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CryptoNote is an application layer protocol that powers several decentralized privacy-oriented cryptocurrencys. 

To prevent sender identification, the CryptoNote protocol groups the sender's public key with several other keys (more precisely, it groups the sender's output with several other's outputs), making it impossible to tell who actually sent the transaction. If ring signatures are used, all possible senders referenced in the transaction are equiprobable and there is no way to determine the exact private key used while signing.

CryptoNote blockchain analysis ambiguity

The changes in the results of blockchain analysis after implementing the ring signatures.

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