Wasabi, an open-source Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, announced that it is working on a project that aims to enhance the privacy and experience of its CoinJoin users. As relayed to the media, the team is determined to overhaul its existing protocol. They dubbed the ongoing project as WabiSabi.
The team began as early as January 2020. New members had been hired to help with the development and implementation. Notably, the protocol overhaul’s ultimate goal is to enable users to mix their digital coins that carry different values. As claimed by the team, the project is the first of its kind, and it could open plenty of doors for new applications and use cases.
Ditching the old system
CoinJoin is a mixing protocol of Wasabi. When used and appropriately executed, users will be able to perform BTC transactions ambiguously. However, to do this, a required amount of BTC must be spent in a mixing pool, along other users. Then, similar amounts will be mixed together, and each user will receive the same amount of BTC without exposing their initial input. In case a user didn’t get the same amount after the mixing, the transaction will automatically be deanonymized –thanks to Blockchain monitoring and surveillance.
The existing system notably enables coordinators of CoinJoin to spy on users’ information. As explained by Max Hillebrand, a Wasabi contributor, a coordinator has the power to link the input to the change output. Furthermore, the coordinator can connect many inputs to a single user.
While Hillebrand clarified that a coordinator’s role wouldn’t be removed altogether by WabiSabi, he stressed that it would hinder the coordinator from tracking inputs to avoid privacy breach and data leaks. As explained, the coordinator role is still needed to run a frictionless protocol with the lowest possible amount of latency.
Introducing the new scheme
As explained, the WabiSabi will combine Pedersen commitments with KVAC (keyed-verification anonymous credentials). The latter is being used by Signal, a chat application for a group messaging encryption. If the team gets the project right, users can spend the amount they want when participating in a CoinJoin transaction. Furthermore, other features such as coinswapping and lightning channels will come into fruition as well, as noted by Adam Ficsor, the co-founder of Wasabi, who also works as a lead researcher for the firm.
Another improvement from the old scheme is that users will be able to send payments to another user via a Coinjoin transaction and that it will not be only about self-spending. Users will notably achieve these changes as the WabiSabi runs in the background.
But while the announcement might sound exciting for Coinjoin users, Wasabi’s lead developer clarified that the project is still in its infancy. They are still reviewing many aspects of the project, tackling potential challenges, and analyzing long-term function and impact.