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