Dark Wallet


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Dark Wallet’ Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever

From left, Cody Wilson and Amir Taaki. Photo: Julia Robinson/WIRED

Government regulators around the world have spent the last year scrambling to prevent bitcoin from becoming the currency of choice for money launderers and black marketeers. Now their worst fears may be about to materialize in a single piece of software.

On Thursday, a collective of politically radical coders that calls itself unSystem plans to release the first version of Dark Wallet: a bitcoin application designed to protect its users’ identities far more strongly than the partial privacy protections bitcoin offers in its current form. If the program works as promised, it could neuter impending bitcoin regulations that seek to tie individuals’ identities to bitcoin ownership. By encrypting and mixing together its users’ payments, Dark Wallet seeks to enable practically untraceable flows of money online that add new fuel to the Web’s burgeoning black markets.

“This is a way of using bitcoin that mocks every attempt to sprinkle it with regulation,” says Cody Wilson, one of Dark Wallet’s two 26-year-old organizers. “It’s a way to say to the government ‘You’ve set yourself up to regulate bitcoin. Regulate this.’”

Here’s a teaser video the group posted earlier last week ahead of the software’s release:

Dark Wallet was conceived last summer by Wilson and Amir Taaki. Wilson first gained notoriety by creating the world’s first entirely 3D-printed gun; Taaki is an Iranian-British free-market anarchist and developer of high-profile bitcoin projects like the decentralized online marketplace prototype DarkMarket. Together theylaunched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in October that raised $50,000, along with tens of thousands more in bitcoin. The accompanying video promised what Wilson described as “a line in the sand” in the struggle over bitcoin’s political future. At a debate at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in March, Wilson described his intentions for Dark Wallet more directly: “It’s just money laundering software.”

Despite those provocations, financial regulators have kept mum about the project. The New York Department of Financial Services, which held hearings about bitcoin in January and says it plans to create a “bitlicense” for some bitcoin-based businesses, didn’t respond to a request for comment. In a statement to WIRED, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network wrote only that it’s “well aware of the many emerging technological efforts designed to subvert financial transparency. It’s certainly our business to be interested and vigilant with respect to any activities that may assist money laundering and other financial crimes.”

Wilson’s and Taaki’s money-laundering app is politically incendiary, but it’s not necessarily illegal, and they argue that the code is protected by First Amendment safeguards on free speech. But Wilson states plainly that he intends Dark Wallet to be used for anonymous online black markets like the Silk Road, the bitcoin-based drug bazaar seized by the FBI in October. “I want a private means for black market transactions,” says Wilson, “whether they’re for non-prescribed medical inhalers, MDMA for drug enthusiasts, or weapons.”

Nor does he deny that Dark Wallet might enable heinous crimes like child pornography, murder-for-hire, and terrorism. “Well, yes, bad things are going to happen on these marketplaces,” Wilson says. “Liberty is a dangerous thing.”

But as dangerous as Wilson’s vision may be, Dark Wallet also fills a real need for privacy in the bitcoin economy. Despite its reputation as an anonymous currency, bitcoin transactions are in some ways nakedly public–even more so than those made with traditional money. Every bitcoin payment is recorded in the public ledger known as the blockchain, copied to thousands of users’ computers and checked to prevent forgery and fraud in the Bitcoin network. If bitcoiners don’t take special pains to anonymize their coins, all of their spending can potentially be traced back to their bitcoin addresses by any corporation or government agency that cares to look.


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Hyper-Anonymising Bitcoin Service ‘Dark Wallet’

Stealthy transactions

Dark Wallet certainly isn’t the product of “an ideology of integration”. The online wallet has two features that will make it nearly impossible for the government, or anyone else, to track payments on the block chain.

A feature called CoinJoin, first conceived by bitcoin developer Gregory Maxwell last year, automatically combines your payment with another random Dark Wallet payment under one transaction, meaning it is hard to tell whose money has gone where.

The further along a transaction chain you go, the less and less confidence you can have that the coins belong to the person you are trying to track. After just eight transactions, for example, the coins could have ended up in 256 different locations.

In future, CoinJoin may even combine your payment with more than one other payment – if you can even find an address in the first place, that is. Dark Wallet implements ‘stealth addresses‘, where coins sent to a stealth address by Dark Wallet users are automatically redirected to another bitcoin address, which remains hidden from view.

This allows people to advertise a public Dark Wallet address without the risk of providing a window into their finances.

