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A New Series Dives into the World of Privacy for Bitcoin: Cypherpunks 101

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A New Series Dives into the World of Privacy for Bitcoin: Cypherpunks 101

HiddenWallet and ZeroLink developer ‘nopara73’ recently published an article which has led to an interview series, called Cypherpunks 101,” and focuses on various aspects surrounding Bitcoin privacy. The first interview is held with Shinobimonkey and discusses the value of privacy, serving as a frame of reference for all future interviews.

The article, titled “Anonymous Bitcoin” discusses the importance of fungibility in any currency, not just bitcoin. It goes on to discuss that while there are many clear ways to anonymize bitcoin, none of them do it conveniently or cost-effectively.

The interview series takes key people behind what nopara73 calls “flagship project” in the blog post, in order to “cutting edge information” on the developments behind each project. It is also important to note that these implementations focus exclusively on bitcoin and none of the altcoins. The projects in the discussion are CoinJoin, Neutrino, CoinShuffle, ZeroLink, confidential transactions, bulletproofs, ValueShuffle, and Schnorr signatures.

Shinobimonkey is focused on the community, a moderator for the Bitcoin Core slack as well as runs his own chat server for more technical discussions. His primary focus is the “propagation of accurate information.”

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Shinobimonkey says privacy, in general, is crucial because it allows you to control what you share with the world. He argues that it’s also beneficial for peace of mind, safety, and your ability to navigate in the world socially. He was then asked for his opinion on several privacy implementations such as JoinMarket and Dandelion.

JoinMarket Praised as First ‘Usable Implementation of CoinJoin’

Shinobimonkey was impressed with JoinMarket in the interview, calling it the “first actual usable implementation of CoinJoin in a way to achieve privacy on the main chain.” He also admires its idea of monetizing it, with users paying for the liquidity to mix transactions.

The only negative comment he had was his worries regarding fees, especially when bitcoin transaction fees spike. When fees increase, there’s an exponential increase when it comes to mixing.

Later in the interview, he was also asked about what he would like to see in the future of Bitcoin. Shinobimonkey advocated the implementation of confidential transactions in the main chain safely, without the fear of secret inflation. He fears that this will never happen, but not for technological reasons:

“When you get to that level of privacy, I think it’s going to be a very contentious thing.”

Shinobimonkey is also not sure how many users would actually want that level of obscurity. He said when he first joined the Bitcoin scene, there existed a prevalent attitude that a certain level of obscurity for individuals was desirable but a higher level of transparency for governments and corporations. Confidential transactions would “throw this out the window.”

The next interview will be held with Adam Gibson, who is working on JoinMarket. You can watch the first episode here.

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