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Question: Would you use LN for Bitcoin Mixing?
Yes - 2 (25%)
I am not sure - 2 (25%)
No, I prefer normal mixers - 2 (25%)
No, I don't know how to - 2 (25%)
No, I don't use mixers - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 8

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Author Topic: Bitcoin mixing and Segwit  (Read 734 times)
ChipMixer
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August 25, 2017, 09:30:39 PM
 #1

We, ChipMixer team, are reinventing bitcoin tumbling. Our previous idea was to allow withdrawing private keys of addresses that were prepared beforehand (our thread).

Segwit is now online which means Lightning Network is around the corner. We are collecting ideas how to use Segwit and LN to increase privacy of Bitcoin mixing. If you have one, reply in this thread or send us a PM.

Lightning Network allows you to do transactions that are not stored on blockchain which means they cannot be traced by blockchain analysis companies, but there are some data that can be seen:
a. creation of new channel is visible on blockchain and can be analyzed
b. every transaction is visible for payment hub you are using
c. destruction of an old channel is visible on blockchain and can be analyzed

Our new idea is to create ChipMixer payment hub that will ensure that (b) cannot be traced by nobody. Hub would function as any other except that we are already a reputable service that protect your privacy and if you use our service you already trust us to not to keep logs.

What do you think about this idea?

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August 26, 2017, 06:50:41 AM
 #2

Our new idea is to create ChipMixer payment hub that will ensure that (b) cannot be traced by nobody. Hub would function as any other except that we are already a reputable service that protect your privacy and if you use our service you already trust us to not to keep logs.

What do you think about this idea?
I would say: "the more the merrier"!

First, I know SegWit got activated, but I have no idea how I can use it. As far as I understand now, my Bitcoin client has to support it, and with all the fighting about how to allow Bitcoin scaling, I haven't seen a client that lets me use SegWit.

Second, I assume that once SegWit is in use, any other Hub will also promise they won't keep logs, just like I now hope/assume Bitcoin hubs don't store IP addresses.

As far as I understand, SegWit and Lighning Network risk being a centralized service with only a few big Hubs. You could have a first mover advantage by creating one before others do.

But, from your mixer's point of view, aren't you taking away the need for your own service if in the future most transactions are done off-chain?



I'd love to see Bitcoin scale to allow more transactions, and I don't really care if that's through bigger blocks or secure off-chain transactions. All I know is, it's taking way too long and fees are crazy high now. When I started using Bitcoin back in 2015, 0.00001 BTC fee was enough for a fast transaction. Now, fees are 100 times higher and Bitcoin is 20 times more expensive. That makes fees 2000 times more expensive in terms of dollars. It used to be cheaper than bank transactions, now it's 50 times more expensive than the commercial SEPA rate in Europe.

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August 28, 2017, 08:31:19 AM
 #3

I would say: "the more the merrier"!

First, I know SegWit got activated, but I have no idea how I can use it. As far as I understand now, my Bitcoin client has to support it, and with all the fighting about how to allow Bitcoin scaling, I haven't seen a client that lets me use SegWit.

Second, I assume that once SegWit is in use, any other Hub will also promise they won't keep logs, just like I now hope/assume Bitcoin hubs don't store IP addresses.

As far as I understand, SegWit and Lighning Network risk being a centralized service with only a few big Hubs. You could have a first mover advantage by creating one before others do.

But, from your mixer's point of view, aren't you taking away the need for your own service if in the future most transactions are done off-chain?

I'd love to see Bitcoin scale to allow more transactions, and I don't really care if that's through bigger blocks or secure off-chain transactions. All I know is, it's taking way too long and fees are crazy high now. When I started using Bitcoin back in 2015, 0.00001 BTC fee was enough for a fast transaction. Now, fees are 100 times higher and Bitcoin is 20 times more expensive. That makes fees 2000 times more expensive in terms of dollars. It used to be cheaper than bank transactions, now it's 50 times more expensive than the commercial SEPA rate in Europe.

Actually, I always did think of ChipMixer's "chip" method as being an off-chain transaction, since it works that way anyway. Depending on how you look at it, then yeah the act of mixing itself even mirrors the risk of SW and NL, as a centralised satellite or step. However, I don't think you harm the mixing business by implementing an extra off-chain process. If anything, it just makes any tracking/analysis effort even more difficult.

Not sure if this is an idea but what if ChipMixer maintains non-SW deposits. Person uses legacy (non-SW) addresses to deposit from and to. When chips are redeemed, the coins could come from SW and LN-mixed addresses. Or does backward compatibility means it isn't more difficult to track?

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August 28, 2017, 04:56:38 PM
 #4

Using SegWit to reduce fees will be trivial once wallets start supporting it: just upgrade to a SegWit wallet and start generating SegWit addresses instead of normal addresses. There are no further considerations needed. Everything is 100% compatible.

It's a good idea to use LN, but I think that it will be difficult right now to act as a robustly-anonymous LN hub. It is technically possible, but I think that you'd have to make extensive modifications to the code of something like c-lightning. (By default, LN nodes should be mostly private, but they don't go out of their way to break connections or anything like that.)

One thing you could do is to just have deposits and withdrawals happen via LN. A user would set up a LN channel with you (or route to you via LN nodes), and then rather than getting a chip's private key, users could deposit/withdraw via LN without having any on-chain transactions.

Note that although LN node software like c-lightning is working, and people can test it out, it's not production-ready yet. It'll be quite some time before ordinary people are using LN, I think.

You should also look into TumbleBit.

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August 29, 2017, 11:11:57 PM
 #5

But, from your mixer's point of view, aren't you taking away the need for your own service if in the future most transactions are done off-chain?
We keep reinventing Bitcoin mixing. As long as privacy is at risk, we will provide our service.

Not sure if this is an idea but what if ChipMixer maintains non-SW deposits. Person uses legacy (non-SW) addresses to deposit from and to. When chips are redeemed, the coins could come from SW and LN-mixed addresses. Or does backward compatibility means it isn't more difficult to track?
This would be a new service. Only link with ChipMixer would be our reputation - it is required for customer to trust LN hub to remove their logs.

One thing you could do is to just have deposits and withdrawals happen via LN. A user would set up a LN channel with you (or route to you via LN nodes), and then rather than getting a chip's private key, users could deposit/withdraw via LN without having any on-chain transactions.
This is exactly what we are thinking. Thank you for your input.

You should also look into TumbleBit.
We have read both TumbleBit and TumbleBit++ whitepapers. The worst part of it is that nobody has an incentive to implement it customer-friendly way.

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August 30, 2017, 06:24:32 AM
 #6

I use mixer services to protect my family from possible kidnappers and hackers. You become a target, when people figure out how much money you have. A public Blockchain on it's own, do not protect you from corrupt governments agents and criminals who wants to harm you or your family.

I want a mixer services without a lot of complexity and cheap fees. If Bitcoin and the LN enables micro transactions, I want the mixer service to protect those micro transactions too, because they might also link me to those bad actors I have highlighted above.

I am glad to see that my favourite mixer service are already looking ahead to adapt to the changing technology. ^smile^

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