2

In the cryptonote paper, it says the address needs to be so long because there has to be a spend key and a view key. where the receiving address is calculated like this;

address = Hs(rA)G + B

but would it not be fine to just do;

address = Hs(rA)G

Why have the additional B? Is the only point of having two different keys so that the receiver can optionally disclose his view key so that other parties can see all of his incoming transactions? Or is there another reason to do with security?

2

First note that in Monero there are two sets of keypairs, namely the private view key (a) (which is the private spend key hashed with Keccak-256 and subsequently reduced modulo l) with the corresponding public view key (aG (G = the base point) = A) and the private spend key (b) with the corresponding public spend key (bG (G = the base point) = B). The public address is then created as follows:

  1. The pair of public keys are prepended with one network byte (the number 18, 0x12, for Monero). It looks like this: (network byte) + (32-byte public spend key) + (32-byte public view key).
  2. These 65 bytes are hashed with Keccak-256.
  3. The first four bytes of the hash from 2. are appended to 1., creating a 69-byte Public Address.
  4. As a last step, this 69-byte string is converted to Base58. However, it's not done all at once like a Bitcoin address, but rather in 8-byte blocks. This gives us eight full-sized blocks and one 5-byte block. Eight bytes converts to 11 or less Base58 characters; if a particular block converts to <11 characters, the conversion pads it with "1"s (1 is 0 in Base58). Likewise, the final 5-byte block can convert to 7 or less Base58 digits; the conversion will ensure the result is 7 digits. Due to the conditional padding, the 69-byte string will always convert to 95 Base58 characters (8 * 11 + 7).
  5. This 95-character result is the (obscenely long) Cryptonote Public Address!
  6. If you're creating an integrated address, simply append the 64-bit payment ID to step 1 and continue; everything else is the same except for the lengths (77 bytes total, 106 Base58 digits) and the prepended byte (19, 0x13).

It logically follows that the addition of B to the creation of a one-time public address (stealth address) is required in order for a user to be able to optionally disclose his public address + private view key. This allows a third-party (e.g. an auditor) to view all incoming transactions to the user's wallet without knowledge of their private spend key.

Lastly, a note from luigi1111 (a Monero core-team member) on single-key / non-dual key stealth addresses:

It is possible to do a non-dual-key stealth addressing scheme, but you must make one of two trade-offs. You can either: (1). use the concept in the whitepaper called a truncated address, which means the view key pair is publicly known and all incoming transactions can be linked (a = Hs(B)); or (2). forego a view key pair entirely, which means scanning requires spending ability (P = Hs(rB)G + B).

Sources:

  1. https://xmr.llcoins.net/addresstests.html

  2. https://steemit.com/monero/@luigi1111/understanding-monero-cryptography-privacy-introduction

  3. https://steemit.com/monero/@luigi1111/understanding-monero-cryptography-privacy-part-2-stealth-addresses

  • >"2). forego a view key pair entirely, which means scanning requires spending ability (P = Hs(rB)G + B" -- so the only reason for having a 64 byte (two pubkey) address is so that the user has the option of disclosing their incoming transactions? in which case Hs(rB) would be sufficient, it would just mean that all recipients would have to have a list of all utxos themselves in order to check balance and not have the option of delegating scanning to a third party node? – cookiekid Nov 12 '18 at 17:35
  • Using Hs(rB) excludes the option to let a third-party view incoming transactions to the wallet, as it requires the spend key (as luigi1111 states: "which means scanning requires spending ability"). The third party would thus also be able to spend the funds. – dEBRUYNE Nov 12 '18 at 18:14

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