Source: http://www.coindesk.com/hyper-anonymising-bitcoin-service-dark-wallet-launches-today/
Interesting articles about the ultra-libertarian and anarchist co-founder of Dark Wallet, Cody Wilson:

A native of Cabot, Arkansas—a small suburb of Little Rock—Wilson said that the State Department’s action persuaded him to drop out of law school and pursue revolutionary activities full-time. In fact, he had been planning his next endeavor for a while. When Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site, booted Defense Distributed’s campaign in August, 2012, for violating its terms of service—Indiegogo said the project related to the sale of firearms; Wilson said it was for the creation of information—Wilson began to raise money by asking people to support him using a currency called Bitcoin: encrypted, difficult-to-trace bits of code that function like cash and can be exchanged over the Internet without a bank or a PayPal account.

Wilson said that he eventually raised two hundred bitcoins for the Liberator—the equivalent of twenty-seven thousand dollars, according to the current exchange rate. His efforts attracted the attention of a twenty-five-year-old Brit named Amir Taaki, who e-mailed him with an invitation to speak at the Bitcoin 2012 Conference, in London. He accepted.

Wilson and Taaki met in person for the first time in January of 2013, when Taaki took Wilson to visit a workspace for hackers in Bratislava, Slovakia, and to anarchist squats in London. They reconnected in Berlin that July and began hashing out a plan to use the as of yet unregulated, untaxed, nearly untraceable currency in a way that would, like the Liberator, undermine the ability of governments to regulate the activities of their citizens.

In the Bitcoin world, where banks no longer serve as intermediaries between people and their money, bank accounts have been replaced by online “wallets” that people can use to virtually store and send bitcoins.

Wilson and Taaki’s project, tentatively known as Dark Wallet, is a simple wallet designed to be easier to use for people who aren’t tech-savvy; they hope that in turn accelerates the currency’s rate of adoption around the world. The wallet will be open-source and free to use. Eventually, Wilson and Taaki hope to create a vast stable of Bitcoin-related tools.

The goal, for Wilson, is similar to what he tried to do with the Liberator: use technology to remove government intervention from his life, and from the lives of like-minded people.

Source: Dark Wallet: A Radical Way to Bitcoin

What was Wilson doing before Bitcoin?

As a University of Texas law student in 2012, Wilson was playing with plastic guns using 3-D printers. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was not amused:

Last summer, Cody Wilson, a law student at the University of Texas at Austin, announced plans to design and print a working gun using a 3-D printer, a device that can quickly produce simple, solid objects out of melted plastic from digital schematics. Last weekend, Wilson accomplished his dream: he successfully fired his self-designed plastic handgun, called the Liberator, at a private gun range north of Austin. You can now download the design on the Web site of Defense Distributed, the nonprofit organization that Wilson established with some like-minded compatriots.

In a technology industry notorious for unearned epochal pronouncements, it’s tempting to say that this development doesn’t mean much. After all, the United States is already awash in firearms, and it’s relatively easy and affordable to procure a gun far more powerful than the one that Wilson demonstrated. But Wilson’s project is significant—and not only because 3-D printing hobbyists all over the world will now be able to modify and manufacture their own cheap, virtually untraceable guns. More important is what Wilson’s work and the “Wiki Weapon” community at large represent: the fusion of ultra-libertarian politics and a prophesied manufacturing revolution fuelled by 3-D printing.

Source: A Gun, a Printer, an Ideology


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I read this article. Im infactuated with 3d printers. I have read up on this guy. I agree with our 2nd amendment. But I dont agree with the 3d printer gun. The 3d printer is available for everyone. One day it will be in every house hold. The part I fear is young children printing guns. And the cause and effect that could have.
Dark Wallet co-founder Amir Taaka welcomes the use of Dark Wallet by terrorists such as ISIS:

"Yeah, and in fact I shut down my Twitter account because they were shutting down IS accounts.

"I don't think trying to censor information is the way to go."

"You can't stop people using technology because of your personal bias. We stand for free and open systems where anybody can participate, no matter who you are."

An unverified ISIS blog says the organization can't wait to get its hands on Dark Wallet:

Recently those fears intensified when a blog about the technology was published and shared online. It discussed how extremists such as IS could maintain an anonymous online presence.

The blog has not been verified - but it supported the idea of the extremist group's mission in Syria and Iraq.

It provided a step-by-step instruction guide to staying anonymous online, including how to use the anonymising Tor network - one of the ways people connect to the so-called "dark web" - and virtual private networks (VPNs) that are used to help hide people's location and identity.

