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Author Topic: Alternative ideas for mixing?  (Read 183 times)
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December 29, 2019, 10:20:19 PM
Merited by LoyceV (2), ETFbitcoin (2), DdmrDdmr (1)
 #1

Hi. First timer here. I'm a open source developer, data analyst and philosopher. I just need a place to discuss my philosophies so I just drop my load here :-)

I recently followed the traces of some bitcoins on the blockchain. Bitcoin is not anonymous by design, but it should be. So I was thinking of ways to improve it. Some altcoins come with privacy features implemented, but I'm not a fan of filling the world with altcoins. I'm more fond of the idealistic idea to replace all currencies in the world with ONE cryptocoin. Therefore improving bitcoin is better than inventing new altcoins.

The only reasonable way to anonymize bitcoins seems to be mixing/blending/etc. There are some website out there that provide mixing services. They have a few advantages and disadvantages. But most importantly: mixing can only be provided by software developers with certain skills. Comparing it to other 'technical' tasks like 'mining' I'd say mixing is pretty complicated. Considering the fact that mining is right now almost centralised (at least not decentralised in a way, that everyone can join with his computer at home), I'd conclude:

Conclusion 1: Mixing is centralised.

It is provided by very few mostly automated systems. It requires trust, it is hard to find the black sheeps, scammers, useless services (non-mixers) , honeypots and the governmentally controlled ones.

Conclusion 2: We need more mixing services.

So I started my own mixing service, to help out with that demand. But of course I can only mix up to a certain amount. That is the amount I own personally and I'm willing to invest in that service, to create the initial coins, that are needed for the deposit. So I had the idea, to program a fully automated investment platform, where everyone can deposit, the funds are used for mixing and can also be withdrawn at any time (with a surplus of course). But that has certainly been done before right?

But in my opinion that is still shit. Now, I've created just one more service for fill a market with large demand. Even if my service is awesome, and everyone will use it in future, it is even more centralised. And since it has likely been implemented before, it could almost be said:

Conclusion 3: Most mixing services do pretty much the same thing.

So do we really need more of them? I know there are variations like "p2p-mixing websites" or "chipmixing" or "altcoin exchanging". But they have other drawbacks (like sharing private keys) and most importantly are still centralised to that one specific website. So instead of letting everyone become an investor, on websites, that do the same thing, why don't we develop the whole software open source and enable everyone to run it? Are there any ideas around this topic somewhere here on the board?

Conclusion 4: Mixing can be developed as and open source tool, which can be run by everyone.

This could be anything like a windows/linux program which is similar to bitcoin mining. Or it could again be websites. Like an automatic setup for a webservice that published on a .onion-URL and everyone can launch it and invest his own coin without giving them away to other providers. I guess, some mixing providers, get anyway some freshly tumbled stock from time to time by running it through a competing mixing provider. So we could make a P2P mixing system that works by itself, but can also contact other peers to ask for assistance to mix certain funds.

Thoughts?
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December 30, 2019, 01:09:42 AM
Merited by LoyceV (1), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #2

There's CoinJoin, whichs allow for trustless mixing by using special transactions:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/CoinJoin

It's used by Wasabi wallet for example:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5064006.0

In the case of Wasabi there's a central server coordinating said transactions but the server has no access to the coins itself and can be used over TOR. Ease of use still seems to be a bit of a problem though, as the amounts you can mix are rather limited (ie. you can only mix rather specific amounts) and lack of userbase often causes prolonged delays. Might have gotten better since I last gave it a try though.

Samourai Wallet also offers a CoinJoin implementation called WhirlPool, amongst other privacy features that might be interesting for you to study.
https://samouraiwallet.com/


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December 30, 2019, 01:15:56 AM
 #3

There's CoinJoin, which allow for trustless mixing by using special transactions:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/CoinJoin

It's used by Wasabi wallet for example:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5064006.0

In the case of Wasabi there's a central server coordinating said transactions but the server has no access to the coins itself and can be used over TOR.

Samourai Wallet also offers a CoinJoin implementation called WhirlPool, amongst other privacy features that might be interesting for you to study.


