4 Best Bitcoin Privacy Products Everyone Should Know About

CoinJoin: Bitcoin privacy for the real world

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CoinJoin: Bitcoin privacy for the real world

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Epic Cash Vitex Exchange AMA

What is EPIC CASH?
Epic Cash is the final point in the journey toward true P2P internet cash, the cornerstone of a private financial system. The Epic currency aims to become the world’s most effective privacy-protecting form of digital money. In order to fulfill that goal, it satisfies the three principal functions of money:
1. Store of Value — can be saved, retrieved, and exchanged at a later time, and of predictable value when retrieved;
2. Medium of Exchange — anything accepted as representing a standard of value and exchangeable for goods or services;
3. Unit of Account — the unit by which the value of a thing is accounted for and compared.
Website: http://epic.tech Whitepapers: http://epic.tech/whitepaper Epic Cash Community: https://t.me/EpicCash Miner Chat: https://t.me/EpicMiners Gitlab: gitlab.com/epiccash Twitter: twitter.com/EpicCashTech Social Media: http://epic.tech/social-media Exchanges: https://epic.tech/service-list
Oleg✌🏻
Hello community! Our AMA with EPIC begins🚀 We are very happy to have you here, on our joint AMA👌 So, lets start! The very first question for you. Can you introduce yourself?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind” — we believe that the existing fiat money system enslaves people by unfairly confiscating their wealth through inflation. By using an honest money system such as Epic, we can improve the quality of life for billions of people worldwide.
Yoga Dude Hello, I am Yoga Dude 🙂 I handle Marketing and PR, in crypto since 2011 started as Bitcoin miner, and in 2014 in Monero, and in 2015 in Ethereum, oh and briefly in DOGE for fun and unexpected profit. Heard about Epic Cash while learning about the Mimblewimble algo and joined the team last year.
JLong I am John, Doing the general engineering and managerial work
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble I have been involved in early stage cryptos for the past 3 years, after building a global trading business for the past 20 years.
Oleg✌🏻 nice to meet you🙂
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Epic is a decentralized community project like Bitcoin or Monero, there is no central authority or corporation involved. We had no ICO and no premine, we had a fair launch at 0 supply last September.
Yoga Dude Great to meet everyone :)
Oleg✌🏻 Here we go the 1st question for you ~ 1. What is Epic Cash about?
Yoga Dude Epic Cash is designed to fulfill Satoshi’s original vision of P2P electronic cash, adjusting for what we learned from Bitcoin, a medium of exchange that is fast, free, open to all, while being private and fungible. We launched in September 2019 as a Proof of Work mineable crypto, without an ICO or a premine.
Oleg✌🏻 Look like a real Bitcoin🙂
Yoga Dude with privacy and fungibility 😄
Oleg✌🏻 Sounds cool! move on to the next question… 2. What makes Epic Cash better than Monero or other privacy coins?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble First off, we have a lot of respect for Monero and other privacy coins, we learned a lot from what they did right and what they did wrong, Our blockchain is much lighter than Monero or Bitcoin, our transaction engine is faster than Monero or ZCash. We use a three mining algo approach to allow more users the ability to obtain Epic Cash. We are a new, highly undervalued, coin and we look great not only for future use but for today's investment. Our blockchain is 90+% smaller than Monero or Bitcoin. Coins such as Zcash have optional privacy. Epic makes all transactions private, and it is impossible to trace movements of coins by watching wallet addresses.
Oleg✌🏻 Young and hot😋 security and privacy level is very important now but… 3. Why copy the same supply economics as Bitcoin?
Yoga Dude It is hard to compete with the success of Bitcoin today, part of the elegance and the appeal of Bitcoin is the responsible emission rate, terminating at 21million highly sub dividable coins. Like the Bitcoin supply curve, Epic Cash encourages early adopters, and with subsequent halvenings maintains a gradually diminishing flow of additional currency while preserving the overall value.
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble In 2028, the supply of Epic matches that of Bitcoin and they stay in sync until the final coin is mined in 2140. We have 4 halvenings between now and then, which is demonstrated in Bitcoin to drive the value over market cycles. Epic is a chance for people who were late to Bitcoin to ride the wave and not miss their opportunity this time.
Oleg✌🏻 Interesting! 4. Why Choose Epic Cash over Grin and Beam?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble First of all, we have tremendous respect for all Mimblewimble currencies and their talented teams, they all taught us a lot and we are thankful for that. Without sounding too contentious, the choice seems obvious. We offer the same core tech, but with a much more responsible emission curve — Grin is an endless fountain of emission and inflation (60 per second forever), and Beam is even more frontloaded outpacing even Grin’s aggressive emission schedule for the next several years… We respect Grin and Beam, we learned from them, and we believe we are the next evolutionary step. Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, we offer more ways to mine Epic Cash, both with GPU and CPU and ASICs, this gives us more potential users and miners, vs Grin and Beam that are only mineable with GPUs.
Yoga Dude Yes, all that ☝️😄
Oleg✌🏻 I hope the miners read it all carefully 👌 Next question 5. Why have a development fund tax and what will it be used for?
Yoga Dude Dev fund tax today is at a reasonable 7.77% dropping by 1.11% every year until it hits zero. As Epic Cash grows in value these funds will become increasingly more relevant in additional technical, marketing, and fintech partnerships developments.
Oleg✌🏻 Very smart! 6. What is the advantage of 3 mining algorithms?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble By having multiple mining algorithms we are able to attract CPU, GPU, and ASIC miners simultaneously. Currently all other Mimblewimble currencies are mineable with GPU only ignoring a large segment of CPU miners. Monero made a splash migrating to the RandomX CPU mining algo. Epic Cash from the beginning embraces all mining communities. Many miners are successfully using older hardware such as Xeon processors to help secure the network. We use RandomX for CPU, ProgPow for GPU, and Cuckoo for ASIC.
Longer term, our flexible architecture means we can have many algorithms, not just 3. Our roadmap includes an allocation for SHA3 Keccak, which will help further decentralize the network and keep it unstoppable.
Yoga Dude We love miners 🙂 and Epic Cash can be mined with laptops and gaming rigs 🙂
Oleg✌🏻 A wide selection of mining methods is a great way to create a stable, decentralized and large network👌 Let’s talk about persons… 7. Who are the people developing Epic Cash?
Yoga Dude We are blessed with a very talented team of skilled developers with diverse backgrounds, many of them are volunteers who believe in what Epic Cash stands for and contribute with product and usability innovation. Our teams main focus is to make Epic Cash the best, most secure, most user friendly and usable product on the market, without making it unnecessarily techie, with as much mainstream user appeal as possible. This is a serious challenge but we are up for it 😄
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble It is also important to note that we are a truly open ecosystem that anyone can participate in. Our community has developed wallets, mining pools, educational content, and much else besides. We are not limited by the funding generated during an ICO or VC investment, our users are an essential element of our team.
Oleg✌🏻 Sounds very attractive. 8. What do you think is currently lack in today’s crypto?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble We believe there is not enough privacy, anonymity and fungibility, although there is a growing awareness in the community as to why these are necessary. People are waking up to the fact that privacy is a right for everyone but today it is being exploited and violated by corporations, governments and unscrupulous individuals. Privacy does not mean that you have something to hide. We have doors on our houses, curtains on our windows, we wear clothes, and we have security on our bank accounts and businesses, not because we are criminals.
Fungibility (the property of not being able to distinguish one unit of currency from another) also has become a hot issue as people have started to get in trouble because of someone else’s misdeeds. Tainted money (coins that are blacklisted or restricted) is a problem for Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two cryptos today. Mimblewimble eliminates the risk of tainted coins making them indistinguishable from each other. With traceable coins, you always have to worry if the coins you are getting were involved in a hack, or perhaps the darknet.
Oleg✌🏻 It’s good to see strong and safe coin in our time Let’s talk about your future… 9. What does the Epic Cash roadmap look like going forward?
Yoga Dude First and foremost, we are focused on security and usability.
We are working on a new, improved GUI wallet to incorporate the community feedback on ways to improve it.
We are in the process of completing final testing phases for the next iteration of Epic Cash which will make it more secure and stable. Once that is done, we will be rolling out Android and iOS support to make Epic Cash usable on leading smartphones and smartwatches. Beyond that without going into too much detail we are focused on continuous evolution of privacy, ease of mining, and overall speed and usability.
And of course we are constantly looking to add more exchanges both with and without KYC.
Oleg✌🏻 Are you working on Android and IOS wallet ? What will your application be?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Yes, we will release a mobile wallet this year. It will bring us one step closer to people being able to actually use cryptocurrency as money in daily life.
Yoga Dude The idea is to be able to access Epic Cash from any platform and device
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Epic is very lightweight, which means that low-end devices such as smartwatches can participate.
Oleg✌🏻 Ok, got it. Thanks for clarification! 10. What else can you tell us about Epic Cash?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Well one thing I really want to mention is our great Epic Cash community. We’ve been building a decentralized community organically, without the talk of price pumps, pressure to HODL and other BS crypto-gimmicks. Our community is truly global and consists of developers, volunteers, miners, and other Epic enthusiasts spreading the word about Epic Cash, helping us reach millions of people around the world to improve their quality of life through social media and directly. Everyone is an evangelist, everyone is an influencer, everyone has the power to make the world a better place to live in. As we continue to grow — the future looks Epic 😊
Yoga Dude Definitely the community! We got a talented crowd of very cool and motivated people from all over the world!
Oleg✌🏻 Thank you guys, for such informative answers 🙂 Now we proceed to Section 3, where a Community can ask their questions to the EPIC team Now I’ll open chat for the quite some time … Oleg✌🏻 Thank you all, dear community! EPIC team, please choose the 10 best questions you want to answer.
AngeI Everyone likes Privacy & Epic Cash provides their Best Privacy to users But, Which Technologies are being used by Epic Cash to make Blockchain very Private and Completely untrackable ?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble From the wallet to the node, Epic uses Dandelion++ to bounce transactions around the world before they go into the mempool for mining. Within the blockchain itself, Cut-Through merges all transactions in a block together, with CoinJoin automatically mixing all coins.
Beyond that, there are no addresses, so it’s impossible to watch someone’s wallet.
Arnold Even litecoin is implementing mimblewimble, Don’t you think it’s a significant threat for Epic if they implement it, then why would anyone use a less popular and a new cryptocurrency.
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble LTC is implementing mw as an “extension block”, meaning that it is optional and not all transactions will use it. This is very different than the core protocol leveraging mw to make all transactions private and all coins fungible.
Aluta Why Epic cash so much focus on fungibility? Does fungibility matters that much?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Fungibility is going to be one of the key issues within the cryptocurrency space in the coming years. Today, if you accept traceable coins from a seller, you are liable if they have ever been used in any illegal activity. This has led to a two tier market where freshly minted coins sell for more than circulated coins. When coins are fungible, like Epic, you don’t have to worry that you will run into a problem when an exchange or merchant blocks your transaction.
Joxes It is a pleasure.
When I first researched EpicCash, google showed me a youtube video that talked about how to mine with EpicCash. It made me ask: is this mining activity profitable so far?
We are in the early stages of development I guess, what adoption strategies are you taking to have sustained growth? is it feasible to reach N ° 500 rank in coinmarketcap in the medium term?
Yoga Dude When I got into crypto, it was by mining Bitcoin back in 2011 when you could still solve blocks on a single computer, but Bitcoin at the time was anything but profitable 😄 Today Epic Cash is still new, still young, and still undervalued. I believe it is mining-worthy because of its potential, not because of today’s price. By allowing Epic Cash to be mined with GPU and CPU on gaming rigs, servers, and even laptops we offer maximum public participation in our project. More people involved in the project, the more evangelists there are. We empower people to mine Epic Cash and to promote it.
S.P.A.D.E What new features of Epic Cash provide that Grin or Beam does not offer. Why do we need Epic Cash?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble They are great coins, but there are some ways in which Epic improves. Epic has better tokenomics than Grin and a more sustainable model than Beam, that has a company behind it that needs to repay investors via its high dev tax. this article explains in more detail https://medium.com/@frodofreeman/overview-of-mimblewimble-cryptocurrencies-7c70be146f50
Sahil What’s the Minimum Hardware / setup Required for Mining of EPIC Cash coins? Is Mining Profitable and Can we Mine EPIC Cash coins at Home?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble It is possible to mine on an ordinary laptop or desktop from the last 5 years, sometimes older. Epic is open to everyone, and our friendly community is standing by to help you get started at t.me/epicminers
Erven James Sato “TOKEN BURN” is BENEFECIAL for any projects, in able to CONTROL THE NUMBER OF TOKEN CIRCULATION and TO PROVIDE GREATER INCENTIVES TO INVESTORS.
Does your GREAT PROJECT have plan about TOKEN BURN?
Xenolink For deflating projects It is beneficial to drive the demand / scarcity / and price up in a faster pace. Epic Cash is here for the organic long run not the short run. However when it comes to long term economics elastic supplies whether inflating or deflating will not be a solid long term economic model. This has been heavily discussed already with Bitcoins inelastic Fixed 21 million supply in the past. Having a fixed model demonstrates good long term economics without worrying about balancing a deflating/inflating model. Bitcoin is a perfect example of a 21 million inelastic fixed supply model that has been proving itself till today. Which is why we are also using the same fixed 21 million supply model. Epic Cash plans to have a solid organic long term future to bring free private fungible money and make this world a better place.
Red Z🔥🤙 No one predicted the COVID-19 pandemic while developing their business model. But the crisis and recession of the global economy is our present with you and it affects all sectors, including blockchain. Will you make or have already made changes to the project roadmap, tokenomics? Do you have a plan in case the situation does not improve in the coming months and will affect the crypto industry even more?
Yoga Dude One thing we have seen as the result of the COVID-19 is more governments are talking about moving to digital cash — digital dollar in USA, digital Lira in Turkey, etc… If in the past the idea of digital money was not graspable by some people, today its the governments that are educating the people for us about the value of digital currency… What is ironic, the governments, by printing money to solve the economic consequences of COVID-19 also educating the consumer about the true “value” of fiat… What we offer is a touch free, borderless, private, anonymous, fungible currency that can not be printed beyond the initial defined algo. We are more responsible than the printing presses of the governments 🤔
kunlefighter How does the Dandelion++ Protocol, Confidential Transactions (CT) and CoinJoin assist in protecting the privacy of individuals and their transactions on Epic Cash Blockchain?
Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Dandelion++ bounces transactions around before committing them to the blockchain, making it impossible to determine where they originated from. Confidential Transactions means that all tx are private, you can’t tell anything about where the coins have been or who they belonged to. CoinJoin in essence melts down and re-mints each coin every time it is used, making it impossible to track their ownership or usage history. Epic provides comprehensive privacy to everyone, without the compromises that other pre-mimblewimble coins have.
Dr Mönica Hello sir @maxfreeman4 @Johnsstec @Yogadude
Thanks for the ama I notice that Epic Cash has 2 type of new algorithm, progPoW version 0.15.0 and randomX version 1.0.3 NOW , CAN you tell me why you choose these 2 algorithm???
Yoga Dude We went with RandomX because it is a solid and very popular CPU centric algo used by several coins — most recently Monero. Most miners today heavily favor ASICs or GPUs, leaving a lot of solid high end users in the dust unable to mine emerging cryptos. As far as ProgPow, again its an established algo for GPU miners, and thanks to many cryptos starting with Bitcoin/Monero/Ethe etc there is no shortage of GPU rigs out there :) plus again the casual user with a video gaming caliber card can get in on the action.
Oleg✌🏻 Perfect! It was a great AMA, but it is coming to an end, thanks to everyone who was with us. Thanks EPIC team for taking the time👏. I hope our projects will be able to collaborate even more closely in the future and achieve new successes. Cheers!🎉
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Anonymity & Cryptocurrency: A Few Tips On How To Keep Your Privacy

