When people think privacy coin, they usually think Monero, however, things are always changing in the crypto-world and this immediate push to Monero may soon come to and end. For the uninitiated, the world of cryptocurrencies can be a complex and confusing place with all of the many different coins and projects. While this complexity can be daunting, it can also lead to rabid competition and innovation. This is where the small coin RYO comes into play.
Ryo is a private cryptocurrency with an interesting history. To start, the main developer of Ryo, Fireice_UK, originally coded XMR-Stak, a mining program for Monero. Fireice_UK’s mining program soon became one of the go to programs for CryptoNote miners. With his notoriety growing, Fireice_UK’s blunt mannerisms and poignant attitude began to come at odds with the Monero developers. Things seemed to fall on a teetering truce as he continued to offer constructive criticism to the project. As time went on however, the rift between him and Monero grew ever larger as public shouting matches on both sides became an increasing commonplace. To add to this schism, Fireice_UK started work for a smaller cryptocurrency, SumoKoin, which led to even more shenanigans.
SumoKoin is a weird zombie project these days. In the past, however, coding and development went on a blazingly fast rate. Perhaps due to luck, the project was push upwards by the Great 2017 Crypto Bubble. With prices around 10 USD, the project seemed destined for greatness – until the bubble popped. Today, SumoKoin is worth about a nickel (we still think it’s overvalued) and it is ranked 999 on Coinmarketcap. Things seemed great as SumoKoin brought on the enigmatic coding figure. That is, until the premine was uncovered. In short, Fireice_UK coded for the project until he found out about a 400,000 coin premine that the SumoKoin devs failed to disclose properly (That’s $4 million USD at height prices). When he confronted them about it, the developers became skittish and some left (for a short while). This was enough for Fireice_UK to fork the project and bring Ryo into the crypto-world.
Ryo started out with all of the best of Monero i.e. ring signatures, bulletproofs, etc. As the project progressed, newer developments came into being, namely the easy to use Atom wallet and shorter Kurz wallet addresses. Interestingly, RYO’s price does not seem to reflect its level of development and technology. Perhaps this is a testament to the notion that s***coiners will always s***coin. While that could explain its current price, there could be other reasons for it. For starters, the project is still in its infancy as it was only launched in June 2018. That’s 4 years later than Monero! Given that, it might just be that the project is still to young an unknown for people to 1. know about it and 2. give a s***.
Second generation Zk-proofs might just change all of this. From the website, “Ryo currently started with RingCT and increased default ring size to 25, however it is our decision that RingCT cannot fully protect against transaction tracking. As our promise to create the most private and untraceable cryptocurrency, we are planning on replacing RingCT with second generation ZK-proofs” This probably sounds like a whole bunch of technical garble to most people but it might be Monero’s silver bullet. In layman terms, Monero gets its famed privacy from “Ring signatures” that hide users information by allowing you to sign transactions with other people’s public keys. While this technology allowed for Monero to be traded anonymously for a few years, Ryo developers claim that it has come to an end, “What we are saying is over the past year or two, researches [sic] stripped ring signatures of their privacy properties so much, that we think it is no longer fair to say that we (or Monero, which is even worse since it has even smaller ring size compared to Ryo) or any other CN project that uses it – meet the level 2 of privacy. [level 2 – notes you have don’t have a serial number to a guy that gave you one, and no-one can’t know if you spent it later (In CN coins it is implemented using ring signatures – which are the failing ones)].
Second generation Zk-Proofs aim at rectifying this problem and thereby enable users to transact anonymously online once again. We can’t say exactly what might come from second generation Zk-proofs but Ryo developers explain it like this:
- bitcoin – “
I spent output 10, worth 1 BTC and output 22, worth 0.5 BTC“
- ring signature (current CN coins) – “
I spent output 10, 14, 18 or 20, and output 16, 18, 19, or 22“
- zk-proof – “
I spent something.“
Sadly, much of the tribalism and infighting in the crypto-world has drowned out real progress and development at the detriment of online privacy and cypherpunk goals. We hope that this will one day change but we aren’t holding our breath anytime soon. What remains to be seen with Ryo is whether or not the devs actually pull off what they are saying they are going to pull off. Too many projects promise X and develop bogus code (looking at you Dero and Aeon). While this is hampering Ryo, the developers have already have created world class code that works and people love. That said, if there were any project to seriously challenge Monero, it’d probably be this one.
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