On January 21st, Samourai Wallet released an update that makes an important step towards the fungibility of Bitcoin as a payment vehicle.
When we consider the potential of cryptocurrencies to be used as money, Bitcoin has the undisputed advantage of adoption: Everyone knows what Bitcoin is, it has been used in peer-to-peer transactions for years, there are relatively easy ways to store it.
By now, Bitcoin as a payment method has somewhat solidified by sticking around for so long.
One of the disadvantages though is the fact that Bitcoin’s blockchain is public. In many corners of the cryptocurrency community, this is even the main reason for Monero’s existence.
Nonetheless, there is the opposing argument as well - You only need stealth privacy quite rarely. And so, do we really need a separate crypto-money just for these rare cases? A separate blockchain for stealth transactions?
This article cannot provide an answer to that question - in time, the market will decide.
If you subscribe to the philosophy that it is not feasible to hold multiple cryptocurrencies for different uses, you will most likely benefit from what Samourai Wallet has been working on.
Samourai Wallet really deserves to call itself “the bitcoin wallet for the streets”. The first version of Samourai wallet came to existence during the bear market of 2015 already with the intention to offer some built-in transaction anonymizing function; ever since this angle kept only improving.
The new “Staggered Ricochet” is an extension of an existing premium option for BTC transactions called simply “Ricochet”. Ricochet is not a mixing function, but it helps to increase your plausible deniability by adding hops into your transaction - the principle is similar to relay hops used by Tor, the anonymous deep web browser.
Ricochet makes your transaction somewhat slower and somewhat more expensive, because you are inserting extra transactions between your starting address and the destination address.
Staggered Ricochet is a take on some advanced issues that are emerging as blockchain transaction analytics becomes more advanced. This update improves Ricochet by making its tell-tale patterns less recognizable: Staggered Ricochet makes sure each hop-transaction gets mined in a different block and also, each hop-transaction will only first be exposed to the mempool when it is just ready to be broadcast.
Explanation from Samourai Wallet’s blog:
One of the clever ways of fingerprinting transactions that blockchain spies have been known to use is monitoring the mempool and using associated metadata including time first broadcast to assist in their address clustering heuristics. To help break that method Staggered Ricochet transactions will not be exposed to the public mempool until they are ready to be broadcast.
Cost and Time
On the expense side, Samourai Wallet with the Staggered Ricochet option is a good fit for the philosophy of using stealth privacy only once in a while: As with simple Ricochet, you are paying extra fees for the hops, and additionally, a Staggered Ricochet transaction will potentially take up to a few hours to confirm because of the block restriction. You do not want to use it every time, and you don’t want to buy your coffee this way.
For the cases where you want privacy though, I would argue that state-of-the-art enhancements like the Staggered Ricochet can even be a safer option than using a private cryptocurrency: You are adding extra hops to a very busy public blockchain in a manner that cannot be easily detected.
If you choose to pay with a cryptocurrency known for its focus on anonymous transations, by doing so you are advertising that this particular transation really needs to stay hidden. All it takes is a vulnerability that breaks that ledger’s anonymity - which by all means can happen.
Samourai Wallet is available for free at samouraiwallet.com/download.
As for smartphones, the app is currently only available for Android. If you are a slightly more advanced user, you can run the Android app on your computer via VirtualBox - a how-to guide here.
Data is beautiful
Blockchain Technology in Mobile App Market: State of the Industry 2020
Blockchain is currently at the top among the new trending technologies that came up in recent years. It is a remarkable innovation for our ever more digitalised world. Blockchain is mostly known as decentralized network,...
New Horizons in Fintech: Payments, Big Data and Partnerships [Infographic]
The global fintech market saw a period of consolidation in 2018, which is exactly what we saw also in terms of price evaluation of crypto assets. In spite of the “crypto winter”, which is apparently...
Brand development in forex and crypto: Most expensive domain names [Infographic]
Crypto infographics - Most expensive domain names in forex and crypto. Targeted brand development in forex and crypto with domain names.
Top 8 Women in Blockchain Tech [Infographic]
When it comes to women in crypto, the pre-2016 OG heads will probably come up with names like Alena Vranova and Blythe Masters. Alena Vranova is the former CEO of Satoshi Labs, the company that...
Infographic: Blockchain Technology, Ledgers, Blocks and the Role of Price
Blockchain technology 101: What is blockchain, what types of blockchains exist and what role does the cryptocurrency price play.
Infographic: The Good And The Bad Of ICOs
Infographic: The good and bad of ICOs - Which token sales raised the most money in 2018?
The Business of Esports: All The Numbers [Infographic]
Esports is a rapidly emerging category as a real sport. It’s even beginning to compete with traditional sports.
Shocking Facts About Cryptocurrency Heists [Infographic]
If there is one question in the history of Bitcoin that cannot be answered with anything more than an estimate, it is the problem of how much of Bitcoin’s supply is actually ever available on...
Comparing Forex Market with Crypto Markets [Infographic]
One of the few metrics that cryptocurrency markets have in common with the forex markets in 2018 is the high percentage of total trades being located on few most popular markets.
East vs. West: Which One Sides More With Blockchain?
Digital cash schemes were the holy grail of the late 90s, but since the bitcoin blockchain was invented, suddenly nobody in the West cares.
Blockchain Consortium in Trade Finance: 6 Notable Networks [Infographic]
The success of trade finance blockchain implementations depends on how widely they are adopted. That's why we have seen businesses form consortia based on similar interests.
Real-world companies that accept crypto payments [Infographic]
Infographic - Graphic map of businesses that let customers pay in bitcoin.
Infographic: Blockchain Hacks & Crypto Trading Platform heists 2018 vs 2017
Blockchain infographic comparing the biggest crypto heists of 2018 and 2017. In 2017 the focus lied more on ICOs, smart contracts and wallet.
15 crypto kings that are making history with their engagement in the field of cryptocurrencies
Coining The Bucks With Cryptocurrencies Have you ever wondered how much masters of the cryptocurrencies are worth? Like the guy who founded Ethereum, or the one who started Ripple, for example. The answer, in short,...
Industry News Releases
LocalCryptos, formerly known as LocalEthereum, is currently the most popular non-custodial p2p market for cryptocurrencies....Read >>
- Montenegro to embrace blockchain technology in efforts to join the EU
- The Global Hackaton (April, Los Angeles) comes with free tickets to Crypto Invest Summit
- Etheremon celebrating #ChineseNewYear2019 with a series of bounties (Ends 8:00 AM UTC on Feb 11th)
- Crypto Marble dApp Game: Monopoly on Blockchain
- The dApp gaming platform VX Network launched the official VX Wallet in Apple App Store and Google Play
- Etheremon's first Chinese New Year Campaign: Chance to recall two rare mons
Editor for all TDOU’s publications.