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CryptoNote is an application layer protocol that powers several decentralized privacy-oriented digital currencies.

Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in C++
Operating system Windows, Unix-like, OS X
Type Cryptocurrency, anonymity
License MIT License


Anonymous transactions and ring signaturesEdit

The changes in the results of blockchain analysis after implementing the ring signatures.

To prevent sender identification, CryptoNote groups the sender's public key with several other keys (more precisely, it groups the sender's output with several other's outputs), making it impossible to tell who actually sent the transaction.[1] If ring signatures are used, all possible senders referenced in the transaction are equiprobable and there is no way to determine the exact private key used while signing.[2]

Double spending protectionEdit

Bitcoin and similar currencies use a public ledger to verify that each person sending funds actually has such funds in their account and have not sent it to another user previously. Since CryptoNote currencies are anonymous, and verifies transactions using a traceable ring signature.[3]

Egalitarian proof of workEdit

CryptoNote’s proof-of-work mechanism is actually a voting system where users vote for the right order of transactions, new features in the protocol and honest money supply distribution. During the voting process every participant has equal voting rights.[3]

Adaptive network limitsEdit

There are no hard-coded constants in CryptoNote code. Each network limit such as maximum block size, or minimum fee amount is adjusted based on the historical data of the system. Moreover, the difficulty and the maximum block size are automatically adjusted with each new block.[4]


Updated forks chart of CryptoNote-based crypto currencies (Feb 2018).

The CryptoNote platform has been used in several cryptocurrencies. The CryptoNote Foundation encourages developers to clone the technology. Transaction confirmation time, total number of coins and proof-of-work logic are subject to be altered in forks. Several attempts has been performed to alter core protocol: Boolberry adds address aliases and DigitalNote introduced private messaging.

Bytecoin (BCN)Edit

Bytecoin (BCN), not to be confused Bitcoin (BTC), was the first implementation of the CryptoNote protocol launched to the public on July 4, 2012.[5] Since launching, several improvements have been introduced including multisignature transactions[6] and several security updates. In 2013, the original CryptoNote Java implementation was rewritten using C++.[7][dubious ]

The Bytecoin blockchain contains some extra information not directly related to money transfers: several blocks include geographic coordinates of universities, educational facilities among other buildings.[8]

Monero (XMR)Edit

Monero is currently the most well known of all the CryptoNote-based cryptocurrencies and has ongoing support from the community.[9] Forked from Bytecoin in April 2014, it has a 2-minute block target and 50% slower emission speed. Monero has been praised by Bitcoin core developers Gregory Maxwell, Peter Todd, and Wladimir J. van der Laan.[10]

In September 2014, Monero was attacked when someone exploited a flaw in CryptoNote that permitted the creation of two subchains that refused to recognize the validity of transactions on each other; CryptoNote released a patch which Monero implemented.[11][12]

Along with simplewallet Monero has numerous GUI wallet applications as well as MyMonero that was launched on November 24, 2014. Monero has also teamed up with academic cryptographers,[13] implemented an extensive aliasing system, OpenAlias,[14] partially funded Privacy Solution for integrating I2P in Monero,[15] created an anonymous voting system, URS,[16] and implemented Electrum's mnemonic seeds.

Coin millEdit

In 2014 there were several CryptoNote-based fraudulent coin launches, which exploited CrytoNote's open source code and the anonymity it provides in transactions.[17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tk Hamed (2014-04-27). "Bytecoin & Monero: Next Step to 2nd Generation Anonymity". Coins Source. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  2. ^ DeMartino, Ian (2014-06-24). "CryptoNote Offers More Anonymity For The Future Of Cryptocurrencies". CoinTelegraph. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  3. ^ a b Robert Tiger (2014-08-07). "CryptoNote Currencies – Anonymous 3rd Gen". CryptoCoinsNews. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  4. ^ Stanton, Andy. "Introducing CryptoNote". 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Bytecoin (BCN) is Now Armed With Multisig". 
  7. ^ "History of Cryptocurrency, Part I: From Bitcoin's Inception to the Crypto-Boom". The CoinTelegraph. 2015-04-11. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  8. ^ Tk Hamed (2014-09-08). "Mysteries and Puzzles Behind the CryptoNote Technology (1/3)". Coins Source. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  9. ^ "Monero (XMR) CoinGecko Community Statistics". Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Wladimir J. van der Laan". Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  11. ^ Werner, Albert (September 8, 2014). "Monero network exploit post-mortem". Cryptonote forum. 
  12. ^ Macheta, Jan; Noether, Surae; Noether, Sarang; Smooth, Javier (12 September 2014). "MRL-0002: Counterfeiting via Merkle Tree Exploits within Virtual Currencies Employing the CryptoNote Protocol" (PDF). Monero Research Labs. 
  13. ^ "Monero Research Labs". 
  14. ^ "openalias". 
  15. ^ "The-Privacy Solutions Project". 
  16. ^ "Unique Ring Signatures using secp256k1 keys". 
  17. ^ "How to invest in altcoins without losing everything".