Many of those transactions were conducted through mixers like Wasabi Wallet, which utilizes the CoinJoin protocol to make it more difficult to trace the path of funds. You can see an example in the Chainalysis Reactor graph below.
And then they have a chart showing how they can connect funds before and after mixing. I'm curious if folks on the Wasabi team have seen this. Is there enough information here to tell if this analysis is correct, that they can actually deanonymize Wasabi Wallet usage?
Wasabi Wallet Founder: Bitcoin Fees Will "Price Out" On-Chain Privacy
The founder of the Wasabi privacy Bitcoin wallet admits that growing fees will soon “price out” privacy from the main chain. In a recent Twitter exchange on the relative price stagnation of the various privacy-focused cryptocurrencies relative to Bitcoin, Adam Ficsor, the co-founder and CTO of privacy development group zkSNACKS responsible for the popular Wasabi privacy wallet, weighed in on the viability for advanced privacy solutions for the future of Bitcoin. According to Ficsor, specific privacy coins still have a role, as he believes that solutions offering greater “privacy will be priced out of Bitcoin’s main chain” due to increasingly high transaction fees, and that solutions such as Wasabi are a “temporary hack” for the problems caused by the chain’s inherent transparency. Wasabi uses a variant of CoinJoin and mixes the funds from several participants in order to obscure the identity of any one sender. Coin mixing services require multiple transactions and as such are not suitable for currencies with extremely high fees, which has been a historical problem for Bitcoin. According to data from BitInfoCharts, the current median transaction fee is not particularly obscene at about $0.70, however as recently as 11 days ago it was about $3.72. The highest recorded median fee was over $34 at the height of transaction congestion and the market surge in late 2017. Recent popular mixing implementations attempt to emulate Bitcoin’s more private competitors Recently-implemented coin mixing apps have been added to both the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash ecosystems to offer advanced privacy features not native in either chain, aiming to approximate the offerings of coins such as Dash which have privacy-specific features built-in. This includes the Wasabi wallet as well as CashShuffle for Bitcoin Cash, both of which use a coin mixing technique similar to Dash’s PrivateSend. In contrast, however, both rely on single servers (multiple choices may be available for CashShuffle) to perform the mixing, rather than Dash’s decentralized network of nearly 5,000 masternodes, and typically mix in a single round rather than through multiple rounds, offering less protection from deanonymization attacks. Dash’s latest version has made privacy mixing significantly faster The recent upgrade to the Dash network has significantly improvement the speed for mixing balances for PrivateSend transactions. In the recently-released version 0.14, all transactions are now both InstantSend (meaning instantly confirmed), as well as able to be immediately re-spent. This has the effect of speeding up the process of mixing balances, improving the experience for the end user.
The Argument Against Proof of Stake (PoS) by Michael Stollaire
The Argument Against Proof of Stake (PoS) by Michael Stollaire Recently, I’ve been interviewed several times, and it’s an eventuality that the topic of how Verge stacks up against the competition in the privacy coin space comes up. The first thing I consider is the method of mining. In short, if Proof of Stake (PoS) is leveraged, that’s it for me. That asset is compromised, and most of Verge’s competition is PoS. I actually had a representative from one of Verge’s competitors tell me that PoS “is the future.” My response was that I was afraid of what the future held. Here’s why I consider PoS the death toll for a cryptocurrency: PoS uses a form of Dash’s Master Node concept. Someone has to have One-thousand (1,000) Dash coins that they “stake” by essentially putting it into a deposit box of sorts. If at any time, the deposit box does not have 1,000 coins in it, the Dash system detects this fact, and your Master Node is disabled. Well, this is a good situation if you were one of the first people involved in any PoS cryptocurrency, when coins cost $1 or less at the time or you were one of the original miners. However, what if you were not an ultra-early adopter? You are in deep trouble. Keeping with our Dash example, the current price for Dash is just over $300, so let’s use that round number in our calculations. One-thousand (1,000) Dash coins at $300 each would be $300,000. That’s right. You can have your very own Dash Master Node for the bargain price of… wait a second. The average price of a house in America is cheaper. Who can afford that?! I’ll tell you who. The one-percenters and the financial establishments that cryptocurrency was invented in January 2009 to thwart. That’s right, just like there are activist investors that buy up 10-25% of a public company’s stock so they can leverage their… you guessed it… STAKE… against the company itself, in order to control who the CEO is, who