Bitcoin

For Those Who Like Their Bitcoins Anti-State, the "Dark Wallet" from Cody "3D-printed weapons" Wilson

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I noted in my forthcoming profile of Cody Wilson, founder of "Defense Distributed" and promotional father of 3D-printed weapons, in the December issue of Reason (subscribe today!), he seemed even more interested in Bitcoins as a means of destabilizaing the state than in 3D printed weapons.

Now he's revealed his newest passion project for which he's seeking crowdsource funding, the Bitcoin "dark wallet," a deliberate attempt to reclaim Bitcoin from the hands of happy regulation-approving big finance and back to the anarchic darkness from which it arose:

Forbes explains the deal:

DarkWallet would go further towards making Bitcoin a truly untraceable form of digital cash. The wallet creators plan to include a feature called "trustless mixing" according to Amir Taaki, one of Unsystem's founders and a longtime Bitcoin developer. Rather than hand a user's bitcoins off to a typical Bitcoin laundry service that must be trusted to send back another more anonymous bitcoin, trustless mixing bundles together a collection of Bitcoin transactions and simultaneously sends them to new Bitcoin addresses that are also controlled by the same users; Since no one watching the transactions can see whose coins went where, the technique erases any ownership-identifying traces on the coins, while also avoiding the problem of trusting a third-party service to sufficiently mix the coins and not to simply steal them.

The software, which is intended to be a browser plug-in for Chrome and Firefox, would automatically coordinate the process with other users over the anonymity service Tor or similar services to further hide users' identities. The process could even be reduced to an anonymizing "toggle switch" that would enable users to launder their coins on command, says Taaki. "You buy the bitcoins in a normal exchange, switch this on, and it slowly anonymizes them for you in the background," he says.

DarkWallet would also aim to solve another potential privacy problem with Bitcoin that arises from wallet software "announcing" transactions to the Bitcoin network from a tell-tale IP address. By broadcasting the messages from a proxy address or over the Tor network, Taaki says that DarkWallet could prevent anyone from tracking a user based on those transaction announcements.

DarkWallet's spooky promo video: 

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  1. This is why the freakouts by BTC enthusiasts over creeping regulation was so silly. The authorities can pretend to ‘regulate’ BTC all they want. There will always be ways around them. We’re unstoppable.

    1. Yup. Getting a couple more protocol implementations out there pretty much guarantees there won’t be an ability to add privacy-compromising features. And if they try to force them, ZeroCoin or similar patches are just waiting to merged in.

      1. What exactly is the difference in function between ZeroCoin and DarkWallet? Is ZeroCoin more focused while DW is the whole wallet deal? What’s the advantage of ZeroCoin?

        DPR made silly mistakes and it took the FBI years to get him. Think of what a really careful, ‘Gustavo Fring’ type can accomplish with these tools. AMAZING

        1. ZeroCoin, as I understand it, is a set of enhancements at the protocol level that would make it more anonymous. Thinking mixing by default in the protocol. Maybe has some issues with bloating the block chain.

          Dark Wallet certainly seems like a huge potential. ZeroCoin is more of a nuclear option — too much regulation, and it goes into the protocol.

          With these tools, things we haven’t even imagined yet become possible. Autonomous programs that have their own wallet, and pay for their own hosting. Don’t even need to know where your program is running.

    2. Don’t fall for groovy, sexy marketing. It would be nice if Darkwallet works, but why assume it will when so many other encryption and data shell games have not?

      A bucket of cold water for you —

      http://www.businessweek.com/vi…..xt-to-fall

      If you are in anyway connected to grey market activity, do not use bitcoin.

      1. I’m not going to watch a BS session involving people who don’t understand BTC talking about BTC.

        1. I’m pointing to the subject matter. Believe that Ulbicht got sloppy if you want to. I could use a few generation cycles of beta testers like you.

          1. That Ulbricht was sloppy is a fact, period. It’s been pretty well documented at Forbes and elsewhere.

            1. I still argue that Ulbricht was sloppy in a way that’s very easy to be sloppy.

              That keeping your tracks truly and comprehensively covered takes a tremendous amount of effort and energy, which is why almost all law enforcement people always say about their target, “He’ll make a mistake, they always do.”

              I believe the key is to stay off their radar to begin with.

              1. That keeping your tracks truly and comprehensively covered takes a tremendous amount of effort and energy, which is why almost all law enforcement people always say about their target, “He’ll make a mistake, they always do.”

                I’m afraid modern crypt services like those that are offered in a plug-in here encourages people to make assumptions about their relative safety that they would not when they were managing their own actions.

                I strongly doubt that the FBI has been forthright about how they caught Ulbricht. It looks to me like they have been feeding the media a lot of post hoc justifications covering their own illicit tracks. They got lucky, Ulbright’s desperation at the end there fell in place for their narrative.

                1. I strongly doubt that the FBI has been forthright about how they caught Ulbricht.

                  Why would they be?

                  I believe in encryption. I believe it’s good. I believe that many of our modern forms of encryption are nigh unbreakable. So they get to you through side channels or more traditional ways. Someone talks, he has a falling out with a friend who knows his actual identity.

                  I’m very interested in this DarkWallet thing, but all the encryption in the world doesn’t stop law enforcement from getting you at the egress/ingress points.

                2. It looks to me like they have been feeding the media a lot of post hoc justifications covering their own illicit tracks.

                  This is actually a really good lesson to be learned by anyone wanting to operate outside the purview of another institution. Whatever that institution may be. Never… ever… EVER base your security on the assumption of fair play.

            2. He was compromised long before they made the bust. They were sitting on it so they could make a bigger play. The time line of the ‘sloppy, erratic’ behavior occurs over a short period.

  2. I could have sworn I just read about some hearings on Bitcoin coming up next month, but I can’t find anything on it again.

    Some nice jabs he puts in at the Bitcoin Foundation there. Shit is about to get real.

    1. That part I enjoyed.

  3. I like the statement at 0:44 in the video:

    “Their mission is to both agree with and maintain independence from regulatory power.”

    Tax us! Regulate us! Set us free!

  4. Does Dark Helmet use Dark Wallet?

  5. These guys are mostly overplaying their hand here.
    Most of the planned features for dark wallet are already in development or working for regular wallets. People have been running Bitcoin-QT over Tor for years now.

    Not that I’m against them building a wallet for mass-consumption that’s designed to work (and protect you from being found out) in a 1984-esque dystopia. It just feels like the wrong focus to have, and a waste of their efforts.
    I much prefer the foundation’s approach to the problem of regulators:
    1) Stall for time.
    2) Convince the government that they have sufficient tools to control the flow of money by regulating the exchanges (which is already happening).
    3) Take the world economy hostage by being adopted everywhere. Then the regulators can’t touch it without doing massive damage to their own economy.

  6. In my house when I get bored, afterward I only ON my laptop and open YouTube web site to watch the YouTube videos.

    http://farrdesign.com/jerseys/?id=337

  7. Yeah but more importantly, can anyone tell me what the music is that’s playing? It makes the whole thing sweet.

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