Listen to the episode here:
In this episode of “Bitcoin, Explained,” presenters Aaron van Werden and Sjors Provoost welcome Ruben Somsen back to the show to discuss his recent “silent payment” proposal.
Silent payments are similar to previous ideas like “stealth addresses” and “reusable payment codes” in that they allow users to post a static address. While this is not the actual bitcoin address to which they are being paid, senders of a transaction can use this static address to generate new bitcoin addresses for the recipient, for which the recipient – and only the recipient – in turn has the appropriate ones can generate private keys.
As with stealth addresses and reusable payment codes, the advantage of silent payments is that addresses can be posted publicly without invading users’ privacy. Snoopers cannot link the publicly posted address to the actual bitcoin addresses where the recipient is paid. Unlike stealth addresses and reusable payment codes, silent payments don’t require any additional blockchain data — although this comes with computational costs for the recipient.
The podcast episode describes this in roughly two parts. In the first half of the episode, Somsen, van Werden, and Provoost break down how silent payments work, and in the second half of the episode, they discuss how silent payments compare to stealth addresses and reusable payment codes, as well as some possible implementations of the issues.
Provoost has made a successful silent payment on the Signet bitcoin testnet, but silent payments are not yet ready for use on the mainnet.