Celo Privacy and Confidential Transactions: Exploring Privacy Features and Techniques on the Celo Blockchain

Celo Privacy and Confidential Transactions: Exploring Privacy Features and Techniques on the Celo Blockchain https://celo.academy/uploads/default/optimized/2X/a/a7ad5765bc372ae3195feeaca002b3093faa7d5f_2_1024x576.png
none 0.0 0


Privacy is a crucial aspect of blockchain technology, and Celo, as an open platform for decentralized applications, recognizes the importance of user privacy. In this article, we will delve into the privacy features and techniques offered by the Celo blockchain. We will explore how Celo addresses privacy concerns and facilitates confidential transactions to protect sensitive user data.


  1. Blockchain Basics: Familiarity with the fundamental concepts of blockchain technology, including decentralization, consensus mechanisms, transactions, and blocks.

  2. Celo Blockchain: Understanding the key features, architecture, and components of the Celo blockchain ecosystem. This includes knowledge of Celo’s consensus algorithm (Proof-of-Stake), stability mechanisms, smart contracts, and governance.

  3. Privacy and Confidential Transactions: An understanding of privacy-enhancing techniques used in blockchain systems, such as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), ring signatures, or other cryptographic protocols that can ensure confidentiality and anonymity.

  4. Smart Contracts: Knowledge of smart contracts and their role in executing transactions and enforcing business logic on the blockchain. Understanding how to write, deploy, and interact with smart contracts is essential.

  5. Programming Languages: Familiarity with the programming languages used in the code illustrations, such as Solidity for Ethereum smart contracts or JavaScript/Python for interacting with the Celo blockchain and libraries like zokrates-js or zokrates-pycrypto.

  6. Cryptography: A basic understanding of cryptographic primitives and concepts, including hash functions, digital signatures, symmetric and asymmetric encryption, and their role in securing blockchain transactions.

  7. Web3 Development: Having knowledge of Web3 development, including the Web3.js library for JavaScript or the appropriate libraries for Python, would be helpful.


  1. Familiarity with ZKP Libraries: If the code illustrations involve zero-knowledge proofs, knowledge of the specific ZKP library being used (e.g., ZoKrates) is required to understand the implementation and usage of ZKPs.

  2. Privacy Enhancing Techniques: A general understanding of privacy-enhancing techniques used in blockchain systems, such as zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), ring signatures, or other cryptographic protocols that ensure confidentiality and anonymity.

  3. Web3.js: Having a good understanding of Web3.js, a JavaScript library, to interact with the Celo blockchain and smart contracts. Web3.js provides methods for reading data from the blockchain, sending transactions, and interacting with smart contract functions.

Understanding Privacy on the Celo Blockchain:

The Celo blockchain incorporates various privacy-enhancing features to protect user identities and transaction details. These features include:

  1. Public/Private Key Encryption: Celo utilizes public/private key cryptography to secure transactions and communication between network participants. Public keys are used to encrypt data, while private keys are required for decryption.

  2. Account Address Privacy: Celo supports shielded accounts, which provide enhanced privacy by hiding the relationship between on-chain addresses and off-chain identities. This ensures that transactions cannot be easily linked to specific individuals or entities.

Confidential Transactions on Celo:

Celo also supports confidential transactions, enabling sensitive transaction details to remain private while still maintaining the blockchain’s integrity. Let’s explore two techniques used for confidential transactions on the Celo blockchain.

  1. Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs): Zero-Knowledge Proofs allow one party, the prover, to demonstrate the truth of a statement to another party, the verifier, without revealing any additional information. Celo employs ZKPs to prove the validity of transactions without disclosing the transaction details publicly.

Let’s consider a simple example using the ZoKrates library for zero-knowledge proofs:

from zokrates_pycrypto.zokrates import generate_proof, export_verifier

# Define the circuit
def circuit(sender, recipient, amount, nonce, fee):
    # Calculate the transaction hash
    transaction_hash = hash(sender, recipient, amount, nonce, fee)

    # Check that the sender has enough funds
    assert check_balance(sender, amount)

    # Calculate the new balances
    sender_balance_new = sender_balance - amount - fee
    recipient_balance_new = recipient_balance + amount

    # Return the new balances and the transaction hash
    return sender_balance_new, recipient_balance_new, transaction_hash

# Generate the proof
proof = generate_proof(circuit, ["sender", "recipient", "amount", "nonce", "fee"])

# Export the verifier contract
verifier_contract = export_verifier("circuit")

# Verify the proof
assert verify_proof(verifier_contract, proof, ["sender_balance", "recipient_balance", "transaction_hash"])

In this code example, we define the circuit function that represents the transaction validity circuit using the input parameters: sender, recipient, amount, nonce, and fee. The function calculates the transaction hash, checks the sender’s balance, and calculates the new balances for the sender and recipient. Finally, it returns the new balances and the transaction hash.

