According to the patent application filed by Mastercard with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week, Mastercard has introduced an innovative method of anonymizing transactions on blockchain. Per the proposed solution, a series of “anonymization requests” would be able to fully anonymize the transaction itself and not only the sender or user behind it. Based on the suggested innovative solution, the user will have little to no information exposed through the use of the cryptocurrency wallet.
As a reason behind the filing Mastercard cites the fact that most users refer to blockchain for privacy and anonymity. However, at the current state of the technology, all information about the user can be eventually traced. According to Mastercard’s official statement in the patent documentation, “this creates a technical problem of competing interests within the technology,” and they want to tackle that.
However, we must mention they’re not the first entity suggesting their solution to privacy. In fact, several altcoins have been developed with this very same purpose in mind, including two high profile privacy-focused ones, Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR). ZEC uses zero-knowledge proofs technology, within which both parties provide proof of transaction’s validity, however, all the rest of their information remains encrypted. Monero, on the other hand, uses the so-called stealth addresses in order to mask identities by giving a sender an opportunity to create a random one-time address based on the published public address of the transaction’s receiver.