HomeEthereumVitalik Buterin's RailGun advocacy triggers sharp rise in privacy tokens

Vitalik Buterin’s RailGun advocacy triggers sharp rise in privacy tokens


Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin emphasized the importance of privacy in crypto transactions amid reports that he used the privacy tool RailGun to obfuscate his transactions.

Earlier today, Wu Blockchain, citing Arkham Intelligence’s dashboard, reported that Buterin transferred 100 ETH (approximately $325,000) to RailGun. The report revealed that the Ethereum co-founder had interacted with the privacy tool using small amounts of ETH during the last six months.

Following Buterin’s statement, the top 10 privacy-focused digital assets, including Moreno, Zcash, Mina, and Horizen, saw their prices increase by an average of more than 5%, according to CryptoSlate’s data.

‘Privacy is normal’

Buterin said, “Privacy is normal,” and praised RailGun for its innovative privacy pool, which makes it much harder for bad actors to join without compromising other users’ privacy.

He also shared a co-authored paper with Jacob Illum and colleagues elucidating how privacy tools can establish a conducive environment for trust and transparency in DeFi transactions.

Part of the paper reads:

“The core idea of the proposal is to allow users to publish a zero-knowledge proof, demonstrating that their funds (do not) originate from known (un-)lawful sources, without publicly revealing their entire transaction graph. This is achieved by proving membership in custom association sets that satisfy certain properties, required by regulation or social consensus.”

Buterin’s public endorsement of RailGun positively impacted the privacy tool’s native RAIL token. According to CoinMarketCap data, the digital asset’s price jumped by around 150% to $1.31, while its trading volume soared by almost 10,000% to $15 million.

Privacy tools draw scrutiny

Buterin’s praise for RailGun comes when regulators have increased their scrutiny of privacy protocols.

Last week, the US Treasury Deputy Secretary Adewale Adeyemo highlighted the misuse of anonymity-enhancing technologies like mixers by terrorist groups and rogue nations such as North Korea to conceal illicit crypto funds’ origins.

Consequently, several crypto trading platforms, including Binance and OKX, have delisted privacy-focused digital assets from their platforms to comply with the evolving regulatory standards.

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