Dark Wallet Wants to Keep Bitcoin Anonymous

Dark Wallet Wants to Keep Bitcoin Anonymous

The man behind the 3D-printed gun movement is backing Dark Wallet, too.

Bitcoin has an element of anonymity beyond what any other payment form can provide, but it't not completely anonymous. unSystem wants to change that, and its Dark Wallet project is anonymous transactions incarnate.

Cody Wilson and Amir Taaki, the former of which is the man behind the 3D-printed gun craze, are at the helm of unSystem and Dark Wallet. Late last year, their $50,000 IndieGoGo campaign to fund the project was a success, and now Dark Wallet is entering an alpha test on May 1st.

"[Dark Wallet] is a way of using Bitcoin that mocks every attempt to sprinkle it with regulation," said Cody Wilson to Wired. "It's a way to say to the government 'You've set yourself up to regulate Bitcoin. Regulate this.'"

In a nutshell: Dark Wallet makes Bitcoin transactions completely anonymous through encryption, and through "CoinJoin," which batches several completely unrelated transactions together, and shows it as one, solid transfer. CoinJoin effectively masks a transaction, keeping the sender a mystery,

As Dark Wallet goes through its Alpha and continued testing, its founders are sure that the FBI, and other federal regulators, will be watching.

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This is at risk of making myself out to be an idiot since I am not fully educated on the bitcoin and it's latest developments and workings. But surely the government could just regulate it by outright banning the use of darkwallet. They may not be able to trace when people are using it but if a government body seizes a computer/phone with the app on it then that could be made an offence itself. How the authorities get the info that they are using darkwallet is another issue entirely.

So they've taken a currency that is often seen as shady and used for criminals with ill intentions, and confirmed that it is in fact for criminals with ill intentions. Given the trailer shown here, it seems that they want it to be seen as something only used by the black market. This can't be good news for anyone who wanted Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to be seen as a legitimate form of tender.

Or people that are sick of a house of cards economy with crushing debt that is heavily overregulated and want an alternative.

hawkeye52:
This is at risk of making myself out to be an idiot since I am not fully educated on the bitcoin and it's latest developments and workings. But surely the government could just regulate it by outright banning the use of darkwallet. They may not be able to trace when people are using it but if a government body seizes a computer/phone with the app on it then that could be made an offence itself. How the authorities get the info that they are using darkwallet is another issue entirely.

I may be wrong, but DarkWallet sounds a lot like a "coin remixer" as they call them. Basically they function as a weird kind of escrow service that you tell "I want to send 0.01 BTC to address RANDOMHASHNUMBER, I'll send it from MYHASHNUMBER." It then accepts your BTC, bundles it with other unrelated transactions between several of it's own BTC addresses juggles them around until it's not entirely clear who the BTC necessarily originally came from and doles it out. All BTC transactions are public knowledge, but after the bitcoin has changed hands through enough addresses in varied enough amounts it's kind of hard to figure out who the original payer(s) are.

Think of it like a money laundering scheme in which you can open infinite laundromats and restaurants for essentially free. Or like TOR routing bitcoins. If it gets stopped, it'll be as a form of money laundering, but that would require the government to recognize BTC as currency. Which opens up entirely different cans of worms.

Side question: Doesn't anoncoin do something like this as an inherent feature of the cryptocurrency?

Ah, so now the bogus money scam wants to also happen behind closed doors too? THAT'S NOT SUSPECT AT ALL!

So how do we make an arcane and obscure pseudocurrency nobody really understands or fully trusts more transparent and legitimate?

By making it completely anonymous and removing any possibility of verification and other safeguards?

Call me old fashioned, but I'll stick with the old government-back currencies for now.

Good, it's about time people are able to buy and sell things electronically without being tracked. I will personally wait until it can be verified as not being a scam, but it looks like a promising idea so far.

So when someone hacks your computer and swipes your electronic bitcoins, now there will be a 0% chance of locating it through the block-chain. Way to take out what little trust in the system guys.

hawkeye52:
This is at risk of making myself out to be an idiot since I am not fully educated on the bitcoin and it's latest developments and workings. But surely the government could just regulate it by outright banning the use of darkwallet. They may not be able to trace when people are using it but if a government body seizes a computer/phone with the app on it then that could be made an offence itself. How the authorities get the info that they are using darkwallet is another issue entirely.

