Bitcoin, privacy and how to protect yourself: we spoke with the developer of the Samourai Wallet!

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When studying Bitcoin and its protocol, there are many surprises to be expected . The privacy is a serious matter that does not fail to debate the cryptosphère . It was as a bitcoin and privacy enthusiast that I discovered and introduced you to Samourai Wallet , as well as Joinmarket . This is how, like my new colleague Rogzy , I fell into the rabbit hole .

Twitter is a mine of information as long as we can remove the br o background uhaha which agitates continuously. This is how I had the chance to discover the developer Samourai Wallet ( @TDevD ) as well as a community eager to learn and share around Bitcoin and the defense of privacy. I can not help but share with you the account of @BitcoinQ_A which exposes the risks of compliance processes (Know Your Customer). For the more curious among you, you can find his writings right here .

Back to Samourai Wallet. Since my first article on this wallet , the Whirlpool bitcoin mixer has been natively integrated into the wallet and it has been possible for several months to mix your bitcoins with maximum entropy, directly from your mobile (or not), as we can see. in this transaction extract.

The interview itself

To better understand the developer’s approach , I suggested that he answer a few questions about Bitcoin , privacy and of course the famous “street wallet” .

In a few words, can you tell us about the history of Samourai Wallet, from its genesis to today?

In 2015, the Bitcoin space was already showing worrying signs : the desire of some to branch out into the world of classic finance , to want to leave the anonymity of the street to migrate tendentiously to Wall Street … and therefore to move away from its cypherpunk roots . Since then, the turnaround has been total, with a good part of the bitcoin players bowing their backs to the regulator (KYC / AML) and collaborating with financial intermediaries around the world, the very ones that bitcoin was supposed to fight during its creation.

Samourai Wallet therefore adopted a purely reactionary course of action . An open source software in “Unlicense”, free , anonymous , which works in satoshis only and without link to the fiat currency, but which also does everything possible to blur the tracks etched forever on an open blockchain and readable by all.

Precisely, in this context of a totally open and transparent register, what are the biggest challenges when developing a wallet built to protect privacy?

You put your finger on it. We must first and foremost focus on the Bitcoin register and the traces left there. Then, you must never get involved in collecting personal information and avoid like the plague any gateway with compliance procedures ( KYC / AML ).

We know Monero for its design that respects privacy and anonymity. Why insist on developing tools on Bitcoin?

Truth be told, Satoshi Nakamoto’s pseudonymous approach should have been sufficient, but it was without counting on the emergence of exchanges applying the harshest rules of surveillance possible , and having a storefront, and which now readily share all the data of their clients with the authorities … and this, with appalling zeal .

We have seen since last year that Monero is walking on Bitcoin’s beds in the black or gray market realm . This is a phenomenon all the more worrying as the Bitcoin players look elsewhere or show obvious bad faith and brush aside this evidence with the back of the hand using arguments that are most often worn out.

The resistance to censorship is one of the original pillars of Bitcoin. It is a principle that should not be renounced under any circumstances. This is what our development strategy is based on.