Samourai Wallet has unveiled a beta version of Whirlpool, a CoinJoin service that enhances transaction privacy. The company previously said that Whirlpool would be released to operate on Dojo, a much awaited bitcoin node built to work with the wallet.
This added feature disassociates crypto senders and their recipients, and makes it difficult to track the financial exchange. Samourai, a leading wallet service, is providing an easy-to-adopt layer of financial privacy for mainstream bitcoin users – and is emerging as one of the first companies to provide this technology.
CoinJoin is a process of anonymization that utilizes various privacy-enhancing software tools. First proposed by Gregory Maxwell in 2013, a “Chaumian CoinJoin” integrates Chaum blind signatures that allow the entry and exit of a transaction to be hidden by grouping and scrambling it with a collection of concurrent transactions.
The Whirlpool framework is a fully modular CoinJoin implementation that has been developed through a “heavily modified” fork of the ZeroLink theory, according to the company.
As noted in previous CoinJoin experiments, the challenge in garnering a mass of participants necessary to conduct blind transactions quickly can be difficult. It took several hours for 100 users of the privacy-centric bitcoin app Wasabi Wallet to gather and collectively execute a CoinJoin. To be sure, this transaction may have been the biggest of its kind.
Apart from the human challenge of organizing a CoinJoin, there are also built-in restrictions on the bitcoin network – such as the limit on the amount of data that can be included in a single transaction block – that limit the viability of CoinJoin. Additionally, some bitcoin enthusiasts believe that some forms of privacy and bitcoin’s built-in transparency are mutually exclusive. To which Samourai has responded:
Amounts are already being obscured, whether you like it or not. PayJoin on JoinMarket, Stowaway on Samourai, and other implementations coming down the line all break the common-input-ownership heuristic and at the same time obscure amount transacted.
Sorry not sorry.
— Samourai Wallet (@SamouraiWallet) June 24, 2019
Bitcoin Magazine also noted that CoinJoins may also increase the overall fungibility – a crucial attribute of money that ensures all units are identical – of the bitcoin network, by removing the tainted history of bitcoins previously used in illicit trades. By making bitcoin untraceable, CoinJoin diminishes the possibility of merchants refusing to accept “dirty money. This, as they say, may or may not be good for bitcoin.