Unfortunately, anonymity isn’t something that you think about as being valuable. But as Edward Snowden points out in one of his interviews, “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
https://preview.redd.it/a2t5wii1wnj41.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=df6889e510a2a0b231614636d0b6c1ac7be7e2c4
Many people are going up against online anonymity, mainly because it has the potential to enable and encourage undesirable behavior or illegal activity. State institutions and corporations are trying to limit the ability to use networks without authorization, allegedly in an attempt to increase security.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that private information that falls into the wrong hands can be used for mean purposes in many ways. Dozens of examples truly highlight the need for online anonymity today. Without it, people’s lives can easily be ruined forever.
Financial and personal freedom are the main reasons why people started using cryptocurrencies. But using Bitcoin itself can not guaranty anonymity. They are not linked to a person or identity, so the name, e-mail or physical address can’t be found in the transaction. But public addresses we use publically recorded on the blockchain, so a person can be tracked down using this information and ID.
Here are some methods to keep your identity safe.
Use logless VPN
Virtual Private Network encrypts all of your Internet traffic and routes it through multiple servers at different locations before arriving at the final location. Using a VPN is one of the simplest ways to cover your digital tracks. Logless VPN services don’t store the history of your activities, some of them provide one IP address for several users, making it difficult to isolate one person among them.
It is highly recommended to avoid US/UK-based VPN services due to strict surveillance regimes in these countries.
Also, you should keep in mind that some exchangers’ security systems treating logging into an account with numerous different country IPs as suspicious which can lead to blocking your account.
Register a separate email
Never use personal or working email for the needs of the crypto. If hackers gain access to it that can ruin your life in many aspects at once.
A significant advantage will be the use of burner emails such as Guerrilla Mail and Temp Mail, or highly protected services like ProtonMail or Tutanota.
Don’t forget about common security rules such as using a strong password that contains different case letters, numbers and symbols. Keeping passwords and keys on your devices is definitely not safe, better write it down in an old-fashioned pen-paper way.
Create new blockchain address
Make new addresses for every single transaction you make. More than half of all transactions in the BTC network go through wallets that have been in use at least once. Over time this practice will build up a list of transactions associated with one wallet. Using some manipulations those transactions could be easily associated with a real-world identity as well as your wallet could be simply hacked and robbed.
Avoid KYC and AML using services
Know Your Client is a policy used by many companies in which each client is required to provide credentials such as ID documents to use a company’s service. Anti-Money Laundry consists of KYC procedures and ongoing risk assessment and monitoring of transactions. Such actions are implemented in the best interest of protecting users of cryptocurrency platforms but left no chance to stay anonymous.
Nowadays most of the crypto markets and exchanges require passing identity verification due to the growing control from the state institutions. However, there are some that allow you to remain anonymous unless you are withdrawing a large amount (Binance, Bitfinex, KuCoin, etc.). In such circumstances, decentralized exchanges seem like a good option.
Use Anonymity-Centric Cryptocurrencies
As mentioned earlier, blockchain analysis based on knowledge of the amount and time of the sent transaction allows hackers to attack user’s wallets and gain access to their data. As a reaction to this was developing coins with anonymity as the main priority.
At the moment, Monero is the most popular of the anonymity-centric cryptocurrencies. It has a complex of cryptographical tools for obfuscating traces of the original transaction. Its RingCT Protocol hides the sender, recipient and transfers amounts. After the transaction is completed, it is signed and receives a time-stamp using a ring signature, where collected group’s public keys, but the private key of the specific sender is not displayed.
Another private currency’s Dash work is based on the CoinJoin technology. The idea of the process is very simple: several transactions are mixed into one, so it is impossible to determine what amounts were transferred and by whom.
Zcash currency uses the Zero-Knowledge Proof commitment scheme to validate transactions without revealing information about them. Protocol, called Zk-SNARKs, comprises three algorithms that generate proof and verification keys, calculate the proof and verify the authenticity of the secret information. The obvious drawback of this mechanism is extremely massive complex calculations that require enormous capacity.
Even if complete anonymity seems not possible, following the above rules will help you avoid a lot of trouble.
You should be extra meticulous in the process of choosing currency and an exchanger, keeping in mind where and what personal information you provide.
If you need to exchange your coins private and without registration – StealthEX is here for you. Just go to http://stealthex.io and choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. Then follow these easy steps:
✔ Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example ETH to BTC.
✔ Press the “Start exchange” button.
✔ Provide the recipient address to which the coins will be transferred.
✔ Move your cryptocurrency for the exchange.
✔ Receive your coins.
Follow us on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit to get StealthEX.io updates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
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/r/Bitcoin FAQ - Newcomers please read