The blog included an instruction manual for how to stay undercover, emphasising that the Dark Wallet could be used to "send millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin instantly from the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ghana, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, or wherever else, right to the pockets of the Mujahideen".

"It is simple, easy, and we ask Allah to hasten its usage for us," the blog read.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29283124

BBC interview with Dark Wallet developer Amir Taaka:

Jamie Bartlett, the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos, explains Dark Wallet co-founder Taaki's radical libertarian world view:

To understand the reason Taaki was relaxed requires you to understand his ideology. I know something of this because I've spent a fair amount of time with him -- including at Calafou in Spain, where he first started work on the project -- and I wrote about the dark wallet in my book The Dark Net. Bitcoin advocates sit on a spectrum of belief, and many of them see the currency as a way of improving financial services. But Taaki, like some within the Bitcoin community is more radical, and could be loosely described as either a cryptoanarchist or cypherpunk. He is not interested in building neutral but effective technology: he sees dark wallet as a political project, a direct way of undermining state power. He believes that powerful encryption systems, like the dark wallet, can guarantee individual liberty in a more reliable way than any manmade law -- and he's hopeful it will help precipitate the collapse of modern national states.

With this radical world view, dark wallet has pitted itself directly against the more mainstream bits of the community. "Many prominent Bitcoin developers are actively in collusion with members of law enforcement and seeking approval from government legislators," read the original dark wallet blurb. "We believe this is not in Bitcoin users' self-interest, and instead serves wealthy business interests that make up the self-titled Bitcoin Foundation." This divide -- between those who see Bitcoin as a political or a financial project -- runs through the heart of the community. In fact Taaki is probably closer to Bitcoin's libertarian origins than all those suited businessmen currently falling over themselves to build bitcoin ATM machines or invest venture capital in the currency. The currency's creator Satoshi Nakamoto's posts on the Cryptography mailing list were littered with his libertarian outlook -- and before that Bitcoin's roots can be traced to the 90s libertarian cypherpunks, and cryptography genius David Chaum.

Taaki knows that people will use the dark wallet to do bad things. He has, I am sure, no desire whatsoever to help IS -- who are the apotheosis of his conception of individual liberty. Yet his overarching ambition is to create tools to secure freedom and defang the state. Some people will suffer in the meantime.



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Well this is very disappointing. That they would promote this. I tried darkwallet and it was still beta trial I lost money using it. The admin does not respond to complaints. I have a feeling that coins are being pocketed. As I have heard alot of people losing coins in transaction. I would urge people to stay away. There are better methods now at this point.


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Wow makes me think they gonna fund terrorist if he is a radical anarchist shit is gonna hit the fan


I think it is so funny how bitcoin is responsible for illegal things going on in the world. most illegal things are done in cash. politicians are so stupid. I need to educate myself more on bitcoin and the others. get me a big fat Dark Wallet too :D

Mr. Deltoid

Man will always use tools for evil wether they be a knife,hammer or gun or be it software what we have to do to preserve freedom is resist the temptation to regulate or pass new laws to try and stop an evil action. The regulation/laws never stop or even slow down the evildoers among us they only serve to restrict the lives of the righteous law abiding citizens.


Man will always use tools for evil wether they be a knife,hammer or gun or be it software what we have to do to preserve freedom is resist the temptation to regulate or pass new laws to try and stop an evil action. The regulation/laws never stop or even slow down the evildoers among us they only serve to restrict the lives of the righteous law abiding citizens.

would be less crime if everything was legal.

Mr. Deltoid

would be less crime if everything was legal.
If you mean everything as in drugs I couldn't agree more I believe that adults should be able to buy and use whatever substances they wish I believe the government is criminal by trying to enforce drug laws it goes against our founding. The government is responsible for countless lives lost enforcing draconian drug laws that only serve to enrich their giant bureaucratic machine and the violent gangs who make it their business to supply the need. Have we learned nothing from prohibition?


I read this article. Im infactuated with 3d printers. I have read up on this guy. I agree with our 2nd amendment. But I dont agree with the 3d printer gun. The 3d printer is available for everyone. One day it will be in every house hold. The part I fear is young children printing guns. And the cause and effect that could have.
Damn I never thought of that!!


I read this article. Im infactuated with 3d printers. I have read up on this guy. I agree with our 2nd amendment. But I dont agree with the 3d printer gun. The 3d printer is available for everyone. One day it will be in every house hold. The part I fear is young children printing guns. And the cause and effect that could have.

were is a the parental guidance? I'm more concerned by the lack of parental guidance than what some 3D printer can make. I don't care if the 3D printer can make an ICBM.
New interview with Dark Wallet co-founder Amir Taaki published in Bitcoin Magazine on October 7, 2014:

Amir, your main focus within the Bitcoin-sphere is clearly on the anonymous features of Bitcoin, and keeping the internet currency that way. Why do you care about this so much?