The generate_proof function from the ZoKrates library is used to generate the proof for the defined circuit. It takes the circuit function and an array of parameter names as arguments.

The export_verifier function is used to export the verifier contract based on the defined circuit.

To verify the proof, the verify_proof function is called with the verifier contract, the generated proof, and an array of the expected values for the balances and transaction hash.

  1. Ring Signatures: Ring signatures enable a signer to hide within a group of potential signers, making it impossible to identify the actual signer. Celo leverages ring signatures to provide transaction privacy and unlinkability.

To showcase a basic implementation of ring signatures, we can utilize the web3.js library:

const Web3 = require('web3');
const web3 = new Web3('https://celo-network-url');

async function createRingSignature(message, signer, potentialSigners) {
  const ringSize = potentialSigners.length;
  const messag`eHash = web3.utils.sha3(message);

  const signature = await web3.eth.accounts.sign(messageHash, signer.privateKey);

  const ringSignature = {

  return ringSignature;

function verifyRingSignature(ringSignature) {
  const { message, signer, signature, potentialSigners } = ringSignature;
  const messageHash = web3.utils.sha3(message);

  const verified = web3.eth.accounts.recover(messageHash, signature.signature);
  const validSignature = potentialSigners.includes(verified.toLowerCase());

  return validSignature;

In this code example, the createRingSignature function generates a ring signature for a given message using the signer’s private key. The verifyRingSignature function verifies the ring signature’s validity by recovering the signer’s address and checking if it matches one of the potential signers.

  1. Private Transactions: Celo supports private transactions, allowing users to send and receive funds in a confidential manner. Private transactions ensure that the transaction details, including sender, recipient, and amount, are concealed from public visibility, offering a higher level of privacy.

Private transactions on Celo blockchain can be achieved using the zkSNARKs (Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge) technology.

const Celo = require('celo-sdk');

// Instantiate Celo SDK
const celo = new Celo('https://<your_celo_node_url>');

// Load the private key of the sender's account
const senderPrivateKey = '<sender_private_key>';

// Define the recipient's address and the transaction amount
const recipientAddress = '<recipient_address>';
const amount = '<transaction_amount>';

// Generate a proof for the private transaction
async function generateProof() {
  // Get the sender's account information
  const senderAccount = await celo.wallet.getAccount(senderPrivateKey);

  // Create a new private transaction
  const privateTransaction = celo.wallet.createPrivateTransaction({
    to: recipientAddress,
    value: amount,
    gas: 21000, // Set the gas limit for the transaction
    gasPrice: await celo.wallet.getGasPrice(), // Get the current gas price
    nonce: senderAccount.nonce, // Use the sender's current nonce

  // Sign the private transaction with the sender's private key
  const signedTransaction = celo.wallet.signTransaction(privateTransaction, senderPrivateKey);

  // Generate a proof using zkSNARKs for the private transaction
  const proof = await celo.wallet.generatePrivateTransactionProof(signedTransaction);

  return proof;

// Send the private transaction
async function sendPrivateTransaction() {
  try {
    // Generate the proof
    const proof = await generateProof();

    // Submit the private transaction to the network
    const transactionHash = await celo.wallet.sendPrivateTransaction(proof);

    console.log('Private transaction sent. Transaction hash:', transactionHash);
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error sending private transaction:', error);

// Execute the sendPrivateTransaction function

This code example demonstrates how to generate a proof for a private transaction using zkSNARKs on the Celo blockchain. It uses the Celo SDK to interact with the network, sign the transaction, generate the proof, and send the private transaction. The generateProof() function retrieves the necessary account information, creates a private transaction, signs it, and generates the proof. The sendPrivateTransaction() function invokes the generateProof() function and sends the private transaction to the Celo network.

