by Nuno Menezes
On May 3, Samourai Wallet, arguably the most privacy-centric bitcoin wallet announced on its blog the release of several new updates which will bring a lot of new functionalities and diversified support.
The new update release will introduce full bech32 support, Boltzman and STONEWALL as well as enhanced Ricochet transactions. All these new implementations make the wallet fully compliant with BIP84 and capable of supporting Segwit addresses.
Full Bech32 Support
Full bech32 support provides the native way of encoding Segwit bitcoin addresses. With this new implementation, Samourai Wallet is now fully compliant with BIP84, which means that users are now able to send externally to bech32 encoded addresses as well as receive to their own bech32 encoded addresses.
Bech32 addresses start with ‘bc1’ and are not backward compatible. However, Samourai wallet can also generate of Segwit addresses that start with a ‘3,’ which will be backward compatible with all bitcoin wallets by default.
Boltzmann and STONEWALL
Samourai Wallet also introduced Boltzmann in December 2017, when it acquired the OXT block exploration platform which is in itself an audit system. This process involves running transactions through a script called Boltzmann which returns the entropy of the transaction measuring that way the linkability of inputs to outputs of a given transaction by determining the number of individual mappings of the inputs to outputs used in the transaction.
The Samourai team found that transactions sent via BIP126 may lead to less entropy than expected, hence more susceptible to clustering analysis. BIP126 defines the best practices for building transactions that minimize the leaking of personally identifiable information. To replace BIP126, the wallet is introducing STONEWALL as a replacement.
STONEWALL is a new send type available at no extra charge to all Samourai users, enabled by default and can be disabled in the Transaction Settings. STONEWALL activates a lot more times than BIP126 which means more transactions will benefit from its protection and the entropy is higher according to testing done by the team. With STONEWALL, the Samourai wallet will create transactions that simulates a CoinJoin transaction.
Samourai have made it clear they will further their open source R&D committed to maximizing the privacy of bitcoin users, with their blog post stating:
“Samourai users will see further integration with Boltzmann in the near future, including the ability to measure the entropy of transactions before they are broadcast directly in the wallet.”
For now, you can review the entropy of bitcoin transactions using the OXT Block Explorer.
Enhanced Ricochet Transactions
Ricochet is one of Samourai’s most popular features, providing protection from “blanket blacklists.” According to the post, “Blanket blacklists are a very primitive – and stupid – form of blockchain analysis relied upon by many exchanges that deal with fiat currency.” Blacklists look at four or five hops back of a coin’s history and are marked as high risk if an analytics company disagrees with something someone did with their bitcoin.
The Ricochet feature introduces additional ‘hops’ in between your transaction, distancing your sending address from the recipient’s address.
The company updated Ricochet to use native Segwit bech32 addresses for all the hop transactions resulting in lower total miner fees. Users will also have access to a lot more privacy with the introduction of a new algorithm that reduces the fingerprint of the Ricochet transaction on the blockchain, especially when combined with the Payments Number feature.
Samourai wallet version 0.98.5 is available to update via Google Play.