It’s not a secret that FUD is spreading faster than anything in the mass media.
In 2017, a team of professors and students at Princeton University, namely Andrew Miller, Malte Moser, Kevin Lee and Arvind Narayanan conducted a research “An Empirical Analysis of Linkability in the Monero Blockchain“, where they point out that Monero cryptocurrency is not as private as it seems. The researchers reveal that users’ transactions could be traced due to ring signatures linkability. They claim that nearly 62% of transactions made before February 2017 could be identified.
The news has been taken adversely by the Monero team, however, they thanked the world’s top researchers for evaluating the effectiveness of Monero’s ring signatures. Monero developers wrote on Github that it was a previous vulnerability that had already been documented publicly several years ago and was successfully resolved before the paper was published.
The second version of the research was not long in coming. Made by the larger team, the paper focused on the fact that Monero team solved the problem of vulnerability but haven’t resolved the loss of privacy issues. Justin Ehrenhofer, an XMR developer, wrote the answer on GitHub concluding that “The Monero project would like to remind everyone that the largest vulnerability in this paper was noted over two years before, was mitigated over a year before, and was nearly completely resolved before the first version of the paper was published.”
Another vital point is that that the analysis paper somehow misplaced timelines and took into account only a certain period of time. It resulted in out of date conclusions regarding the effectiveness of RingCT.
Of course, the research paper caused an extensive damage to the coin reputation, even after it became clear that it wasn’t even close to being equitable.
Still, such analyses are very useful for any cryptocurrency.