Government bodies don't really have to go that far.. see legal currency has certain rules. Every business within a government's jurisdiction must accept payment in that currency in exchange for goods and services. No one has to accept bitcoins for anything. So Bitcoins maybe all well and fine... but your banks not gonna accept motrgage or other loan payments in bitcons, your doctor isn't going to accept payment in bitcoins and the gass station down the road isn't going to accept it. Most of bitcoins value is basically built around speculation and hoarding... which is the antithesis of a currency..

As for makming it anonymous.. that sorta makes it impossible to sort out when things go wrong doesn't it. I mean if my credit card is mischarged I can call up the bank and get them to reverse the charges.. I can put a stop order on a cheque... but once a bitcoin gets spent.. tough tits. And if you're trading in bitcoins you're likely dealing with criminals... after all.. who else would want to move vast somes of undocumented uninsured currency around without anyone knowing where it's coming from or where it's going

See, here's the thing:

The money holders in power have already decided that they can be politically (or ideologically) biased. Only recently, Chase bank decided, for example, to close the accounts of all known porn-stars (again). Because porn work is bad, I guess?

Similarly, the credit cards (all of them, given they function as an oligopoly) blocked payments to Wikileaks as a means of trying to run it out of business right after the Manning leaks were posted, because apparently big transaction services all believe it's worse to expose the embarrassments of the US than it is to do embarrassing shit as a US agent or representative. Same with Paypal.

Speaking of Paypal, they also decided right after the Snowden papers started getting published to cease completing transactions to VPN services which make it more difficult for the NSA to track a person's movements online. So apparently Paypal is pro-NSA's mass surveillance.

And the problem is, these guys know they are bottlenecks for ordinary folks like you and I to make transactions. If you want to buy something, usually you have to go through them or it's damn inconvenient if not impossible.

And if they can discriminate on a whim because you're a porn star or you want to not be tracked by the feds or you want to donate to people who are big into government transparency, they can discriminate on a whim because you're a gamer, or a goth, or a brony, or a gun enthusiast, or any number of other subcultures of society that the mainstream thinks are weird and potentially dangerous.

Bitcoin is the leading cryptocurrency that isn't regulated by these companies, and isn't controlled by a given government. Sure, it's super-unstable and not well accepted right now, but so it has been for every currency on the planet when they were new. In time, as it stabilizes and becomes accepted by more merchants around the world, the ability for Bitcoin to be anonymously exchanged will be immensely useful. Especially so, given that the devices that law-enforcement uses to track and control wealth are far more often abused by the governments than they are by criminal elements.

...such as freezing Dotcom's assets so that he wouldn't have a fair chance to defend himself in court when US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement invaded his home to arrest him for no clear crime whatsoever (e.g. "conspiracy" and a shotgun blast of other ambiguous charges). Remember that? On the day of the SOPA blackout?

Bitcoin with anonymity will, of course, facilitate the black market (just as VCR facilitated video piracy) but it will far more facilitate freedom of transaction within the white market. And that's what makes it a good thing to develop.

238U[1]

[1] PS: Isn't Dark Wallet a totally abyssal supervillain name? I imagine him someone who seduces common thug villains into darker, more hardened criminality, where the pay is good, but you're expected to do terrible things. Sure times are tough. But you can always work for Dark Wallet.

Now I'm no expert on currency or anything, but Isn't calling the project DARK Wallet almost like an admission that it's going to be used for a whole host of unethical and/or dangerous purposes? I guess the people behind this probably don't care, or even get off on the idea that they're causing people harm. But still, do you really have to tap your fingers and laugh maniacally while doing it? At least PRETEND you have good intentions for Christ sake.