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
For some more great introductory videos check out Andreas Antonopoulos's YouTube playlists, he is probably the best bitcoin educator out there today. Also have to give mention to James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series. Lots of additional video resources can be found at the videos wiki page or /BitcoinTV.
Key properties of bitcoin
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found here. Bitcoin statistics can be found here, here and here. Developer resources can be found here and here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here. The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here. Scaling resources here, and of course the whitepaper that started it all.

Where can I buy bitcoins?

BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com and Howtobuybitcoin.io are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also, check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Bank Transfer Credit / Debit card Cash
Coinbase Coinbase LocalBitcoins
Gemini Bitstamp LibertyX
GDAX Bitit Mycelium LocalTrader
Bitstamp Cex.io BitQuick
Kraken CoinMama WallofCoins
Xapo BitcoinOTC
Cex.io
itBit
Bitit
Bitsquare
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Cashila or Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Android iOs Desktop
Mycelium BreadWallet Electrum
CoPay AirBitz Armory
Another interesting use case for physical storage/transfer is the Opendime. Opendime is a small USB stick that allows you to spend Bitcoin by physically passing it along so it's anonymous and tangible like cash.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy
Android Android
iOS iOS

Where can I spend bitcoins?

A more comprehensive list can be found at the Trade FAQ but some more commons ones are below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Steam, HumbleBundle, Games Planet, itch.io, g2g and kinguin For when you need to get your game on
Microsoft Xbox games, phone apps and software
Spendabit, The Bitcoin Shop, Overstock, DuoSearch, The Bitcoin Directory and BazaarBay Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Cashila, Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, Pey.de, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Hyphen.to, Coinsfer, GetPaidinBitcoin, Coins.co.th, More #1, #2 Bill payment
Foodler, Menufy, Takeaway, Thuisbezorgd NL, Pizza For Coins Takeout delivered to your door!
Expedia, Cheapair, Lot, Destinia, BTCTrip, Abitsky, SkyTours, Fluege the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
BoltVM, BitHost VPS service
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun For new domain name registration
Stampnik and GetUSPS Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Reddit Gold Premium membership which can be gifted to others
Coinmap, 99Bitcoins and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations, such as Wikipedia, Red Cross, Amnesty International, United Way, ACLU and the EFF. You can find a longer list here.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. Bitseed is an easy option for getting set up. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, XBTfreelancer, Cryptogrind, Bitlancerr, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, Rein Project Freelancing
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
Watchmybit, Streamium.io, OTika.tv, XOtika.tv NSFW, /GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Video Streaming
Bitasker, BitforTip, WillPayCoin Tasks
Supload.com, SatoshiBox, JoyStream, File Army File/Image Sharing
CoinAd, A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins)

Bitcoin Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network, Amiko Pay, and Strawpay Payment channels for network scaling
Blockstream and Drivechain Sidechains
21, Inc. Open source library for the machine payable web
ShapeShift.io Trade between bitcoins and altcoins easily
Open Transactions, Counterparty, Omni, Open Assets, Symbiont and Chain Financial asset platforms
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Mirror Smart contracts
Mediachain Decentralized media library
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
Samourai and Dark Wallet - abandoned Privacy-enhancing wallets
JoinMarket CoinJoin implementation (Increase privacy and/or Earn interest on bitcoin holdings)
Coinffeine and Bitsquare Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase and Bitrated Identity & Reputation management
Bitmesh and Telehash Mesh networking
JoyStream BitTorrent client with paid seeding
MORPHiS Decentralized, encrypted internet
Storj and Sia Decentralized file storage
Streamium and Faradam Pay in real time for on-demand services
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
bitSIM PIN secure hardware token between SIM & Phone
Identifi Decentralized address book w/ ratings system
Coinometrics Institutional-level Bitcoin Data & Research
Blocktrail and BitGo Multisig bitcoin API
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library
Insight Open source blockchain API
Leet Kill your friends and take their money ;)

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm)
microbitcoin μBTC 1,000,000 per bitcoin SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm)
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BinaryResult to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

/r/Bitcoin FAQ - Newcomers please read

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
Some great introductions for new users are My first bitcoin, Bitcoin explained and ELI5 Bitcoin. Also, the following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
Also have to give mention to Lopp.net, the Princeton crypto series and James D'Angelo's Bitcoin 101 Blackboard series. Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute. Bitcoin statistics can be found here, here and here. Developer resources can be found here, here and here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here. Potential upcoming protocol improvements here. Scaling resources here. The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here (LOL!), and of course Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper that started it all! :)
Key properties of bitcoin

Where can I buy bitcoins?

Bitcoin.org, BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com and Howtobuybitcoin.io are helpful sites for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also, check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Bank Transfer Credit / Debit card Cash
Gemini Bitstamp LocalBitcoins
Bitstamp Bitit Mycelium LocalTrader
BitFinex Cex.io LibertyX
Cex.io CoinMama WallofCoins
Xapo Spectrocoin BitcoinOTC
Kraken Luno BitQuick
itBit
HitBTC
Bitit
Bisq (decentralized)
Luno
Spectrocoin
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Android iOs Desktop
Samouari BreadWallet Electrum
Another interesting use case for physical storage/transfer is the Opendime. Opendime is a small USB stick that allows you to spend Bitcoin by physically passing it along so it's anonymous and tangible like cash.
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy
Android Android
iOS iOS

Where can I spend bitcoins?

