All Bitcoin transactions are public, anyone can view them. Whirlpool bitcoin mixing breaks deterministic ties to past transactions and provides forward-looking anonymity. This article shows the easiest way to whirlpool your bitcoin so you can take steps to preserve bitcoin’s censorship-resistant and permissionless attributes, showing how to install and set up a new Samurai Wallet on Android.
Samourai Wallet is a mobile-focused, privacy-focused bitcoin wallet. Additionally, connecting Samourai Wallet to Desktop Whirlpool’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) will be covered. Some of the privacy enhancement tools built into Samourai Wallet include:
- Whirlpool, a zero-link CoinJoin implementation
- BIP47, a reusable payment code protocol
- PayNyms, unique identifiers that can be used to connect with peers for collaborative transactions
- Stonewall, a post-mix spend tool that breaks chain heuristics
- Stonewallx2, a post-mix spend tool that looks identical to on-chain Stonewall but is actually made with two peers
- Stowaway, a post-mix spend tool that hides the amount spent
- Ricochet, a post-mix spend tool that adds extra hops between the final payment destination
- Advanced room control
- Separate wallets for deposit, pre-mix and post-mix bitcoin
The Whirlpool implementation can be used directly from the Samourai Wallet mobile app without any additional configuration. However, if you’re not using your own node, you’re trusting someone else. Using Samourai Wallet in conjunction with your own Dojo on the RoninDojo Tanto gives you the most privacy-conscious solution, because you’re not trusting anyone else’s node, you’re using your own node.
Every bitcoin wallet, whether mobile or desktop, must collect information about wallet balances and transaction history from a bitcoin node; it is recommended to use your own node, but it is not a requirement as many wallet developers provide publicly accessible nodes. This section will show you how to use Samourai Wallet without your own node, as it is the easiest and fastest way to get started.
First step: preparation
Before you begin, it will be helpful to have a recovery sheet or a notebook to write down your seed phrase and passphrase information.
Second step: download
Step Three: Initialize
Simply install the app and follow the on-screen system prompts. Once the application is launched, select “MAINNET”.
Then you’ll be greeted with a helpful onboarding presentation.
Next, you will be asked to choose a directory to store your encrypted wallet backup file. Then allow access to the system.
Then you can enable the option to enable Tor. Leave the Connect to your own Dojo option disabled to use the default settings which will communicate with the Samourai Wallet Dojo node instead of your own private Dojo node. Then press the “Create a new wallet” button in Samourai Wallet. Or, if you have a wallet to import, select the “Restore an existing wallet” option instead.
Next, you will be asked to create a passphrase. Using a strong, high-entropy passphrase will help protect your bitcoin in the event that your 12-word seed phrase is compromised.
Check the box indicating that you understand that no one can help you recover a lost or forgotten passphrase. Also keep in mind that any passphrase you enter will generate a completely different wallet, so be sure to spell it correctly and double-check your work. If you ever need to restore your wallet and you enter a passphrase that is disabled even by a single character, it will generate a completely different wallet. After entering your passphrase, the app will ask you if you want to download the recovery sheet.
The next screen will present your 12-word seed phrase. Do not share these words with anyone for any reason. These 12 words are a human-readable representation of your Bitcoin private key. Anyone with access to these words and passphrase can take your bitcoin. Do not screenshot these words. Don’t take a picture of these words. Do not save them in a text file or other digital format. Be sure to write them in order, then secure that seed phrase as if it were silver, gold, or jewelry. Many people choose to stamp their wallet recovery information (initial phrase and passphrase) in metal that can withstand extreme environments such as fires and floods. You can find more information on this topic here.
Next, you will be asked to confirm the passphrase you entered and then create a PIN. The PIN will be required to access the Samourai Wallet app. Use a strong PIN that is not easily guessed or identical to your primary phone access PIN.
Finally, you will be presented with your unique PayNym, you can claim it so others can easily connect with you. Then you will be at the home screen, you can click on the blue “+” sign to see the options for Whirlpool, send, receive and PayNym. The receive option, for example, allows you to generate new Bitcoin addresses.
Fourth step: Whirlpool on mobile
You now have a mobile bitcoin wallet with built-in privacy tools that communicate through Tor. Congratulations, that’s a big step on the road to sovereignty. Go out and earn bitcoins in exchange for goods or services, buy some at an ATM or earn mining rewards.
Once you have received the bitcoins you wish to mix, simply follow these steps from your Samourai mobile wallet:
- Select the blue “+” sign and then the “Whirlpool” button
- This will launch the Whirlpool mobile client, again select the “Whirlpool” button
- Select the option “Mix UTXOs”
- A list of UTXOs available in your deposit wallet will be displayed. Select the UTXOs you want to mix, then click “NEXT”. Keep in mind that if any of these UTXOs have a history that you don’t want to chain together, consider selecting them independently of each other.
- Select the cycle priority (miners fee), select the appropriate pool size for the amount you are mixing, then select “REVIEW CYCLE DETAILS”.
- You will be presented with details of the TX0 you are about to make. Select “BEGIN CYCLE” when ready and the transaction will be built and then broadcast to the Bitcoin network.
Now your resulting UTXOs from the TX0 will be saved as available inputs for new mixes. Once mixed, your UTXOs will be in your post-mix wallet. From there, every time you open the Whirlpool client in your Samourai Wallet mobile app, those UTXOs will be saved as available entries for mixes looking for free riders. The mixing stops as soon as you close the Whirlpool mobile client.
Step five: Whirlpool with standalone GUI
Going further, there is a way to achieve 24/7 mixing even when you close the app on your mobile. You can install the Whirlpool GUI on your desktop, connect it to your mobile wallet, and the desktop GUI will keep your UTXOs mixed.
First, you will need to download the appropriate Whirlpool client for your operating system. The various options as well as the accompanying developer signatures can be found here and detailed installation instructions can be found here. Be aware that you will probably need to install OpenJDK as well as what is covered in the installation instructions.
After installing the Whirlpool client application, launch it, then select the “Standalone: Standalone GUI” option. Then click “Continue”.
Give the GUI some time, Tor connections can take a bit of time. You may need to try several times before establishing the connection. But once the connection is established, you will be presented with a screen asking you to enter the Whirlpool pairing payload from your Samurai Wallet. In Samourai Wallet, click on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner and select “Settings” then “Transactions” then “Pair to Whirlpool GUI” at the bottom. This will display a QR code containing your Whirlpool payload. Just click on the QR code option in the desktop GUI and it should launch your webcam, then hold the QR code on your mobile for the camera to scan it.
Once received, click “Initialize GUI”.
Next, enter the passphrase of your Samourai Wallet and click “Login”.
Once logged in, you should be able to see your balances, your shuffle activity, and then you can set goals for how many shuffles you want to achieve. You can even generate deposit addresses from the Whirlpool GUI.
Now when initiating mixes from your Samourai Wallet mobile app, you can close the app afterwards and your UTXOs will continue to be saved as entries available for mixes as free riders as long as your customer of desktop remains running. This setup uses the default Samourai Wallet node as the backend. For network privacy, communication is via Tor. This can also be configured to use your own node instead.
This is a guest post by Econoalchemist. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.