A Survey on Group Signatures and Ring Signatures: Traceability vs. Anonymity

Maharage Nisansala Sevwandi Perera, Toru Nakamura, Masayuki Hashimoto, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, Chen Mou Cheng, Kouichi Sakurai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This survey reviews the two most prominent group-oriented anonymous signature schemes and analyzes the existing approaches for their problem: balancing anonymity against traceability. Group signatures and ring signatures are the two leading competitive signature schemes with a rich body of research. Both group and ring signatures enable user anonymity with group settings. Any group user can produce a signature while hiding his identity in a group. Although group signatures have predefined group settings, ring signatures allow users to form ad-hoc groups. Preserving user identities provided an advantage for group and ring signatures. Thus, presently many applications utilize them. However, standard group signatures enable an authority to freely revoke signers’ anonymity. Thus, the authority might weaken the anonymity of innocent users. On the other hand, traditional ring signatures maintain permanent user anonymity, allowing space for malicious user activities; thus achieving the requirements of privacy-preserved traceability in group signatures and controlled anonymity in ring signatures has become desirable. This paper reviews group and ring signatures and explores the existing approaches that address the identification of malicious user activities. We selected many papers that discuss balancing user tracing and anonymity in group and ring signatures. Since this paper scrutinizes both signatures from their basic idea to obstacles including tracing users, it provides readers a broad synthesis of information about two signature schemes with the knowledge of current approaches to balance excessive traceability in group signatures and extreme anonymity in ring signatures. This paper will also shape the future research directions of two critical signature schemes that require more awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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