I don't really trust coinjoin because as far as I understand the way it works is by taking all the participants bitcoins into one pool, then dividing it into equal parts and giving it to people. Let's say there's 100 participants. What you don't know is how many unique participants are there. If there's only you and 99 other entries is the same person, it is the same result as if you didn't mix your coins at all. The only way you can achieve privacy in btc is probably by turning it into monero then making some transactions and turning it back to btc as monero is completely private.

 
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December 30, 2019, 09:23:22 AM
 #4

I think you should read this topic: [Guide] Decent mixing methods
you should also know that not all mixing services safe ---> Breaking Mixing Services

The best solution, in my view, is the mixing method offered by Chipmixer, not because I am wearing their signature, but it is the safest way.
The only problem is trust but here are some suggestions to solve it.

Quote
If services like ChipMixer operated based on blinded bearer certificates, then they'd be in many ways superior to both of the above mixing methods. Someone should work on this.






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December 31, 2019, 06:18:49 AM
 #5

What you're looking for is Atomic Swaps

Keep in mind that to improve your privacy using atomic swaps you'd still need to do the swap with a privacy focused cryptocurrency (similar to what fravia suggested, except without the need for a centralized exchange).

However this appears to be a bit of a challenge when talking about Monero, for example:
https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/58630/would-it-be-possible-to-do-atomic-swaps-with-monero-and-bitcoin

Not sure about the situation as far as other privacy focused coins are concerned (truth be told I'm not sure about the state of atomic swaps in general right now as things seem to have grown rather silent).

This reminds me though that it's worth noting that using Lightning Network also improves privacy. While not the main goal of LN the usage of onion-style transaction routing should make Blockchain-analysis quite a bit harder.

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December 31, 2019, 08:08:47 AM
 #6

There's CoinJoin, whichs allow for trustless mixing by using special transactions:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/CoinJoin

It's used by Wasabi wallet for example:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5064006.0

In the case of Wasabi there's a central server coordinating said transactions but the server has no access to the coins itself and can be used over TOR. Ease of use still seems to be a bit of a problem though, as the amounts you can mix are rather limited (ie. you can only mix rather specific amounts) and lack of userbase often causes prolonged delays. Might have gotten better since I last gave it a try though.

Samourai Wallet also offers a CoinJoin implementation called WhirlPool, amongst other privacy features that might be interesting for you to study.
https://samouraiwallet.com/


There's also JoinMarket. A user can participate as a "market maker"/liquidity provider and collect fees from "market takers".

https://github.com/JoinMarket-Org/joinmarket

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December 31, 2019, 09:24:45 AM
 #7

You've already mentioned the idea of mixing platforms that requires quite advance knowledge in technicalities or coding skills, and it is quite contradicting if we will to have an open source platform because mixing is quite a serious service to be offered for the people. Even if it is centralized, I think we are paying enough because in the first place the blockchain and bitcoin already provided us with the anonymity we need, and if we ask for more, then I think it is quite reasonable to pay certain amounts for these kinds of services.
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January 01, 2020, 05:38:00 PM
Merited by HeRetiK (1)
 #8

What you're looking for is Atomic Swaps

Keep in mind that to improve your privacy using atomic swaps you'd still need to do the swap with a privacy focused cryptocurrency (similar to what fravia suggested, except without the need for a centralized exchange).

True, but there are proposal/idea to improve privacy when using atomic swap (even though atomic swap itself is still in development) such as Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing

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January 02, 2020, 05:10:04 AM
 #9

What you're looking for is Atomic Swaps

Keep in mind that to improve your privacy using atomic swaps you'd still need to do the swap with a privacy focused cryptocurrency (similar to what fravia suggested, except without the need for a centralized exchange).

True, but there are proposal/idea to improve privacy when using atomic swap (even though atomic swap itself is still in development) such as Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing

That's pretty neat!

Thanks for the link, I wasn't aware of this proposal. Seems like this approach could greatly improve privacy even when swapping currencies that are not necessarily privacy focused. The amount of privacy you get might depend on the amount of other users using anonymous swaps though (ie. if it's just you and 5 other guys it might be rather easy to correlate transactions).

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