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Doing some research on monero vs byteball. What are the fundamental differences between these two?

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Monero is private by default with published academic research analyzing RingCT and funded PhDs that continue to review and improve upon Monero privacy and security.

Byteball is public by default with claims of optional privacy via "Blackbytes" which AFAIK has received no scrutiny from academics.

According to their wiki

Blackbytes are defined as a private asset, meaning its never posted to the public Byteball database, it is ever only transferred when Byteball wallets have paired, private assets are sent encrypted through the Byteball network from device address to device address.

If blackbytes are traded on a centralized exchange, the exchange would have enough information to reveal the origin and destination of blackbytes, and amounts traded, which defeats their purpose. Blackbytes hence can only be traded on decentralized exchanges, with conditional payments in the Byteball wallet. Peer discovery has to happen outside the Byteball wallet. Such an exchange is yet to appear (2017-May).

Monero is traded on many exchanges with all transactions private by default. Just like Byteball, Monero can optionally be used with Tor. Meanwhile Kovri development continues with plans for an eventual native Monero integration

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One difference is that with Monero, mandatory privacy is built into the protocol. So, a user does not need to take additional steps to send a private transaction since that is the only kind of transaction that can be sent.

With Blackbytes (the private 'part' of ByteBall), additional steps must be taken to send them. This involves pairing the sender and receiver via their chatbot, and then Blackbytes can be sent. This must be done for every different recipient. Aside from the inconvenience and time required, the more steps or configurations a user must take, the greater the chance they'll make a mistake, security-related or otherwise. This issue is not present in Monero.

Additionally, in the Byteball Whitepaper, the section on BlackBytes (pp. 44-45) reads:

As the history grows, so does the exposure of private payloads to third parties who are future owners of the same coin. As discussed previously, the growth is rather slow, and the value of private payloads to adversaries arguably decreases with time. However,one should remember that large merchants and exchanges who send and receive many payments every day will probably accumulate very large (but still fragmented) histories. One should hence still avoid address reuse, even for private payments. Note that in some cases third parties can infer important information even from private payments. For example, after most packs are already split into individual coins, when a user sends a large number of private payment messages in the same unit, an observer might argue that the user is sending coins of maximum denomination because to send an amount that is significantly larger than the maximum denomination, one would probably send multiple maximum denomination coins. From this, the observer might infer the approximate amount of the transfer (but nothing more). To avoid leaking such information, it is recommended to spread large amounts across multiple addresses and to send them in separate units.

While this may not be much of an issue for Blackbytes now, it's at least a potential issue, and one that Monero does not have (see 2quick 4u's answer).

As for hiding one's actual IP address, one may use Monero with I2P, TOR, or a VPN now, but this optional step will soon be unnecessary since Monero will soon have I2P as part of its software (Kovri I2P).

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All is fine, they paid a PhD...

The trouble with privacy is that it is all private and fine until talent comes along and shows you where transperency was hidden all time. There is such a thing as security by obscurity. And Blackbytes are shurely obscure.

I realize the importance of privacy but remind you that "persona privata" (Latin) translates to "Idiot" (English)

To get Monero I need to register AML stuff at an Exchange. For Blackbytes I Download the Byteball wallet and get some on the in-wallet-exchange. What, am I missing something?

  • Monero provides the tools where you can be perfectly private if you need to be. So what if you get it at AML exchange? For normal people, not having their TX-es traced from the exchange to gambling sites (or any similar example) is just enough. Privacy is a human right. Privacy means it's none of your business what I do later or before I did my TX with you. And it lets you be anonymous, if you need to be. But privacy and anonymity are not one and the same thing. Everything is sensitive to opsec. Even cash. Sure, it's private, but what about CCTV in that shop? – JollyMort Sep 8 '17 at 12:14
  • On exchanges you don't have to supply any AML information in order to conduct withdrawals up to a few thousand dollars daily. Additionally, there are at least two sites where one may purchase Monero with cash or other means (moneroforcash.com, localmonero.co), and they also require no AML information. – c789 Sep 8 '17 at 17:43

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