The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin’s Fungibility

The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin’s Fungibility

Many people within the cryptocurrency environment are on a quest for fungible digital currency transactions. Some have opted to use altcoins while others patiently wait for Bitcoin implementations like Schnorr signatures and Tumblebit. For the time being, there is a platform that Bitcoiners can experiment with that uses coinjoin transactions called Joinmarket.

Also read: Europe Lays Out Roadmap to Restrict Payments in Cash and Cryptocurrencies

Coinjoin Transactions Using Joinmarket

Joinmarket was announced by Bitcoin developer Chris Belcher on in January 2015. The platform operates on either Linux or Windows and aims to improve the privacy of bitcoin transactions. Joinmarket utilizes what’s called coinjoin transactions, which means the protocol mixes multiple people’s transactions together to create obfuscation against transaction analysis.

The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin's Fungibility
The concept of coinjoin transactions was first proposed by Bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell.

“A coinjoin transaction requires other people to take part,” explains Belcher’s announcement. “The right resources (coins) have to be in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity. This isn’t a software or tech problem, it is an economic problem. I propose a new kind of market is created that would allocate these resources in the best way.”

The protocol’s Github sources state that there are two groups within Joinmarket called market makers and market takers. By initiating a coinjoin transaction, takers pay a fee to the makers incentivizing both groups to perform the process.  “A form of smart contract is created, meaning the private keys will never be broadcasted outside of your computer, resulting in virtually zero risk of loss (aside from malware or bugs). As a result of free-market forces, the fees will eventually be next to nothing,” details Joinmarket.

The Joinmarket Community Wants to Improve Bitcoin's Fungibility
An example of a tested Joinmarket coinjoin transaction. Image courtesy of the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project.

Joinmarket’s Vulnerability This Past September

In September 2016, a vulnerability concern with Joinmarket was posted on Github. The announcement called “Joinmarket release 0.2.0 ameliorates this snooping attack” detailed that the platform’s privacy aspect was degraded.

“Joinmarket is a young project, there are some possible vulnerabilities which could be exploited to spy on every user,” explains Github issue #156. “It means that an attacker for free can learn what UTXOs belong to which maker, and can eliminate them when analyzing coinjoins on the blockchain. It’s not trivial to actually obtain all the UTXOs from a maker, but even learning a proportion of them is enough to spy on a large amount of coinjoins.”

This news caused concern towards using the project across many social cryptocurrency forums. However, crypto-privacy advocates still applauded the project and believed the platform was still in its infancy. Monero’s Riccardo Spagni had good things to say about Joinmarket when the vulnerability reached the public’s ears.    

I’ll still continue to promote Joinmarket as the best coinjoin implementation, and the best combination of trustlessness + privacy + ease-of-use + liquidity for bitcoiners who don’t want to use altcoins or OTC trades or mining.

Joinmarket is still a popular coinjoin application within the community. The platform’s developers had also addressed the snooping attack in a matter of days with Joinmarket’s release version 0.2 and asked the entire community to update.

JoinMarket 0.2 released! ameliorates the snooping attack! Protocol-breaking change so everyone must update

— JoinMarket (@joinmarket) September 11, 2016

The community of Joinmarket users has a very active subreddit, and IRC channel for issues with the platform and general development discussion. The protocol’s code is updated regularly and has a vast array of guides for users to implement Joinmarket to the Bitcoin client or Electrum wallet support. At press time, Joinmarket has 80 orders by 62 counterparties on the platform’s order book.

“[The] aim is to improve the confidentiality and privacy of bitcoin transactions, as well as improve the capacity of the blockchain, therefore reduce costs,” explains the platform developers. “The concept has enormous potential, but had not seen much usage despite the multiple projects that implement it.”

Have you tried Joinmarket? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wiki commons, and the Open Bitcoin Privacy Project.

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The Crypto Show with Brian Hoffman of OB1 & Daniel Diaz from Dash

Tonight we talk with Brian Hoffman CEO of Open Bazaar about the latest with OB1 and its addition of Tor to the protocol.Then we talk with Daniel Diaz of about a whole host of new features implemented by Dash like 12.1.1 and the addition of Dash to an exchange, mining and merchant service that is available world wide.