Check out spendabit or bitcoin directory for some good options, some of the more commons ones are listed below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Steam, HumbleBundle, Games Planet, itch.io, g2g and kinguin For when you need to get your game on
Microsoft Xbox games, phone apps and software
Spendabit, Overstock, The Bitcoin Directory and BazaarBay Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg and Dell For all your electronics needs
Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Hyphen.to, Coinsfer, More #1, #2 Bill payment
Menufy, Takeaway, Thuisbezorgd NL, Pizza For Coins Takeout delivered to your door!
Expedia, Cheapair, Lot, Destinia, BTCTrip, Abitsky, SkyTours, Fluege the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
BitHost VPS service
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap, Porkbun For new domain name registration
Stampnik Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Reddit Gold Premium membership which can be gifted to others
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations, such as Wikipedia, United Way, ACLU and the EFF. You can find a longer list here.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. Bitseed is an easy option for getting set up. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
WorkingForBitcoins, Bitwage, XBTfreelancer, Cryptogrind, Bitlancerr, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, Rein Project Freelancing
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
Streamium.io, XOtika.tv NSFW, /GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Video Streaming
Bitasker, BitforTip Tasks
Supload.com, SatoshiBox, JoyStream, File Army File/Image Sharing
CoinAd, A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins)

Bitcoin Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network, Amiko Pay, and Strawpay Payment channels for network scaling
Blockstream, Rootstock and Drivechain Sidechains
21, Inc. Open source library for the machine payable web
ShapeShift.io Trade between bitcoins and altcoins easily
Open Transactions, Counterparty, Omni, Open Assets, Symbiont and Chain Financial asset platforms
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Mediachain Decentralized media library
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
Samourai and Dark Wallet - abandoned Privacy-enhancing wallets
JoinMarket CoinJoin implementation (Increase privacy and/or Earn interest on bitcoin holdings)
Coinffeine and Bisq Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase and Bitrated Identity & Reputation management
Telehash Mesh networking
JoyStream BitTorrent client with paid seeding
MORPHiS Decentralized, encrypted internet
Storj and Sia Decentralized file storage
Streamium Pay in real time for on-demand services
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
bitSIM PIN secure hardware token between SIM & Phone
Identifi Decentralized address book w/ ratings system
BitGo Multisig bitcoin API
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library
Insight Open source blockchain API
Leet Kill your friends and take their money ;)

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm)
microbitcoin μBTC 1,000,000 per bitcoin SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm)
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $10000 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BinaryResult to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

/r/Bitcoin FAQ - Newcomers please read

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
For lots of additional video resources check out the videos wiki page or /BitcoinTV.
Key properties of bitcoin
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found here. Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here and here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here. The number of times Bitcoin was declared dead by the media can be found here. Scaling resources here, and of course the whitepaper that started it all.

Where can I buy bitcoins?

BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com is a very helpful site for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also, check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Bank Transfer Credit / Debit card Cash
Coinbase Coinbase LocalBitcoins
Gemini Bitstamp LibertyX
GDAX Bitit Mycelium LocalTrader
Bitstamp Cex.io BitQuick
Kraken CoinMama WallofCoins
Xapo BitcoinOTC
Cex.io
itBit
Bitit
Bitsquare
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Cashila or Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Android iOs Desktop
Mycelium BreadWallet Electrum
CoPay AirBitz Armory
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy
Android Android
iOS iOS

Where can I spend bitcoins?

A more comprehensive list can be found at the Trade FAQ but some more commons ones are below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Steam, HumbleBundle, GreenmanGaming, and Coinplay.io For when you need to get your game on
Microsoft Xbox games, phone apps and software
Spendabit, The Bitcoin Shop, Overstock, Rakuten, DuoSearch, The Bitcoin Directory and BazaarBay Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg, TigerDirect and Dell For all your electronics needs
Cashila, Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, Pey.de, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Hyphen.to, Coinsfer, GetPaidinBitcoin, Coins.co.th, More #1, #2 Bill payment
Foodler, Takeaway, Thuisbezorgd NL, Pizza For Coins Takeout delivered to your door!
Expedia, Cheapair, Lot, Destinia, BTCTrip, Abitsky, SkyTours, Fluege the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
BoltVM, BitHost VPS service
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap For new domain name registration
Stampnik and GetUSPS Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Reddit Gold Premium membership which can be gifted to others
Coinmap, 99Bitcoins and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations, such as Wikipedia, Red Cross, Amnesty International, United Way, ACLU and the EFF. You can find a longer list here.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. Bitseed is an easy option for getting set up. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
Bitwage, XBTfreelancer, Cryptogrind, Bitlancerr, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, Rein Project Freelancing
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
Watchmybit, Streamium.io, OTika.tv, XOtika.tv NSFW, /GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Video Streaming
Bitasker, BitforTip, WillPayCoin Tasks
Supload.com, SatoshiBox, JoyStream, File Army File/Image Sharing
CoinAd, A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins)

Bitcoin Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network, Amiko Pay, and Strawpay Payment channels for network scaling
Blockstream and Drivechain Sidechains
21, Inc. Open source library for the machine payable web
ShapeShift.io Trade between bitcoins and altcoins easily
Open Transactions, Counterparty, Omni, Open Assets, Symbiont and Chain Financial asset platforms
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Mirror Smart contracts
Mediachain Decentralized media library
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
Samourai and Dark Wallet - abandoned Privacy-enhancing wallets
JoinMarket CoinJoin implementation (Increase privacy and/or Earn interest on bitcoin holdings)
Coinffeine and Bitsquare Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase and Bitrated Identity & Reputation management
Bitmesh and Telehash Mesh networking
JoyStream BitTorrent client with paid seeding
MORPHiS Decentralized, encrypted internet
Storj and Sia Decentralized file storage
Streamium and Faradam Pay in real time for on-demand services
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
bitSIM PIN secure hardware token between SIM & Phone
Identifi Decentralized address book w/ ratings system
Coinometrics Institutional-level Bitcoin Data & Research
Blocktrail and BitGo Multisig bitcoin API
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library
Insight Open source blockchain API
Leet Kill your friends and take their money ;)

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm)
microbitcoin μBTC 1,000,000 per bitcoin SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm)
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BinaryResult to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

"Bitcoin is not something you build companies on top of. Bitcoin is something you build economies on top of" - Andreas Antonopolous

