantus on its mainnet.
The implementation introduces “on-by-default” privacy and prompts users to anonymize their funds with the goal of ensuring transactions sent by official Firo wallets stay private. Transparent transactions will now have to be explicitly selected. It also allows for partial redemptions of Firo’s burn-and-redeem model, which previously had to be redeemed in full.
When Lelantus launched on Firo’s testnet in October, Firo Project Steward Reuben Yap likened the burn-and-redeem model to buying a ticket for a carnival ride. When you go to the turnstile, you just have to show a ticket.
“The ticket acts like a receipt of payment, but it doesn’t have to show that I was the person who paid for it or the exact bank notes that were used to purchase it,” said Yap at the time. “The same principle is applied to the burn-and-redeem model for zcoins. As long as my receipt checks out, I can redeem it for new coins.”
With the Lelantus protocol launched on the mainnet, including partial redemption, that 24-hour ticket could be used for a few hours one day, none the next and then the remainder the following day.
“With previous burn-and-redeem systems such as Zerocoin and Sigma, if I burnt a $100 note I had to redeem a $100 note” said Yap. “Lelantus’ main innovation is that I can burn a $100 note and redeem any amount that is smaller without revealing that it even came from the $100 note.”
This ability stops third parties from being able to narrow down the source of a transaction by the number of coins burned.
The next step for Lelantus, which Firo is already working on, is allowing users to “pass the right to redeem to someone else without revealing its source or amount,” according to the blog post announcing the mainnet launch.
The goal is to launch that function later this year.
“As a result of the activation, we are starting to see increased transactions using Lelantus, which is very encouraging,” said Yap in an email.
“Mass adoption of cryptocurrencies cannot occur without meaningful privacy protections, especially given that no one wants their financial history open to the public, putting themselves at risk or exposing valuable information about themselves or businesses. Protocols like Lelantus open new doors to how cryptocurrencies approach transactional privacy, making those privacy protections all the more accessible and that adoption even more attainable.”