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BTC: 139R6K7fxTYaFf2aXTid84Le1ayqMVvSCq

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EU Parliament Report Recognizes the Bitcoin Blockchain’s ‘Dominance’

The European Parliament published an “in-depth analysis” on Tuesday on blockchain technology, focusing on “how Bitcoin’s dominance of the blockchain field could affect wider development of the technology and other applications of distributed ledgers”, its authors wrote. The 28-page report entitled ‘How blockchain technology could change our lives’ was put together by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).

Also read: Europe Committed to Tightening Digital Currency Rules by End of 2017 

Blockchains: Bitcoin’s vs Government’s

The purpose of the report is to assist the Members and staff of the Parliament “in their EU Parliament Report Recognizes the Bitcoin Blockchain’s 'Dominance'parliamentary work”. However, opinions expressed in it are of the authors alone. Two out of three authors, Philip Boucher and Mihalis Kritikos, are from the European Parliament’s Scientific Foresight Unit. The third, Susana Nascimento, is from the European Commission’s Foresight, Behavioural Insights and Design for Policy Unit.

The paper covers both the public and private sector’s use of blockchain technology and highlights the differences between the two. It explains that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies “could spearhead a process of decentralisation whereby the institutions that traditionally govern finances – including governments and banks – become less powerful”.

However, the authors also noted that “these same governments and banks are currently driving blockchain research and development in directions that suit their own purposes. These blockchains may prove less decentralised and transparent than others”. Citing use cases beyond the financial system, the report suggests that:

Bitcoin et al provide a wide user base, fertile spaces for experimentation and ‘fuel’ to propel new ideas forward. Even if Bitcoin does not revolutionise the financial system, it might well pave the way for other implementations that could offer serious benefits for supply chains and government services, for example.

Proof of Existence is no Patent Protection

The report went on to discuss blockchain proof of existence, citing that these low-cost services can make the current patent systems more efficient.EU Parliament Report Recognizes the Bitcoin Blockchain’s 'Dominance'

However, the authors warn: “It must be made clear that proof of existence via a blockchain (or, indeed, any other means) cannot be interpreted as equivalent to patent protection”.

They also explain that “For proof of existence provided by third parties, such as those that make use of the existing Bitcoin blockchain, to be accepted as a legitimate means for keeping records, they would have to be recognised as such by the appropriate enforcement bodies”.

Piggybacking Bitcoin Preferred

While claiming how transactions in Europe are usually already fast, cheap and secure, the report authors say users of blockchain applications see additional benefits in its transparency and immutability. They noted:

Indeed, since other applications can ‘piggyback’ the Bitcoin blockchain, the biggest impacts of Bitcoin may be found outside the currency domain. Transactions of any kind are usually faster and cheaper for the user when completed via a blockchain, and they also benefit from the protocol’s security.

Blockchain-enabled e-voting (BEV) is an example of a blockchain application in the report. BEV would allow voters to log and verify records that are transparent and distributed among users. The authors suggest that a cheap and easy way to develop BEV is to EU Parliament Report Recognizes the Bitcoin Blockchain’s 'Dominance'“’piggyback’ a more established blockchain, such as Bitcoin”.

The report also describes a greater social awareness of the blockchain’s usefulness, which it says coincides with a loss of trust in governments and the banking system. It states: “Indeed, there is a growing trend towards less trust in financial and governance institutions and greater social expectations of accountability and responsibility. The popularity of blockchain technology may also reflect an emerging social trend to prioritise transparency over anonymity”.

What do you think of this EU Parliament report? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and European Parliament is a unique online destination in the bitcoin universe. Buying bitcoin? Do it here. Want to speak your mind to other bitcoin users? Our forum is always open and censorship-free. Like to gamble? We even have a casino.

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Danish Police Surveil the Blockchain to Make Arrests

Danish law enforcement have arrested drug traffickers after an investigation that included surveilling the blockchain, according to the regional publication Berlingske. The Danish police’s cyber crime unit NC3 claim they have made arrests based on criminal activity tracked via bitcoin transactions. 

Law enforcement officials are indeed working with blockchain surveillance software globally, and even warning against the use of digital currency mixers.

Also read: Basel Institute: “Take Action Against Digital Currency Mixers/Tumblers”

Danish Cyber Crime Unit Analyzes Blockchain to Prosecute Drug Traffickers

Authorities Are Prosecuting Criminals With Bitcoin Transactions
The headquarters of the Danish police’s cyber crime unit NC3.

