Anyone with a cryptocurrency wallet or ever performed some form of cryptocurrency transaction a number of times would have noticed one thing by now – your transaction address is constantly being changed. This has been one of crypto blockchain’s most secure means of avoiding theft and fraudulence during transactions. Reusing an address is allowed by some crypto exchanges but generally it is just advisable to use a new address for every transaction you make. This is because blockchain ledgers are public and transactions are mostly open for people to view, thus transaction addresses are also up for everyone to see. It is for this reason that it is not advisable to reuse a crypto address, as you may be risking your privacy since people can “trace” your transactions and even know your identity and that of those who you are transacting business with.
However, IOTA wants to make re-usability of addresses with zero risk a reality. Hans Moog of the IOTA development team made mention of this in a blog post this week when he stated
“The future we [at IOTA] envision requires us to think ahead and often take the ‘difficult route.’ But we … share the same concerns and needs as others. It would be nice to have the option of at least one reusable address (like a traditional bank account) that can safely be used.”
IOTA has quite the different blockchain network from that of cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but that doesn’t rule out the fact that theirs being a public ledger network exposes them to the very same risk as those Bitcoin and Ethereum. IOTA also has a larger security issue with respect to release of private keys per every transaction made. Save a few private blockchain networks and their corresponding native tokens, the re-usability of addresses without risk is still a path left untouched.
In spite of this, many users still tend to reuse their addresses as they try to avoid the request for a new address. Many times, it’s because people conduct many transactions that using different addresses for each may lead to sending money to wrong addresses, for others its just because they find using the same address much more convenient for them. IOTA’s team in a bid to address this issue has issued a statement saying
“We are currently investigating a possible solution to these problems on the protocol level, which requires only minor adjustments to the IOTA protocol. This may allow us to reuse special addresses an unlimited amount of times without reducing security, or even breaking quantum-resistance.”
IOTA addresses work such that with every single transaction performed a part of one’s private key is revealed and unused IOTA funds in one’s wallet are moved to a remainder address after each transaction – all done automatically by the IOTA wallet. However, the proposal made to make reuse possible (if worked on and made possible) will now see to it that a new public key is created after e very single transaction or after an address is used. As such, one could stick to just one address forever and yet still have its public key constantly changing after every transaction.
But to still stay on the safer side, after a number of transactions it would be advisable to switch addresses just for the purposes of avoiding the possibility of being tracked and having your identity revealed. It is also for safety reasons in terms of avoiding a possible theft of funds.
Moreover, since the reusable addresses systems may not necessarily replace the old present one. It may just be a compliment to it for those who may want to use that for convenience sake, and since it’s just a proposal it will take a while for us to see something like that on the actual network.
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