Transcribed by me from episode #385 of Let's Talk Bitcoin
Tweetstorm of the highlights: https://twitter.com/Sesame4Bitcoins/status/1087970527887667200
On the topic of different blockchains:
Jonathan Mohan: One of my favourite people to talk to about this is Joey from Augur because he tried to build Augur on top of Bitcoin. They [Bitcoin community] made him feel like he was the dick for even asking, that he was wasting their time. It was just a very toxic experience of trying to work with that community those developers who try to build on top of Bitcoin. He would turn to Ethereum and say, “hey, there's this bug I have that Ethereum can't handle,” and then a week later Vitalik would just update the Ethereum protocol.
Andreas Antonopolous: I think that's a perfect demonstration of not just the difference in philosophy but more importantly the difference in application space. The reason Bitcoin is, and has been, and continues to be conservatively developed is because its area of specialization is super robust, super secure, super deterministic, sound money, and operating in highly adversarial environments where you can't expect the goodwill and cooperation of anyone. Not the hardware vendors, not the miners, not world's governments, not institutions, and in that environment it serves some very important needs that don't exist in the world today.
To be truly neutral, truly sound global money, it has to do those things, and that means you can't have the kind of flexibility where one person decides let's add something to the protocol without very carefully thinking about all of the implications that has down the road - Bitcoin has specialized in that domain.
It's why even though I believe we'll have a proliferation of different currencies in the long run, none of those will be able to effectively compete for the one application of super secure robust sound money that survives adversarial environments. And for exactly that reason Ethereum, can't do that, will never do that. In fact, if it tries to do [sound money] it would actually destroy its other benefits (flexibility). Those are two different application spaces and you can't occupy both at the same time.
Sure, some developers are just dicks and that has nothing to do with with the underlying issue but some of that has to do with the fact that Bitcoin has to be more conservative in order to serve that application space. It cannot simply adopt changes without thinking very very far ahead about the implications those changes will have.
Bitcoin is not something you build companies on top of. Bitcoin is something you build economies on top of.
I never saw really Bitcoin as something that you build companies or apps on top of. The broader cryptocurrency space is playing that game out, and ironically, all of those other things/apps fail to work if you shut off the ability for them to have a sound, neutral money that can be exchanged no matter what, anywhere.
Adam B. Levine: So that kind of brings to mind another question, do you have any past strongly held convictions regarding Bitcoin or cryptocurrency where you've changed your mind?
Andreas M. Antonopolous: Back in 2015. I thought that we had to address scaling sooner rather than later, and I made some comments about that. I supported a tweet that Gavin Andresen made at the time about increasing the block size and that was a belief that I held strongly. Over the next year, I took a 180 and went in the exact opposite direction. The reason I made a 180 was really simple: from the very early stages, I believed in this idea that the protocol ossifies over time as it gets embedded in more devices. And once it's ossified, you can't make any changes. So I've always thought we have a narrowing window of things we can change in the core protocol to make improvements, the absolutely necessary improvements, before that window shuts, and then you can't make any changes.
It's like IPV4 - it's in too many devices, you can't even upgrade it anymore. I believe that's happening. When the scaling debates started I thought we had a window of about two to three years. The debate around scaling which turned into a power play demonstrated practically that that window had already closed for many controversial decisions. That we could not reach consensus, and that the power struggle and ability to make money in that power struggle was already trumping engineering. At that point I realized that in fact, that window was much narrower.
Once I realized that, I also understood that there are other more important things that need to be done first: privacy being the most important. And if we have a narrow window, privacy needs to be done in the base layer but scaling can be done in the second layer. Therefore I flipped. I've started believing that privacy was needed first and scalability could wait until later and mostly be done on the second layer quite effectively. I took a lot of flack for that, but it wasn't arbitrary. It was because the facts changed and based on new facts a strongly held opinion was worth nothing because I had to revise my understanding of the space.
Jonathan Mohan: I don't think the enemies of Bitcoin are the Rogers or the Bitcoin Cash guys. I think the real enemies are going to be the exchanges in the listing agents and what they will or will not allow to be called Bitcoin when a consumer presses “buy,” when Bitcoin ultimately does have privacy. There's no such thing as private money and I think that everyone says that. Bitcoin needs to be more like physical dollars, and I think that if you try to sell physical dollars today, you go to jail. I don't know how legal Bitcoin will be once it's made private and further I don't know to what extent any of the people we consider allies like the Coinbases of the world would in any way support a Bitcoin with privacy in it. I actually I think we're past the point of Bitcoin having privacy, and if a Bitcoin were to have privacy that it would be some marginalized fork that no one can get access to.
I think so my fear has always been: make sure you're building SSL not PGP. Cuz almost everyone uses SSL no one uses PGP. I think we're at the point now where the facts as they are, it's that if Bitcoin were to become truly private, it would be basically the PGP of Bitcoin and the one that isn't would be the SSL of Bitcoin.
Andreas Antonopolous: I really like the fact that all of the privacy developments right now, specifically things like taproot and graftroot are actually around obfuscation and plausible deniability to give the exchanges a “see no evil” out of exactly that conundrum. Meaning that if it looks like a payment to a public key and you can no longer tell the difference between that and a Coinjoin, you're done.
Stephanie Murphy: I don't know what the future is gonna look like, and nobody knows. We can speculate and think about it and it's really fun, but at the end of the day, none of us can really even imagine it fully and we're gonna have to wait and see what happens, but that’s part of the excitement. Being aware that you don't know is also exciting because you can just be surprised by what comes out and not try to control everything or plan everything.
Andreas Antonopolous: I'd like to take the opposite perspective, kind of more optimistic. Because what what you say is true and that's definitely happening but the opposite is also happening. Which is when I think that there's an intractable problem or a very hard problem that we seem stuck on, and then suddenly a brilliant solution emerges from nowhere that nobody expected. That was my experience with for example Ethereum. I had not imagined the application of smart contracts in the way Ethereum did it when it came out when I read that first whitepaper by Vitalik in 2014. I had not seen that coming. Mimble Wimble, Lightning Network, the softfork solutions in Segwit. There's all of these technologies and inventions that came out of nowhere, there was nothing really to prepare me for the idea that these were under development or that someone had thought of them, then boom, suddenly they're on the on the radar. So that's also another thing that makes this such an exciting space: can't predict anything other than it won't be boring.
submitted by lobt to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

The Best Privacy Coins Today: A Comparison

A little-known fact about cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and others, is that, contrary to popular belief, they aren't anonymous. Perhaps the belief that they are anonymous persists because rather than using real names in transactions, crypto transactions such as sending bitcoin from one wallet to another only require a string of text and numbers known as public addresses.
Public addresses, however, are pseudonymous, and still provide anyone with the sophistication and resources the ability to track down the personal details of the actors within an exchange. Within the last year, several well-known and popular figures within the cryptocurrency industry have had their identities and funds compromised, with millions of dollars lost.
Pseudonymity is not Anonymity
Just because your name, birthdate, and geographic location are not apparently tied to your cryptocurrency wallet doesn't mean that they can't be found out using your public address alone. The reason for this is simple: blockchain analysis. What is blockchain analysis? There are two forms of it; one is simple, the other much more sophisticated.
The simple version of blockchain analysis is one that anyone with access to the internet can perform. On any block explorer, whether it's for Bitcoin, Qtum, Neo, Ethereum, or Icon, you will find a search field into which any wallet address can be looked up. If you input your own public address, you will see the entire history of your financial activity on the blockchain laid bare. Who you've sent to, who you've received from, and what you own on the blockchain are all part of the public domain of blockchain information that is viewable by the world. If you're thinking that it's not a problem since you've got your public address shielding your real identity, then think again.
The sophisticated method of blockchain analysis aims to make connections and uncover a logic between different entities on blockchains. Essentially, this type of blockchain analysis views blockchains as massive Sudoku puzzles -- and with enough computer power and effective enough algorithms, patterns can be easily found on blockchains that lead hackers, blockchain analysis startups working for government organizations, and others straight to your actual identity.
Consider the way you entered into the cryptocurrency market in the first place. You had to buy bitcoin using Coinbase, Kraken, Bithumb, or another exchange with a fiat to crypto gateway. Doing so required your personal and bank details owing to the fact that regulated exchanges must comply with KYC (know-your-customer) and AML (anti-money-laundering) laws. After entering all of the required personal information, the exchange set about to confirm your details by sharing them with other third-party KYC organizations.
Finally, your documents and details were verified, allowing the chance to enter the market. After your you bought bitcoin, the natural thing to do was send it away from the exchange wallet and into your own software or hardware wallet. Then, perhaps you sent some bitcoin to Binance in order to buy a cryptocurrency asset such as ethereum. After purchasing ETH, perhaps you sent it back to your wallet before using it to participate in an ICO. This entire web of financial activity may seem disconnected and hard to trace, yet to a powerful enough blockchain analysis engine tracing all the way back to your initial exchange of purchase would have no problem at all uncovering your IP address and, eventually, your identity.
Using Anonymity to Protect your Digital Assets
The above scenario is in large part why privacy tokens such as Apollo Currency, Monero, Verge, and Dash have found popularity and value within cryptocurrency markets. Essentially, users are looking for a cryptocurrency asset which gives them the private, financial autonomy blockchain seemed to promise in its early days without being exposed to the possibility of being hacked, monitored, or otherwise controlled by outside parties.
Which Are the Best Coin for Anonymity?
The top contenders in the cryptocurrency marketplace for taking best privacy coin honors are Monero, Verge, and Dash, and Apollo Currency. Despite having some similarities, they are all in fact quite different. After the comparison, we'll share the reasons why three of these coins fail to provide adequate privacy while only one of them provides true anonymity and more.
Dash
Dash is a digital currency and payment network that places its privacy feature as an option rather than as the main feature. For this alone, it is already on the backfoot. Rather than have privacy built into every transaction as a standard, the Dash development team instead opted to give users the option to make transactions private using a feature called PrivateSend.
Despite having started out as Darkcoin, Dash changed paths and began focusing on mass-adoption and placed it's anonymity features to the side. As such, there are concerns around the centralization of Dash masternodes which are largely hosted by cloud AWS services leading to legitimate worry that government agencies could one day demand, and have access to, transaction logs.
Beyond this, Dash does not feature stealth addresses, encrypted messaging, IP masking, or a secure form of coin shuffling. Dash relies on CoinJoin for its PrivateSend feature which requires users to negotiate with each other during the transaction process.
Monero
Monero has the largest reputation when it comes to anonymous cryptocurrency. Apart from enjoying wide adoption and a stellar market capitalization, Monero is open-source and uses a proof-of-work algorithm for consensus along with RingCT signatures for privacy.
In sharp contrast to Dash, Monero is not a privacy-optional coin. Every transaction uses RingCT (confidential-transactions) to hide the sources of transactions in a given set. In theory, this should shield every transaction with anonymity, yet in practice, quite the opposite has been found. Researchers from MIT published a report titled "An Empirical Analysis of Traceability in the Monero Blockchain" wherein they revealed that they were able to trace 80% of Monero transactions prior to the integration of RingCT and 45% of transactions after its integration.
Beyond this, Monero lacks an encrypted messaging platform, does not mask IP addresses, does not function as a bitcoin mixer, and its proof-of-work consensus algorithm has significant negative effects on the environment.
Verge
Verge deserves a mention if only because of its bold claims. Prior to their Wraith update, Verge developers claimed that they would use Tor and I2P networks to anonymize user IP addresses. Unfortunately, not long after the Wraith update was announced, it appeared that Tor had not been integrated at all and several cryptocurrency whistleblower websites were able to track IP addresses involved in Verge transactions.
Initially called DogeCoinDark, Verge also uses two ledgers -- a private and a public ledger. This is to allow users the option of switching between ledgers depending on the type of transaction made and the level of disclosure the user prefers for that transaction. Like Monero, Verge lacks a coin shuffling function, claims to mask IP addresses but fails in practice, does not offer an alias system (meaning users can not encrypt text), and relies on a slow proof-of-work algorithm for consensus.
Apollo Currency
Apollo Currency picks up where privacy coins prior to it have left off and then goes several leaps further. Rather than offer a cut-rate privacy coin, Apollo has taken the strengths of other privacy coins and made them stronger, while also containing what they lack -- namely, real anonymity and financial freedom on the blockchain.
Apollo's Olympus Protocol ushers forth a new paradigm of anonymous transactions using a host of innovations. IP masking via Tor will allow for untraceable transactions directly from the Apollo wallet without the risk of having a compromised IP address somewhere down the line. Apollo also features coin-shuffling which, like bitcoin mixing, is a process for coin anonymization that makes shuffled coins resistant to tracing and blockchain analysis.
The way this works is simple - Apollo users simply send their coins through the shuffling mechanism which then pools user coins together, mixes them, then sends each user their specified amount of coins back from different sources than they started with. The result is complete anonymity and a break in the connection between sending and receiving addresses.
Apollo's encrypted messaging platform furthers the total anonymity offered by the currency. Users can communicate and transfer files without a trace, all the while having their IP addresses masked by Olympus Protocol.
Conclusion
Until Monero and Verge clear up the allegations made by researchers from MIT and other institutions that users are vulnerable to having their IP addresses exposed, I would steer clear of them. Dash and Apollo Currency are proven and both offer coin shuffling which is a real, proven coin anonymization technique that offers the best of privacy.
As always, it's best to DYOR (do your own research).
submitted by stardawg777 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Call for testing: bustapay :: a practical coinjoin protocol (BIP79) on mainnet! [With a small bounty!]

