Amid IRS Bounty and Competitor Advances, Monero Developers Are Shipping Major Update

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First announced in September, the developers of Monero posted a network update today that includes a new version of its node software, dubbed “Oxygen Orion”. Produced by 30 backers, the update promises significant improvement in almost every aspect of the performance of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency.

The highlight of the new update is the Compact Spontaneous Anonymous Group (CLSAG) functionality. According to the Monero blog, CLSAG will reduce transaction size by 25% and improve transaction times by 10% while maintaining transaction confidentiality.

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The developers wrote:

“CLSAG enables smaller, faster transactions with rigorous security.”

In addition to CLSAG, the new update brings security improvements to the network, especially with regard to Dandelion ++, which is responsible for masking IP addresses from users.

Technically speaking, Monero updates are hard forks, so it’s imperative that network participants make sure their software is up to date. Users who store their XMR in a hardware wallet will need to stay up to date with the latest firmware, the blog noted.

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This latest update comes amid uncertain backdrop for the cryptocurrency due to pressure on multiple fronts.

In September, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering a bounty of up to $ 625,000 to anyone who can hack Monero privacy. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security has claimed to have acquired software capable of tracking Monero transactions, although some researchers question the veracity of these claims.

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Meanwhile, privacy rival Zcash is heading for a halving event in November, which some analysts say will lead to bullish price action for the competing asset.

Despite these headwinds, positive social media sentiment for XMR has increased by around 4% over the past week, according to analysis provided by TheTIE.

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