The US Government’s Mixed Signals on Digital Currency Privacy

To look at the U.S. government, it is the best of times and the worst of times for personal financial privacy.  On the one hand, in comments before the Senate Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his agency’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, is planning stricter regulations on anti-money laundering and crypto.  […]

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How Bitcoin’s Lightning Can Be Used for Private Messaging

Bitcoin’s lightning network might have a use case beyond faster and more scalable payments. Last week Lightning Labs developer Joost Jager revealed an experimental, new proof of concept: Whatsat, a version of lightning that can be used to send private messages. Like bitcoin, it’s censorship-resistant. But, unlike encrypted apps that morph messages into unreadable, garbled […]

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100 Bitcoin Users Perform What Might Be Largest ‘CoinJoin’ Transaction Ever

The community behind the privacy-centric bitcoin app Wasabi Wallet recently brought together 100 people to collectively execute a “CoinJoin” transaction on bitcoin in what might be the biggest event of its kind. Some context: bitcoin itself is far from private, as users can, via the blockchain, see where coins are being transferred to and from. […]

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Google Policy Change Forces Bitcoin Wallet to Remove Security Features

The team behind Samourai, the privacy-focused bitcoin wallet, has removed a series of key security-related features from a version of its app as a result of “extremely restrictive policies” by Google. Having released version 0.99.04 of its app Tuesday on the digital distribution service run by Google, called Google Play, Samourai explained in a blog […]

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2018: When Privacy and Decentralization Collided

Guy Zyskind is the CEO and co-founder of Enigma, a secure computation protocol that integrates with blockchains. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review. In 2018, two major long-term trends finally collided in a very public fashion. The first trend was the over-centralization of online platforms. For years, Facebook, Google and […]

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Free Software Messiah Richard Stallman: We Can Do Better Than Bitcoin

Richard Stallman, the fervently committed founder of the free software movement, is discussing the term “libertarian,” when he stops talking abruptly and says, “Hello?” I tell him I’m still listening, but he explains that the confused greeting wasn’t intended for me. Instead, he says a man’s voice – neither mine nor an echo of his […]

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