Originally inspired by pay 2 endpoint, I authored Bustapay :: a practical coinjoin protocol which is a simple payment protocol with truly outsized privacy gains.
After a lot of private testing, I am happy to announce that it's ready for some real-world testing. One of (the?) the largest bitcoin casinos (bustabit) has (quietly) implemented bustapay receive support. As bustabit averages several million dollars worth of volume per day, this represents a huge opportunity to see how bustapay's privacy benefits work in the real world. Bustabit already employs unparalleled bitcoin privacy techniques (custom coin selection, change avoidance, address reuse avoidance, optional batching, randomized wallet behavior etc) but companies like chainalysis have proven to employ rather effective heuristics that lead to much better results than you would first suspect.
It is my belief that if we can get even a small amount (say 1%) of transactions using bustapay, we will totally destroy their ability to analyze the wallet. So that is what I am asking for us to try today. I know someone with access to chainalysis who will be able to help me with a few queries (if anyone else wants to volunteer: please email me at [email protected] and your identity and all identifying queries you run will be kept absolutely confidential).
By helping test, you will also obfuscate your wallet hugely! But please be aware that your wallet will likely be confused as being part of a casino, so only help if you don't mind! I will be happy to reimburse all reasonable txfees used for testing, and offering a free $10 of bitcoin to the first 100 people who test. (But please don't abuse this. I will not pay anyone who I suspect might not be an independent person).
Right now wallet support for bustapay is unfortunately lacking (please ask your favorite wallet about support!) but fortunately it's not too difficult to do with bitcoin core. I wrote a little utility to automate it, however I'd strongly advise against running arbitrary code like that as it's a ridiculous security risk. Plus by doing it manually you get to see the steps involved. So please instead use the manual instructions:
The procedure is as simple as:
Use: https://bustapayproxy.herokuapp.com/ as your "bustapay url"
(Important note: I run this service, it is not an official bustabit service. However the security model of bustapay makes it impossible for me to steal from you. It just allows me observe the transactions (which I will be doing for the purpose of monitoring how badly we confuse chainalysis). I promise to treat all information with due care and will delete it as soon as possible.
Now follow the manual instructions here: https://bustapay.com/manual.html
After 1 confirmation all funds will be in your bustabit account, which you can withdraw (no gambling required!).
P.S. If you want to try first with testnet, use: http://test.bustapay.com/get-newish-address to get a testnet address, and then use http://test.bustapay.com (NOTE: this is pretty much a blackhole, please don't expect the testnet coins back).
submitted by RHavar to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

/r/Bitcoin FAQ - Newcomers please read

Welcome to the /Bitcoin Sticky FAQ

You've probably been hearing a lot about Bitcoin recently and are wondering what's the big deal? Most of your questions should be answered by the resources below but if you have additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
The following videos are a good starting point for understanding how bitcoin works and a little about its long term potential:
For lots of additional video resources check out the videos wiki page or /BitcoinTV.
Key properties of bitcoin
Some excellent writing on Bitcoin's value proposition and future can be found here. Bitcoin statistics can be found here and here. Developer resources can be found here and here. Peer-reviewed research papers can be found here. Scaling resources here, and of course the whitepaper that started it all.

Where can I buy bitcoins?

BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com is a very helpful site for beginners. You can buy or sell any amount of bitcoin and there are several easy methods to purchase bitcoin with cash, credit card or bank transfer. Some of the more popular resources are below, also, check out the bitcoinity exchange resources for a larger list of options for purchases.
Bank Transfer / Credit card Cash
Coinbase LocalBitcoins
Gemini LibertyX
GDAX Mycelium LocalTrader
Poloniex BitQuick
Bitstamp WallofCoins
Kraken BitcoinOTC
Xapo
SnapCard
Cex.io
itBit
Bitit
Bitsquare
Here is a listing of local ATMs. If you would like your paycheck automatically converted to bitcoin use Cashila or Bitwage.
Note: Bitcoins are valued at whatever market price people are willing to pay for them in balancing act of supply vs demand. Unlike traditional markets, bitcoin markets operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Preev is a useful site that that shows how much various denominations of bitcoin are worth in different currencies. Alternatively you can just Google "1 bitcoin in (your local currency)".

Securing your bitcoins

With bitcoin you can "Be your own bank" and personally secure your bitcoins OR you can use third party companies aka "Bitcoin banks" which will hold the bitcoins for you.
Android iOs Desktop
Mycelium BreadWallet Electrum
CoPay AirBitz Armory
Note: For increased security, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) everywhere it is offered, including email!
2FA requires a second confirmation code to access your account, usually from a text message or app, making it much harder for thieves to gain access. Google Authenticator and Authy are the two most popular 2FA services, download links are below. Make sure you create backups of your 2FA codes.
Google Auth Authy
Android Android
iOS iOS

Where can I spend bitcoins?

A more comprehensive list can be found at the Trade FAQ but some more commons ones are below.
Store Product
Gyft Gift cards for hundreds of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Whole Foods, CVS, Lowes, Home Depot, iTunes, Best Buy, Sears, Kohls, eBay, GameStop, etc.
Steam, HumbleBundle, GreenmanGaming, and Coinplay.io For when you need to get your game on
Microsoft Xbox games, phone apps and software
Spendabit, The Bitcoin Shop, Overstock, Rakuten, DuoSearch, The Bitcoin Directory and BazaarBay Retail shopping with millions of results
ShakePay Generate one time use Visa cards in seconds
NewEgg, TigerDirect and Dell For all your electronics needs
Cashila, Bitwa.la, Coinbills, Piixpay, Bitbill.eu, Bylls, Coins.ph, Bitrefill, Pey.de, LivingRoomofSatoshi, Wagepoint, Hyphen.to, Coinsfer, GetPaidinBitcoin, Coins.co.th, More Bill payment
Foodler, Takeaway, Thuisbezorgd NL, Pizza For Coins Takeout delivered to your door!
Expedia, Cheapair, Lot, Destinia, BTCTrip, Abitsky, SkyTours, Fluege the Travel category on Gyft and 9flats For when you need to get away
BoltVM, BitHost VPS service
Cryptostorm, Mullvad, and PIA VPN services
Namecheap For new domain name registration
Stampnik and GetUSPS Discounted USPS Priority, Express, First-Class mail postage
Reddit Gold Premium membership which can be gifted to others
Coinmap and AirBitz are helpful to find local businesses accepting bitcoins. A good resource for UK residents is at wheretospendbitcoins.co.uk.
There are also lots of charities which accept bitcoin donations, such as Wikipedia, Red Cross, Amnesty International, United Way, ACLU and the EFF. You can find a longer list here.

