A few hours ago, the first silent (verifiable) payment took place on Signet, one of the Bitcoin test networks. Although it did not happen on the main network with real bitcoins, the fact allowed to verify the effectiveness of this invention that is still in development.
An engineer under the pseudonym Rijndael on Twitter, who could be inferred to be the issuer of the transaction, reported on this social network the effective culmination of his first silent payment made with sBTCthe coin that emulates bitcoin on the Signet testnet.
Rijndael comments in his tweet that the address that received the sBTC does not appear among the outgoing transactions, as it should when making a bitcoin payment. Silent payment technology was what made it possible to make invisible (or rather: “inaudible”) the address to which the sBTC in question were destined.
The developer behind the idea of silent payments, Ruben Somsen, referenced the transaction Rijndael spoke of saying: “The beauty is that you can’t really tell if that was actually the first silent payment.” The affirmation de Somsen makes a lot of sense, since if Rijndael did not make the details of his transaction public, no one would have noticed that it was a silent payment.
Silent payments and their implementation in Bitcoin Core
Both Ruben Somsen and Rijndael mentioned the implementation of a PoC (Proof of Concept) of silent payments using the Bitcoin Core client. The GitHub repository manager where this implementation is explained is known as w0xlt. The programmer explains step by step how to execute this type of payment in Signet and concludes by confirming that it was possible to both generate and publish the silent payment address, as well as receive and spend the balance without the original address showing transactions in a block browser.
It is worth noting that even programming and crypto professionals have not yet dared to use silent payments on the Bitcoin mainnet, at least not explicitly. So it is recommended that everyone who wishes to try this novelty does so on a test network, where there is no real money at risk in the event that it is lost forever.
Silent payments are a protocol whose operation could be compared to communication through smoke signals used by aborigines in the past, as CriptoNoticias recently reviewed. This is because, in both cases, the message arrives from the sender to the receiver without any direct interaction between them and no one knows who was involved in the transfer of information.