So far as I know the anonymity feature in CryptoNote is achieved through the ring signatures technology. But what if the coin is new and the number of users is small? Does it mean that unless a new CryptoNote-based coin amasses a significant amount of users the anonymity feature won’t be accessible?

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Small user base doesn’t seem to be such a big problem for CryptoNote coins. It is possible that up to a thousand of initial transactions would be more transparent than the ones that come next but this does not constitute an unsolvable issue. There is an interdependence between the number of existing signatures in the network and the level of anonymity available to users. If a cryptocurrency has been created just recently the sufficient amount of signatures can be obtained through user’s transactions (even in small quantities) in a short period of time or it can be done with so called transaction tests. At the very beginning of the coin’s life-cycle the number of users can be very small and some of the transactions are created deliberately by the developers (manually or automatically) to increase the number of ring signatures for future transactions. It seems to be the case with Bytecoin (BCN). This coin is a first CN based currency launched in 2012. Now let's take a look at the chart below, it shows a transactions distribution since the launch of the coin. enter image description here

As an author writes: “Obviously at the beginning a certain number of transactions was created deliberately to make enough ring signatures for the future transactions (marked with brown color). Eventually this number has dropped leaving only the transactions created by users”.

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