sits on the board of directors, and the general direction and activities of a company, the rich of the world can basically perform a hostile takeover of any cryptocurrency that leverages PoS for mining purposes. Here’s an example, Warren Buffett, who’s current net worth is $80.3 Billion. There are currently 4,719 Dash Master Nodes online. As we said before the approximate cost of a Dash Master Node is $300,000 each, so let’s have some math fun, shall we? $300,000 X 5,000 = $1.5 Billion. So, Mr. Buffett wakes up one day, and decides that cryptocurrency should play a minor part in his investment portfolio, and he plunks down $1.5 Billion to take over Dash. Since Verge’s other competitors that leverage PoS for mining cost significantly less, it’s that much easier for Mr. Buffett… or any wealthy individual to compromise any of them. Therefore, I would never consider investing in a PoS coin. So, we are now down to three (3) Proof of Work (PoW) assets: Verge, Monero and Bitcoin. Bitcoin is out, because of two reasons. Some might say that the hostile takeover of Bitcoin already took place, as China controls so much of Bitcoin’s PoW hash rate. Please reference the pie chart below. Bitmain’s AntPool is 22.3% of Bitcoin’s total hash rate by itself. https://blockchain.info/pools Also, since Bitcoin is “sort of anonymous” it cannot stack up against Verge, which is a true privacy cryptocurrency that has features now - and in the future… - that will make it the premier asset in this area. Again, in my opinion. Verge also leverages several different PoW mining algorithms to make sure that the chances are slim to none that a hash rate monopoly can take place. Transactions are faster by far, and transactions per second are twenty (20) times that of Bitcoin. The mobility feature of Verge are also secure and private, and… well, that’s it. I don’t really have to go any further, because we can logically deduce that Verge is superior to Bitcoin in several ways. Therefore, only Monero, ZCash and Verge are left. There has been several deep-dives done on Monero, as far as due diligence of their privacy and security features are concerned that bring up valid points about the lack of Monero’s privacy: http://hackingdistributed.com/2017/04/19/monero-linkability After the implementation of the much-anticipated Wraith Protocol™, most would agree that Verge is on equal-footing with Monero, regarding privacy and security features, if not slightly better, and Verge is just getting started. There’s much more to come in the near and distant future, I assure you. However, back to Monero. Another key element of an asset is whether or not it is an inflationary or deflationary currency. Bitcoin has a limit on the sheer number of coins minted, for instance, and so does Verge. They are deflationary currencies that will hold or increase their value over time. But, Monero (and PIVX) has an unlimited supply, just like fiat currencies such as the US Dollar. That means as time goes on, more and more Monero coins will be minted and its value will decrease. Right there, it’s game over, at least for me. However, I do have to point out that Verge has Toi2P “baked in” and this means that both sender and receiver IP addresses are obfuscated. Does Monero do that? No, it does not. On to ZCash. Well, it’s got its fair share of issues. Over six-hundred, it seems: https://github.com/zcash/zcash/issues However, the main issue for me is that they basically had an ICO, just like NAV and PIVX, etc. If you don’t have an issue with 20% or more of the entire supply of an asset going to line the pockets of its initial investors and team, you certainly should. Here’s how one blogger on Steemit put it: “The ZCash team decided to launch ZCash as an altcoin so they were able to fund the development: ZCash has a US-based company behind it and will tax 20% of the mining revenue during the first 4 years to pay off private investors. If ZCash were to succeed, the private investors will benefit greatly from the launch of this cryptocurrency. Although I don't like ICO's, a public coinsale (a form of crowdfunding) would have been a more fair and open way to fund development than seeking money from private investors.” Also… “Another problem with ZCash is the fact that it's brand new cryptography. Nobody can really guarantee that there aren't some bugs in the system that will make it possible to deanonymize transactions or create coins out of thin air. What's more, if coins are being created, it will not even be detectable because, unlike Monero (and Verge), you can't verify the total amount of coins in the ZCash blockchain.” Verge had no pre-mine. Verge had no ICO. The entire Verge Team is composed of pro-bono volunteers, including yours truly. That’s right. We work for free. Why? Because that’s how much sheer belief we have in Verge and we don’t have a “golden parachute” end game like those involved with ZCash. Does ZCash have a multi-algorithm mining methodology to prevent the platform being controlled by a few centralized GPU-based mining farms? No it does not. They can be taken over, just like Bitcoin. Now, there is only one coin standing: Verge. by Michael Stollaire October 31, 2017
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