Achieving privacy in the cryptocurrency world is never an easy feat. Public blockchains and currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum lack these traits by default. Samourai, a Bitcoin wallet provider, has noted a substantial increase in demand for its Whirlpool service to achieve transaction privacy.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, Samourai’s Whirlpool is a zerolink coinjoin implementation developed by the Samourai Wallet team. The objective is to make Bitcoin transactions private yet lower any technical barriers for users. A straightforward and convenient solution is essential. Under the hood, Whirlpool breaks deterministic links between inputs and outputs to maximize privacy to all users. As users do not need to worry about these technical aspects, the solution continues to gain more widespread adoption.
At its core, this implementation requires collaborative transactions between five participants. Outputs of every mixing procedure through Whirlpool are identical, creating a list of 1,496 possible interpretations. This process makes it nigh impossible to figure out which output belongs to which input. That may not matter much on paper, but it becomes essential in this era of blockchain analysis firms and government snooping.
What makes the Samourai Whirlpool feature so intriguing is how users can achieve their goals through multiple paths. All that is required is running the Samourai Wallet on an Android device. The first option is to mix transactions using one’s phone, even though it is not the best option for long-term mixing or making more significant transactions private. An approachable solution for those who want to get acquainted with this concept first and foremost.
The second option is using the desktop application, which connects to Samoruai Wallet on the Android device. Users can deposit funds through this graphical user interface, set mix targets, and visualize their Whirlpool mixes. This is very different from the third option – using the WHirlpool CLI – although this option is the more prominent solution when one has access to small devices running 24/7, such as a Raspberry Pi4.
Through the command-line interface, users can achieve the maximal amount of remixes with little effort. However, it is the more difficult option to set up, making it less suitable for novice users.
A solution like Samourai’s Whirlpool stands or falls depending on how much liquidity there is to perform mixing transactions. At this time, there is 3,000 BTC – worth over $104 million – in pool liquidity, highlighting the overall demand for privacy among Bitcoin enthusiasts. It is the first time such a high liquidity level is achieved, although it will undoubtedly not be the last.
Demand for Bitcoin privacy continues to heat up globally. Not only is this an alternative payment method, but it is also a way to achieve true privacy without relying on governments or banks. It is more convenient to carry around than cash – which can still be traced via serial numbers on notes – making Bitcoin a very different breed altogether. Add a layer of privacy on top of it and things are bound to get very interesting.
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