New data by Longhash shows that mixed cryptocurrency transactions, “CoinJoins”, are up 300% over a period of nine months.
[tweet https://twitter.com/longhashdata/status/1122905302125252614 align=’left’] The data was provided by Adam Fiscor, CTO of Wasabi Wallet, which is an implementation of the CoinJoin concept and has shown that mixing Bitcoin transactions is at its highest level since 2013-2014. Mixing had a step decline in 2014, mostly due to Blockchain removing their open-source implementation of CoinJoin in February 2014. Mixing later got a mild boost with JoinMarket becoming available in 2015, but volume still remained relatively low until Wasabi Wallet came to market and increased mixing transactions from 1.31% of the Bitcoin network in August 2018 to 4.09% today.
Since “CoinJoins make it more difficult to track funds on the blockchain”, but “the existence of these types of transactions are relatively easy to identify”, “Fiscor’s data pulls out transactions that have characteristics of CoinJoin transactions”. To pull out the relevant data to find these statistics, they require that “(1) the transaction has at least two outputs of equal value and (2) the value of the outputs is less than or equal to the value of the inputs”.
Mixed benefits of coinjoin services
In addition to CoinJoin for Bitcoin, there is CashShuffle for Bitcoin Cash that accomplishes a very similar feature of obscuring consumers’ funds and transactions. However, “CashShuffle and Wasabi rely on a single central server (although a number of servers are available for CashShuffle)”, which makes them still require a degree of trust by the user. Thus, these services advance cryptocurrency further than the pseudonymous attributes of regular cryptocurrency that can be tracked, but even more can be accomplished when mixing services are fully decentralized.
Additionally, since these services require upkeep, but also do not want to charge too high of fees, they still rely on donations to keep the services running. For example, CashShuffle recently ended a fundraising campaign that has raised over 40 BCH. However, the reliance on external funding is not always the best strategy since, as history has shown with Blockchain shutting down CoinJoin, projects can abruptly shut down and devastate a specific community.
Dash PrivateSend built into the network
Dash has its own form of mixing called PrivateSend, but instead of relying on third parties, PrivateSend is built into the network and utilizes Dash’s diverse masternode system. As a Dash developer previously pointed out, “Dash PrivateSend uses multiple rounds of mixing which should result in better privacy… CashShuffle and Wasabi use an enhanced version of CoinJoin which allows for enhanced single round privacy compared to Dash”. A few months ago, Dash released version 0.13, which included numerous upgrades to PrivateSend to increase speed and privacy. Now, PrivateSend offers a default of 4 and a maximum of 16 mixing rounds as opposed to the previous default of 2 and a maximum of 8, which increases overall obfuscation. Additionally, PrivateSend received a new denomination of 0.001 Dash to add to the other denominations of 10 Dash, 1 Dash, 0.1 Dash, and 0.01 Dash to help lower user fees. PrivateSend’s attributes make it a very competitive choice for the increasing number of consumers looking for enhanced privacy.