There has to be some sort of accountability and traceability. I order to protect against scams, or transactions lost because of the occasional system fluke, and of course, unsavory people using untraceable currency for their unsavory agendas and that's simply unnacceptable because only I am allowed to secretly plot world domination

This is just as bad of an idea as letting the government know everything. There has to be some level of accountability or the "currency" will only be used for nefarious purposes. Money laundering, racketeering, human slave trade (sex, child, et all), terrorism, drug trade, assassins, and many more things will be much easier to partake in. But looking at what these guys said I don't think they give two shits about hurting people. All they want to do is "stick it to the man". Then people are gonna call foul when this "service" inevitably becomes linked with terrorism, shut down, and the owners prosecuted as accomplices. On top of that, a completely anonymous system to transfer currency world wide will push the likes of the NSA to create far more invasive spy tactics to combat it. I'm calling it now. It's an arms race, the harder you push the harder they will push back. We need a balance between security and freedom not security OR freedom.

wouldn't they just immediately declare the program illegal and arrest everybody involved if they go through with it

Vegosiux:
There has to be some sort of accountability and traceability. I order to protect against scams, or transactions lost because of the occasional system fluke, and of course, unsavory people using untraceable currency for their unsavory agendas and that's simply unnacceptable because only I am allowed to secretly plot world domination

The way bitcoin works, all transactions are recorded on a public register, available to all users.

What "coin mixer" services do (and that's what this appears to be), is take bitcoin from A on one address, and pay it out to B from one or more other, unrelated addresses, while periodically passing bitcoin between their various wallets.

For example, say A wants to send 1 BTC to B. So he sets up an account on a mixer and stores some of his BTC there, then tells it to send 1 BTC to B. The mixer then uses multiple other bitcoin addresses it controls and has each of them send a randomly sized piece of the total.

What shows up in the register is A paying into one address, and several other addresses paying B, with no clear way to tell which of the people paying into which of the mixer accounts is the one paying B. It's trivial to see who is making the transaction on each side (because the ledger of all bitcoin transactions is public), but not which of the inbound transactions matches to which outbound ones.

Bitcoins in themselves are already automatically anonymous and the ONLY way to be identified is if you do so yourself. this is a pointless effort.

hawkeye52:
This is at risk of making myself out to be an idiot since I am not fully educated on the bitcoin and it's latest developments and workings. But surely the government could just regulate it by outright banning the use of darkwallet. They may not be able to trace when people are using it but if a government body seizes a computer/phone with the app on it then that could be made an offence itself. How the authorities get the info that they are using darkwallet is another issue entirely.

Are there software that is banned (with exception being china and north korea)? im not aware of any such....

Koshok:
So they've taken a currency that is often seen as shady and used for criminals with ill intentions, and confirmed that it is in fact for criminals with ill intentions. Given the trailer shown here, it seems that they want it to be seen as something only used by the black market. This can't be good news for anyone who wanted Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to be seen as a legitimate form of tender.

Just like all privacy laws confirmed everyone is a criminal right?

weirdee:
wouldn't they just immediately declare the program illegal and arrest everybody involved if they go through with it

they cant really do that. LOIC a program whose SOLE FUNCTIONALITY is to immitate DDoS attacks is legal. What is illegal is to conduct DDoS attacks. Torrent programs are legal. Its illegal to download copyrighted material via them. One does not simply ban programs.

This sounds like something that could be used by mafioso, evil geniuses and super villains alike.
I'll have to see if it helps in my plans to take over the world. You think I could pay my minions and henchmen in bitcoins with anonymous transfers like this?

Devin Connors:
Dark Wallet makes Bitcoin transactions completely anonymous through encryption

Uh, guys? Encryption doesn't work anymore against the gov.

Strazdas:

Just like all privacy laws confirmed everyone is a criminal right?

I didn't say that anyone who uses Bitcoin is a criminal, but that's how many perceive it. And, trying to hide your actions just makes it look like you have something to hide, such as criminal activity. It may very well be used for legitimate purposes by people who don't want big brother watching over their shoulder for one reason or another. But that doesn't change the fact that it looks bad.

Koshok:

Strazdas:

Just like all privacy laws confirmed everyone is a criminal right?

I didn't say that anyone who uses Bitcoin is a criminal, but that's how many perceive it. And, trying to hide your actions just makes it look like you have something to hide, such as criminal activity. It may very well be used for legitimate purposes by people who don't want big brother watching over their shoulder for one reason or another. But that doesn't change the fact that it looks bad.

So if i dont want NSA to spy on me i also got something to hide such as criminal activity?
It looks bad, but thats a problem with the beholder and not the item.

 

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