Merchant Resources

There are several benefits to accepting bitcoin as a payment option if you are a merchant;
If you are interested in accepting bitcoin as a payment method, there are several options available;

Can I mine bitcoin?

Mining bitcoins can be a fun learning experience, but be aware that you will most likely operate at a loss. Newcomers are often advised to stay away from mining unless they are only interested in it as a hobby similar to folding at home. If you want to learn more about mining you can read more here. Still have mining questions? The crew at /BitcoinMining would be happy to help you out.
If you want to contribute to the bitcoin network by hosting the blockchain and propagating transactions you can run a full node using this setup guide. You can view the global node distribution here.

Earning bitcoins

Just like any other form of money, you can also earn bitcoins by being paid to do a job.
Site Description
Bitwage, XBTfreelancer, Cryptogrind, Bitlancerr, Coinality, Bitgigs, /Jobs4Bitcoins, Rein Project Freelancing
OpenBazaar, Purse.io, Bitify, /Bitmarket, 21 Market Marketplaces
Watchmybit, Streamium.io, OTika.tv, XOtika.tv NSFW, /GirlsGoneBitcoin NSFW Video Streaming
Bitasker, BitforTip, WillPayCoin Tasks
Supload.com, SatoshiBox, JoyStream, File Army File/Image Sharing
CoinAd, A-ads, Coinzilla.io Advertising
You can also earn bitcoins by participating as a market maker on JoinMarket by allowing users to perform CoinJoin transactions with your bitcoins for a small fee (requires you to already have some bitcoins)

Bitcoin Projects

The following is a short list of ongoing projects that might be worth taking a look at if you are interested in current development in the bitcoin space.
Project Description
Lightning Network, Amiko Pay, and Strawpay Payment channels for network scaling
Blockstream and Drivechain Sidechains
21, Inc. Open source library for the machine payable web
ShapeShift.io Trade between bitcoins and altcoins easily
Open Transactions, Counterparty, Omni, Open Assets, Symbiont and Chain Financial asset platforms
Hivemind and Augur Prediction markets
Mirror Smart contracts
Mediachain Decentralized media library
Tierion and Factom Records & Titles on the blockchain
BitMarkets, DropZone, Beaver and Open Bazaar Decentralized markets
Samourai and Dark Wallet - abandoned Privacy-enhancing wallets
JoinMarket CoinJoin implementation (Increase privacy and/or Earn interest on bitcoin holdings)
Coinffeine and Bitsquare Decentralized bitcoin exchanges
Keybase and Bitrated Identity & Reputation management
Bitmesh and Telehash Mesh networking
JoyStream BitTorrent client with paid seeding
MORPHiS Decentralized, encrypted internet
Storj and Sia Decentralized file storage
Streamium and Faradam Pay in real time for on-demand services
Abra Global P2P money transmitter network
bitSIM PIN secure hardware token between SIM & Phone
Identifi Decentralized address book w/ ratings system
Coinometrics Institutional-level Bitcoin Data & Research
Blocktrail and BitGo Multisig bitcoin API
Bitcore Open source Bitcoin javascript library
Insight Open source blockchain API
Leet Kill your friends and take their money ;)

Bitcoin Units

One Bitcoin is quite large (hundreds of £/$/€) so people often deal in smaller units. The most common subunits are listed below:
Unit Symbol Value Info
millibitcoin mBTC 1,000 per bitcoin SI unit for milli i.e. millilitre (mL) or millimetre (mm)
microbitcoin μBTC 1,000,000 per bitcoin SI unit for micro i.e microlitre (μL) or micrometre (μm)
bit bit 1,000,000 per bitcoin Colloquial "slang" term for microbitcoin
satoshi sat 100,000,000 per bitcoin Smallest unit in bitcoin, named after the inventor
For example, assuming an arbitrary exchange rate of $500 for one Bitcoin, a $10 meal would equal:
For more information check out the Bitcoin units wiki.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or stick around for our weekly Mentor Monday thread. If you decide to post a question in /Bitcoin, please use the search bar to see if it has been answered before, and remember to follow the community rules outlined on the sidebar to receive a better response. The mods are busy helping manage our community so please do not message them unless you notice problems with the functionality of the subreddit. A complete list of bitcoin related subreddits can be found here
Note: This is a community created FAQ. If you notice anything missing from the FAQ or that requires clarification you can edit it here and it will be included in the next revision pending approval.
Welcome to the Bitcoin community and the new decentralized economy!
submitted by BinaryResult to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Mimblewimble in IoT—Implementing privacy and anonymity in INT Transactions

Mimblewimble in IoT—Implementing privacy and anonymity in INT Transactions

https://preview.redd.it/kyigcq4j5p331.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=0584cd96378f51ead05b447397dcb0489995af4e

https://preview.redd.it/rfc3cw7q5p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2b10b33defa0b354e0144745dd20c2f257812f29

The years of 2017 and ’18 were years focused on the topic of scaling. Coins forked and projects were hyped with this word as their sole mantra. What this debate brought us were solutions and showed us where we are right now satisfying the current need when paired with a plan for the future. What will be the focus of years to come will be anonymity and fungibility in mass adoption.
In the quickly evolving world of connected data, privacy is becoming a topic of immediate importance. As it stands, we trust our privacy to centralized corporations where safety is ensured by the strength of your passwords and how much effort an attacker dedicates to breaking them. As we grow into the new age of the Internet, where all things are connected, trustless and cryptographic privacy must be at the base of all that it rests upon. In this future, what is at risk is not just photographs and credit card numbers, it is everything you interact with and the data it collects.
If the goal is to do this in a decentralized and trustless network, the challenge will be finding solutions that have a range of applicability that equal the diversity of the ecosystem with the ability to match the scales predicted. Understanding this, INT has begun research into implementing two different privacy protocols into their network that conquer two of the major necessities of IoT: scalable private transactions and private smart contracts.

Mimblewimble

One of the privacy protocols INT is looking into is Mimblewimble. Mimblewimble is a fairly new and novel implementation of the same elements of Elliptic-Curve Cryptography that serves as the basis of most cryptocurrencies.

https://preview.redd.it/dsr6s6vt5p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=0249e76907c3c583e565edf19276e2afaa15ae08

In bitcoin-wizards IRC channel in August 2016, an anonymous user posted a Tor link to a whitepaper claiming “an idea for improving privacy in bitcoin.” What followed was a blockchain proposal that uses a transaction construction radically different than anything seen today creating one of the most elegant uses of elliptic curve cryptography seen to date.
While the whitepaper posted was enough to lay out the ideas and reasoning to support the theory, it contained no explicit mathematics or security analysis. Andrew Poelstra, a mathematician and the Director of Research at Blockstream, immediately began analyzing its merits and over the next two months, created a detailed whitepaper [Poel16] outlining the cryptography, fundamental theorems, and protocol involved in creating a standalone blockchain.
What it sets out to do as a protocol is to wholly conceal the values in transactions and eliminate the need for addresses while simultaneously solving the scaling issue.

Confidential Transactions

Let’s say you want to hide the amount that you are sending. One great way to hide information that is well known and quick: hashing! Hashing allows you to deterministically produce a random string of constant length regardless of the size of the input, that is impossible to reverse. We could then hash the amount and send that in the transaction.

X = SHA256(amount)
or
4A44DC15364204A80FE80E9039455CC1608281820FE2B24F1E5233ADE6AF1DD5 = SHA256(10)

But since hashing is deterministic, all someone would have to do would be to catalog all the hashes for all possible amounts and the whole purpose for doing so in the first place would be nullified. So instead of just hashing the amount, lets first multiply this amount by a private blinding factor*.* If kept private, there is no way of knowing the amount inside the hash.

X = SHA256(blinding factor * amount)

This is called a commitment, you are committing to a value without revealing it and in a way that it cannot be changed without changing the resultant value of the commitment.
But how then would a node validate a transaction using this commitment scheme? At the very least, we need to prove that you satisfy two conditions; one, you have enough coins, and two, you are not creating coins in the process. The way most protocols validate this is by consuming a previous input transaction (or multiple) and in the process, creating an output that does not exceed the sum of the inputs. If we hash the values and have no way validate this condition, one could create coins out of thin air.

input(commit(bf,10), Alice) -> output(commit(bf,9), BOB), outputchange(commit(bf,5), Alice)
Or
input(4A44DC15364204A80FE80E9039455CC1608281820FE2B24F1E5233ADE6AF1DD5, Alice) ->
output(19581E27DE7CED00FF1CE50B2047E7A567C76B1CBAEBABE5EF03F7C3017BB5B7, Bob)
output(EF2D127DE37B942BAAD06145E54B0C619A1F22327B2EBBCFBEC78F5564AFE39D, Alice)

As shown above, the later hashed values look just as valid as anything else and result in Alice creating 4 coins and receiving them as change in her transaction. In any transaction, the sum of the inputs must equal the sum of the outputs. We need some way of doing mathematics on these hashed values to be able to prove:

commit(bf1,x) = commit(bf2,y1) + commit(bf3,y2)

which, if it is a valid transaction would be:

commit(bf1,x) - commit(bf2+bf3,y1+y2) = commit(bf1-(bf2+bf3),0)

Or just a commit of the leftover blinding factors.

