The godfather of the cryptocurrency movement is back with a plan to address bitcoin’s
biggest shortcoming: speed.
David Chaum, who built his own digital currency more than a decade before bitcoin was
introduced, is unveiling a new platform that he claims would allow digital cash to be traded
almost as quickly as physical cash.
Mr. Chaum is introducing the platform, called Elixxir, at the Consensus conference in
Singapore on Thursday. He says that Elixxir can process thousands of transactions a second—a
dramatic increase over bitcoin’s current capability—and cuts down on the energy required to
maintain the network…
One of the founders of the cypherpunk movement has just revealed new technology that he
believes will revolutionize cryptocurrency from this moment on.
Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the grey-haired, digital money pioneer David Chaum is
launching a new cryptocurrency Elixxir via his startup.
And his goals are bold. By using cryptographic techniques he invented decades ago, he
believes he’s “reinvented” cryptocurrency, fixing fundamental problems plaguing the
emerging technology, including speed, privacy, scalability and – one that perhaps doesn’t get
quite as much attention – resistance to future disasters.
There’s growing awareness that slick online services are far from free—and that we may be
paying too high a price for some of them. Hyper-specific targeted advertisements are creepy,
while using our data to tamper with elections raises surveillance risks to a new level. As more
payments take place online via apps, a growing trove of personal data is ripe for exploitation.
That’s where David Chaum comes in. His pioneering work in cryptography and digital
payments predates bitcoin, and laid important work for its invention. Likewise, he made
prescient warnings about online privacy long before data-sharing scandals at major tech
companies like Facebook. “Everything you do could be known to anyone else, could be
recorded forever,” Chaum told Wired magazine in 1994. “It’s antithetical to the basic principle
underlying the mechanisms of democracy.”
His latest venture is called Elixxir, a blockchain designed for fast, secure, and confidential
messaging and payments at minimal expense. The design acknowledges that text messages
and payments—from WeChat to WhatsApp Pay—are increasingly intertwined, by popular
Journalists who would like to schedule interviews with members of the Elixxir team may submit requests here.