The chief of the Danish cyber crime unit, Kim Aarenstrup, has revealed authorities in the region created a tracking system that analyzes bitcoin transactions. Aarenstrup details the tool has helped police with two narcotics convictions. One arrest took place in January when Danish police arrested a young man for purchasing ketamine, cocaine, and amphetamines on darknet marketplaces. (DNM)

“Bitcoin — and virtual currency in general — is used a lot for trafficking in weapons and drugs, ransom cases and extortion cases,” Aarenstrup said. “It has become a heavily used tool for criminals. — We are pretty much unique in the world at this point because they’re not really any others who have managed to use these trails as evidence.”

The Danish prosecutor who worked on the convictions, Jesper Klyve, explained their blockchain analysis worked because the drug traffickers had correlated bitcoin transactions. Many services that offer bitcoin purchasing platforms follow strict KYC policies and buyers typically have to verify their identification.

Aarenstrup told the press the new blockchain surveillance system was “ground-breaking.”

Blockchain Surveillance Rising

Authorities Are Prosecuting Criminals With Bitcoin Transactions
Last year, Chainalysis raised $1.6M from European investors and partnered with Europol.

The Danish cyber crime unit is not the only agency utilizing blockchain surveillance software to capture criminals. There are four known startups using bitcoin transaction analysis tools and collaborating with law enforcement worldwide. Companies utilizing blockchain surveillance software include Elliptic, Chainalysis, Numisight, and Skry. Both Elliptic and Chainalysis have been working with law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Interpol, Europol and KYC/AML platform providers.

Last summer, Chainalysis detailed that the company was working with global authorities to combat ransomware. Michael Gronager, CEO and co-founder of Chainalysis, said at the time, “Expect to see some arrests soon as law enforcement agencies wrap up their investigations into several ransomware operations.”

In January, the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol, Interpol, and officials from Qatar warned against the use of bitcoin transaction mixers.

“All countries are advised to take action against digital currency mixers/tumblers,” they explained.

Bitcoin Anonymizing Tools Increasingly Popular

Alongside the rise of startups and law enforcement deploying blockchain surveillance, software developers are also creating privacy-centric transaction tools and concepts for Bitcoin. Ideas like Tumblebit, Schnorr signatures, confidential transactions, and other protocols are being developed. There are also in-production mixing services like Joinmarket, and anonymizing wallets like Samourai.

The privacy activists behind the Samourai wallet recently introduced features like Ricochet, and reusable payment codes. Samourai rebukes warnings made by bureaucrats and law enforcement against privacy-enhancing tools. In a recent blog post called “The Bureaucrats Are Coming”, the privacy-centric wallet developers explain they are ready to fight the state.  

Samourai will not cower to these ivory tower elites — We will actively work to destroy the effectiveness of any legislation or policy that is produced.

What do you think about law enforcement officials tracking bitcoin transactions? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Danish Cyber Crime Unit, and Chainalysis.

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Norways Govt Wealth Fund to Reinvest $90BN Is Bitcoin an Option

Anyone who has invested in Bitcoin since the market bottomed out after the Mt. Gox…nThe post Norway&8217s Gov&8217t Wealth Fund to Reinvest $90BN Is Bitcoin an Option appeared first on

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LocalBitcoins Trading Up 1,200 in China Since PBoCClampdown

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Blueprint to a Digital Scam OneCoin Prepares to Go Public

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The Tatiana Show – IP Special with Jeffrey Tucker, John Light & Justin Colletti

Tatiana and Josh talk IP (intellectual property) with industry experts Justin Colletti, John Light, and Jeffrey Tucker!

Topics Include:

–“The History of IP”

–“The Problems with Modern IP”

–“Is There a Libertarian Case for IP?”

–“Solutions for IP”

About the Guests:

-Jeffrey Tucker is Chief Liberty Officer and founder of, Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, a frequent contributor to Newsweek, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press. His new book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World , with an introduction by Patrick Byrne of and a foreword by investor Roger Ver.

-John Light is product marketer at Abra, co-founder of Bitseed, author of Bitcoin: Be Your Own Bank, free software advocate and contributor, and advisor to cryptocurrency startups and investors. He co-organized the Decentralized Web Summit in 2016, co-organized Blockstack Summit NYC in 2015, hosted the P2P Connects Us podcast, founded the Buttonwood SF bitcoin trading meetup in San Francisco, and is an avid reader and writer on the topics of peer-to-peer technology, philosophy, and culture.

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