Historically the definition of mixin before recent plans to change the name to ring size counted the number of foreign or "fake" outputs in a ring.

So for example a mixin of 6 would include a total of 7 outputs (1 real output from the actual sender and 6 fake or "decoy" outputs).

Does this same definition apply to the new term ring size?

Does a ring size of 10 imply a total of 11 outputs in the ring signature (1 real and 10 fake)?

I ask because the current tag usage guidance is not completely clear on this point:

The ring size is the number of one-time public keys (outputs) in the ring-signature that authorizes the transaction. One of those belongs to the actual sender, while the remaining ones (foreign outputs) are used for obfuscation and any existing output found on the blockchain can be picked. This achieves plausible deniability in that any given input in a transaction could have come from any of the outputs used in the ring signature.

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Ring size refers to the complete ring signature, which includes the signer's output. They're all equal participants in the signature, thus the ring size is the total number of outputs used, including signer's. So while it still refers to the same thing as 'mixin' did, it doesn't exclude the one belonging to you, thus:

Ring size = 'mixin' (number of foreign outputs) + 1 (your output)

I use the term "foreign output" because it's the one found in CN whitepaper.

Someone linked to this paper as well, which uses some nice language:

To produce a ring signature, the actual signer declares an arbitrary set of possible signers that includes himself, and computes the signature entirely by himself using only his secret key and the others’ public keys.


We call a set of possible signers a ring. We call the ring member who produces the actual signature the signer and each of the other ring members a non-signer.

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