  1. Shielded Accounts: Celo has introduced shielded accounts that provide an additional layer of privacy. Shielded accounts allow users to store and transact with encrypted balances, ensuring that the value and transaction history associated with these accounts remain hidden.
const Celo = require('celo-sdk');

// Instantiate Celo SDK
const celo = new Celo('https://<your_celo_node_url>');

// Load the private key of the user's account
const privateKey = '<user_private_key>';

// Create a new shielded account
async function createShieldedAccount() {
  try {
    // Load the user account using the private key
    const account = celo.wallet.loadAccount(privateKey);

    // Generate a new shielded account
    const shieldedAccount = await celo.shield.createAccount();

    // Print the shielded account address and viewing key
    console.log('Shielded account address:', shieldedAccount.address);
    console.log('Shielded account viewing key:', shieldedAccount.viewingKey);

    // Store the shielded account address and viewing key securely

    // Associate the shielded account with the user's account
    await celo.wallet.linkShieldedAccount(account, shieldedAccount.address);

    console.log('Shielded account created and linked successfully.');
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error creating shielded account:', error);

// Transfer funds from a shielded account
async function transferFromShieldedAccount() {
  try {
    // Load the user account using the private key
    const account = celo.wallet.loadAccount(privateKey);

    // Retrieve the user's linked shielded account address
    const shieldedAccountAddress = await celo.wallet.getLinkedShieldedAccount(account.address);

    // Specify the recipient's address and the transfer amount
    const recipientAddress = '<recipient_address>';
    const transferAmount = '<transfer_amount>';

    // Create a transfer transaction using the shielded account
    const transferTransaction = celo.shield.createTransferTransaction({
      from: shieldedAccountAddress,
      to: recipientAddress,
      value: transferAmount,

    // Sign and send the transfer transaction
    const transferReceipt = await celo.wallet.sendTransaction(transferTransaction);

    console.log('Transfer from shielded account successful. Transaction receipt:', transferReceipt);
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error transferring from shielded account:', error);

// Execute the createShieldedAccount and transferFromShieldedAccount functions

In this code snippet, we utilize the Celo SDK to interact with shielded accounts on the Celo blockchain. The createShieldedAccount() function demonstrates the creation of a new shielded account, generating a unique address and viewing key for the account. The shielded account address and viewing key should be securely stored for future use. The transferFromShieldedAccount() function showcases how to transfer funds from a shielded account to a recipient address using the shielded account’s address and the desired transfer amount.


Celo prioritizes user privacy by incorporating privacy features and techniques such as public/private key encryption, shielded accounts, zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), and ring signatures. These mechanisms ensure that sensitive user data and transaction details remain confidential while maintaining transparency and integrity on the blockchain. By understanding and leveraging these privacy-enhancing features, developers can build decentralized applications on Celo with a strong focus on user privacy and security.

Next Step

Actively engage with the Celo blockchain and its privacy features and explore different privacy-enhancing techniques on Celo, such as using shielded addresses for confidential transactions and leveraging encryption techniques like zero-knowledge proofs. Check out Celo to explore more documentation to gain insights into Celo’s privacy-focused initiatives.

About The Author

Encrypted is a tech enthusiast captivated by the realms of DeFi, NFTs, and Web3. Fueled by an insatiable curiosity, Encrypted dives headfirst into the world of solidity, crafting decentralized solutions and unraveling the mysteries of blockchain. With an unwavering passion for innovation, Encrypted fearlessly explores the limitless possibilities of the digital landscape, shaping the future with every line of code.

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn



Fantastic news! Your proposal has landed in this week’s top voted list. As you begin your project journey, remember to align with our community and technical guidelines, ensuring a high quality platform for our developers. Congratulations! :mortar_board: :seedling:


Hi @Encrypted ,I will be reviewing this in 1 to 2 days.


Alright , thanks.


Wow, great!


Great, you can move it to publish


This is resourceful. I see smartcontracts security best practices put into practice here!


thank you , i’m glad you found it resourceful as i am really practical about security in every form.


Nice work @Encrypted,

I love the article and the reference part caught my attention. But a simple attention on second citation, “Github” is written as “GitHub”. Note the “H” is capital!


thank you for the sharp eye lol, will effect the change.