Thus far there hasn't been a lot of talk, particularly in the mainstream, about the great contributions made by Tom Elvis Jedusor, the pseudonymous author of the Mimblewimble white paper. As we approach the July 19 deadline to the MWC registration and snapshot, which was chosen because it is three years to the day that Jedusor blessed the world with his amazing technological breakthrough, I wanted to take some time out to recognize his extraordinary contribution to not only cryptography, but to the liberty movement and the individual in general.
Without privacy, an individual that is surveilled has no hope to express his true self and no, it's not just about buying drugs online. One need only look at the totalitarian regimes throughout history that have created a cult of personality around an authoritarian dictator to understand that this is the case. In those countries, everyone must worship the "great leader". If they don't well, let's not go there. The same is true with finances, although there hasn't really been a time/location, at least in recent history where people could conduct truly private transactions. Bitcoin is a huge upgrade to the status quo, but those that want to surveil us will still be able to do so with Bitcoin and with the control being exerted over the exchanges, at least in my view the people doing the surveillance have taken the lead over the people being surveilled. Mimblewimble changes things and for that, we owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Elivs Jedusor.
To understand the significance of this contribution - Mimblewimble, we have to look back in time and understand the world on July 18, 2016, the day before this paper was released. At that time, there was a consensus among the Bitcoin core developers and the cypherpunks that Bitcoin needed a privacy upgrade and that it was on the horizon, but scaling was taking priority and was needed first hence the focus on Segwit. At the time, Monero was the state of the art in privacy tech. Monero implemented Ring signatures and later integrated confidential transactions (which is also at the core of Mimblewimble transactions). This technology has very good privacy, but it is very expensive. At the time, since bulletproofs had not been invented or implemented, a Monero transaction required a range proof that was up to 13 kb in size. Yes, you read that correctly, Monero's transactions were originally 50 times bigger than Bitcoin transactions. Now with bulletproofs, they are around 600 bytes, so still significantly bigger than Bitcoin transactions.
Despite the large size of these transactions, the majority of the key influencers wanted to eventually incorporate Monero style confidential transactions into Bitcoin. This can be seen in the fact that Fluffypony (lead Monero developer) is one of the four "crypto friends" and why generally Bitcoin Maximalists get a pass for owning/participating in Monero. So, this was the plan all along until Jedusor dropped the bombshell of all bombshells on the Bitcoin development community in 2016.
The reason Mimblewimble is such a big deal is because for the first time, with Mimblewimble, data related to spent transactions can be deleted from the blockchain. Since, for instance, in the Bitcoin blockchain much more of the data stored is related to spent transactions than unspent, there is a LOT of data that could have been deleted had Bitcoin been a Mimblewimble blockchain from day one. In fact, storing Bitcoin as a Mimblewimble blockchain would have required more like 70 GB than the current 200+ GB. Yes, let that sink in for a second. Before Mimblewimble, people wanted to allow for CT transactions which were 50 times bigger than Bitcoin transactions, but Jedusor found a way to implement these kinds of transactions while actually storing less data overall, much less. The way this is done is non-trivial as well and really required very out of the box thinking that to this day, very few people fully comprehend.
So, as for the title of this article, it's just kind of a fun title, but I think there's some truth to it. If Bitcoin becomes a world reserve currency in coming years, I think there's little doubt that Satoshi will be highly celebrated for his gift to humanity and I think Jedusor will be seen in a similar light. Satoshi gave us non-confiscatable, inflation proof money and Jesudor gave us private scalable and fungible money. The inevitability that this awesome technology will be incorporated into the market leader is quite clear to me and in that scenario Jedusor's innovation will be celebrated as well. We hope to help with this transition in Bitcoin to the state of the art technology by furthering development of the Mimblewimble protocol and by giving Bitcoin holders some upside in the face of the two competitors which were launched that in no way rewarded Bitcoin holders. Registration for the free airdrop is open is open until July 19, 2019 and upon launch we will be giving away 6 million of the total 20 million MWC that will ever exist proportionally to Bitcoin holders who register for the free airdrop. So don't delay and help us innovate this technology which will greatly benefit Bitcoin holders and humanity.