By the virtue of hashing algorithms, this isn’t possible. To verify this we would have to make all blinding factors and amounts public. But in doing so, nothing is private. How then can we make a valued public that is made with a private-value in such a way that you cannot reverse engineer the private value and still validate it satisfies some condition? It sounds a bit like public and private key cryptography…
What we learned in our primer on Elliptic-Curve Cryptography was that by using an elliptic curve to define our number space, we can use a point on the curve, G, and multiply it by any number, x, and what you get is another valid point, P, on the same curve. This calculation is quick but in taking the resultant point and the publically known generator point G, it is practically impossible to figure out what multiplier was used. This way we can use the point P as the public key and the number x as the private key. Interestingly, they also have the curious property of being additive and communicative.
If you take point P which is xG and add point Q to it which is yG, its resulting point, W = P + Q, is equal to creating a new point with the combined numbers x+y. So:
https://preview.redd.it/yv0knclr6p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=9a3abccdc164e615651147141736356013e4b829
This property, homomorphism, allows us to do math with numbers we do not know.
So if instead of using the raw amount and blinding factor in our commit, we use them each multiplied by a known generator point on an elliptic curve. Our commit can now be defined as:
https://preview.redd.it/aas2wm0u6p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=c3ebb5728f755f30e878ce5f1885397f6667d4f3
This is called a Pedersen Commitment and serves as the core of all Confidential Transactions.
Let’s call the blinding factors r, and the amounts v, and use H and G as generator points on the same elliptic curve (without going deep into Schnorr signatures, we will just accept that we have to use two different points for the blinding factor and value commits for validation purposes**). Applying this to our previous commitments:
https://preview.redd.it/zf246t8z6p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=17e2e155c59002f05f38ccb27082f79a5dd98a1f
and using the communicative properties:
https://preview.redd.it/km4fuf017p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=13541d62ec3f6e5728388b7a8d995c3829364a42
which for a valid transaction, this would equal:
with ri, vi being the values for the input, ro,vo being the values for the output and rco, vco being the values for the change output.

This resultant difference is just a commit to the excess blinding factor, also called a commitment-to-zero:
https://preview.redd.it/tqnwao667p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=9da5ecab5c670024f171a441e0d2477cf8f41a56
You can see that in any case where the blinding factors were selected randomly, the commit-to-zero will be non-zero and in fact, is still a valid point on the elliptic curve with a public key,
https://preview.redd.it/19ry9i297p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=4fb6628a01dc784816e1aea43cc0f5cfb025af52
And private key being the difference of the blinding factors.
So, if the sum of the inputs minus the sum of the outputs produces a valid public key on the curve, you know that the values have balanced to zero and no coins were created. If the resultant difference is not of the form
https://preview.redd.it/71mpdobb7p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=143d28da48d40208d5ef338444b3c7edea1fab9c
for some excess blinding factor, it would not be a valid public key on the curve, and we would know that it is not a balanced transaction. To prove this, the transaction is then signed with this public key to prove the transaction is balanced and that all blinding factors are known, and in the process, no information about the transaction have been revealed (the by step details of the signature process can be read in [Arvan19]).
All the above work assumed the numbers were positive. One could create just as valid of a balanced transaction with negative numbers, allowing users to create new coins with every transaction. Called Range Proofs, each transaction must be accompanied by a zero-knowledge argument of knowledge to prove that a private committed value lies within a predetermined range of values. Mimblewimble, as well as Monero, use BulletProofs which is a new way of calculating the proof which cuts down the size of the transaction by 80–90%.

*Average sizes of transactions seen in current networks or by assuming 2 input 2.5 output average tx size for MW

Up to this point, the protocol described is more-or-less identical between Mimblewimble and Monero. The point of deviation is how transactions are signed.
In Monero, there are two sets of keys/addresses, the spend keys, and the view keys. The spend key is used to generate and sign transactions, while the view key is used to “receive” transactions. Transactions are signed with what is called a Ring Signature which is derived from the output being spent, proving that one key out of the group of keys possesses the spend key. This is done by creating a combined Schnorr signature with your private key and a mix of decoy signers from the public keys of previous transactions. These decoy signers are all mathematically equally valid which results in an inability to determine which one is the real signer. Being that Monero uses Pedersen Commitments shown above, the addresses are never publically visible but are just used for the claiming, signing of transactions and generating blinding factors.
Mimblewimble, on the other hand, does not use addresses of any type. Yes. That’s right, no addresses. This is the true brilliance of the protocol. What Jedusor proved was that the blinding factors within the Pedersen commit and the commit-to-zero can be used as single-use public/private key pairs to create and sign transactions.
All address based protocols using elliptic-curve cryptography generate public-private key pairs in essentially the same way. By multiplying a very large random number (k_priv) by a point (G) on an elliptic curve, the result (K_pub) is another valid point on the same curve.
https://preview.redd.it/pt2xr33i7p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=1785cebcc842cab19b3987d848b2029032ae1195
This serves as the core of all address generation. Does that look familiar?
Remember this commit from above:
https://preview.redd.it/w9ooxudk7p331.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=d94ad3ac103352aa4c9653934d61cccc25a6bf8f
Each blinding factor multiplied by generator point G (in red) is exactly that! r•G is the public key with private key r! So instead of using addresses, we can use these blinding factors as proof we own the inputs and outputs by using these values to build the signature.
This seemingly minor change removes the linkability of addresses and the need for a scriptSig process to check for signature validity, which greatly simplifies the structure and size of Confidential Transactions. Of course, this means (at this time) that the transaction process requires interaction between parties to create signatures.

CoinJoin

Even though all addresses and amounts are now hidden, there is still some information that can be gathered from the transactions. In the above transaction format, it is still clear which outputs are consumed and what comes out of the transaction. This “transaction graph” can reveal information about the owners of the blinding factors and build a picture of the user based on seen transaction activity. In order to further hide and condense information, Mimblewimble implements an idea from Greg Maxwell called CoinJoin [Max13] which was originally developed for use in Bitcoin. CoinJoin is a trustless method for combining multiple inputs and outputs from multiple transactions, joining them into a single transaction. What this does is a mask that sender paid which recipient. To accomplish this in Bitcoin, users or wallets must interact to join transactions of like amounts so you cannot distinguish one from the other. If you were able to combine signatures without sharing private keys, you could create a combined signature for many transactions (like ring signatures) and not be bound by needing like amounts.

In this CoinJoin tx, 3 addresses have 4 outputs with no way of correlating who sent what
In Mimblewimble, doing the balance calculation for one transaction or many transactions still works out to a valid commit-to-zero. All we would need to do is to create a combined signature for the combined transaction. Mimblewimble is innately enabled to construct these combined signatures with the commit of Schnorr challenge transaction construction. Using “one-way aggregate signatures” (OWAS), nodes can combine transactions, while creating the block, into a single transaction with one aggregate signature. Using this, Mimblewimble joins all transactions at the block level, effectively creating each block as one big transaction of all inputs consumed and all outputs created. This simultaneously blurs the transaction graph and has the power to remove in-between transactions that were spent during the block, cutting down the total size of blocks and the size of the blockchain.

Cut-through

We can take this one step further. To validate this fully “joined” block, the node would sum all of the output commitments together, then subtract all the input commitments and validate that the result is a valid commit-to-zero. What is stopping us from only joining the transactions within a block? We could theoretically combine two blocks, removing any transactions that are created and spent in those blocks, and the result again is a valid transaction of just unspent commitments and nothing else. We could then do this all the way back to the genesis block, reducing the whole blockchain to just a state of unspent commitments. This is called Cut-through. When doing this, we don’t have any need to retain the range proofs of spent outputs, they have been verified and can be discarded. This lends itself to a massive reduction in blockchain growth, reducing growth from O*(number of txs)* to O*(number of unspent outputs)*.
To illustrate the impact of this, let’s imagine if Mimblewimble was implemented in the Bitcoin network from the beginning, with the network at block 576,000, the blockchain is about 210 GB with 413,675,000 total transactions and 55,400,000 total unspent outputs. In Mimblewimble, transaction outputs are about 5 kB (including range proof ~5 kB and Pedersen commit ~33 bytes), transaction inputs are about 32 bytes and transaction proof are about 105 bytes (commit-to-zero and signature), block headers are about 250 bytes (Merkle proof and PoW) and non-confidential transactions are negligible. This sums up to a staggering 5.3