Anonymity is important because the current financial system is rigged against us. Right now the state steals from people through taxes and inflation, which not only contributes massively to state power and war, but it enables them to control who gets to accumulate capital. Anonymity will help us to avoid paying taxes, enable us to launder money, and facilitate us to evade restrictions by the state on how to manage our resources. It will protect the small guy.


Wouldn’t it be wiser to not actually promote Dark Wallet as a money laundering tool though?


Well, for one, it might get you into trouble with the law. Secondly, most people would probably not consider it the best possible PR either.

But I’m not acting through fear! I’m doing things as I think they are right. I would just be dishonest with myself if I try to play with words or cover up my intent. I want people to know what I think, and as many people as possible, because it’s not just about the technology we’re building. In fact, the technology by itself is worth nothing. What is important is the narrative, or the ideal that is being constructed through that narrative.

Bitcoin is a decentralized and uncensored money with privacy features. As such, it has opened up a new front in the ongoing struggle for freedom.

Source: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/17005/bi...g-interview-dark-wallet-front-man-amir-taaki/
So, everyone tends to focus on the uses of DarkWallet for money laundering and terrorism. But there are some excellent reasons why law-abiding businesses and consumers who use Bitcoin really need something like DarkWallet:

1) You’re an online merchant, and your website doesn’t provide a new sending address for each customer order. All your revenue goes to the same address. Anyone can see your company’s account balance, transaction history and frequency of transactions.

This creates a competitive disadvantage, especially for startups and small businesses. A low account balance may make a business appear less attractive to potential customers. The inability to keep financial records private essentially creates a barrier to entry. A stealth address for receiving customer payments solves this problem.

2) You run a newsletter or site that publishes controversial opinions or content. You rely mostly on donations, and readers of your content are more likely to donate if they know that their donation cannot be traced back to them. Your publication’s freedom of speech is protected because donors can send to its stealth address.

3) You’re an average Joe or Jane, and you’d like to publish your Bitcoin address’s QR code on your business cards, in your outgoing email signature, on your blog and just about anywhere else you can think of. You feel awkward and even embarrassed, however, handing out a business card that’s essentially a free pass to view your current balance and transaction history. Publishing the QR code of your stealth address instead solves this problem and restores your privacy.

Source: http://bitcoinmagazine.com/17114/go-ahead-peer-inside-darkwallet/
Dark Wallet co-founder Cody Wilson's other project -- Defense Distributed -- gained notoriety for making plastic firearms with 3-D printers. Now, it is taking pre-orders for a new machine capable of manufacturing DIY metal firearms at home with 80% AR15 lower receivers.

For $1299, you can buy the Ghost Gunner computer numerical control (CNC) milling machine that facilitates the manufacture of untraceable semi-automatic rifles with no serial numbers and no background check required.

That simple chunk of metal has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm. A lower receiver is the body of the gun that connects its stock, barrel, magazine and other parts. As such, it’s also the rifle’s most regulated element. Mill your own lower receiver at home, however, and you can order the rest of the parts from online gun shops, creating a semi-automatic weapon with no serial number, obtained with no background check, no waiting period or other regulatory hurdles. Some gun control advocates call it a “ghost gun.” Selling that untraceable gun body is illegal, but no law prevents you from making one.

Exploiting the legal loophole around lower receivers isn’t a new idea for gun enthusiasts—some hobbyist gunsmiths have been making their own AR-15 bodies for years. But Wilson, for whom the Ghost Gunner is only the latest in a series of anti-regulatory provocations, is determined to make the process easier and more accessible than ever before. “Typically this has been the realm of gunsmiths, not the casual user. This is where digital manufacturing, the maker movement, changes things,” he says. “We developed something that’s very cheap, that makes traditional gunsmithing affordable. You can do it at home.”

Wilson’s goal of enabling anyone to privately fabricate an untraceable gun is part of a larger anarchist mission: To show how technology can render the entire notion of government obsolete. He’s spent the last two years developing firearms designed to be printed as easily as ink on a page, neutering attempts at gun control. “This is a way to jab at the bleeding hearts of these total statists,” Wilson says. “It’s about humiliating the power that wants to humiliate you.

Source: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/cody-wilson-ghost-gunner/

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