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Dark Wallet Alpha 5 Release

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A new version of Dark Wallet, labeled Dark Wallet Alpha 5, has been released, and includes much re-factoring of internal code.  This release introduces BitID integration, ‘Watch-Only pockets’, seed scanning, new controls for history, new pocket types, and a series of bug fixes. BitId login allows for website integration, though desktop wallets can implement it for added protection, and it has the potential to change internet usage as a whole through crypto-identification. Additional pocket types include two of three pockets, allowing users to combine incoming funds amongst two or three users, to confuse onlookers by making it much more difficult to see not only who, but also how many, users were sending the funds. The centralized server situation still allows for potential targeted attacks, but with the P2P infrastructure, and work on personal nodes being supported, several projects for the client side overlay protocols are being investigated. The beta is expected within one or two months, as a conservative estimate, with safety for Bitcoin usage available before that through the new pocket types.

BitId Login Support

BitId proposes an open protocol that allows secure authentication through the use of public key cryptography. It would allow an application to have a specific Bitcoin address that is validated by signing a challenge, thus allowing users to login. It was developed due to frustration that Bitcoin related sites rely on arbitrary identification methods alien to Bitcoin, such as username and password systems. Wallet identification allows for one click registration, one click login, with no need to remember passwords.  Only public Bitcoin addresses are utilized, and return addresses are given to services.  The potential to connect to a decentralized identification system to automatically fill in personal information during sign-ups or form processes is a huge asset, and it should be very interesting to see how this develops. BitId requires logging into websites through signing a Bitcoin message using a user key, thereby eliminating the need for any passwords other than those used for wallet security. A Bitcoin address produced from the website name is provided, and that is then signed, so each key is unique whilst the process of key generation is deterministic. Signing with other cryptographical systems, along with reputation systems, are being investigated to justify initial user trust on a website. This is to protect users from a website owner, or 3rd party, using user keys for malicious purposes.

Watch-Only Pockets

Dark Wallet introduces a watch only system that allows watching seized coins by viewing pockets that hold an infinite number of individual Bitcoin addresses in a view only mode. Notifications and history can be viewed, but usage of the wallets is not possible. This allows users to link extra addresses for incoming funds, to assist in hiding the capital being transferred, but also for access to physical devices that require addresses to login Contracts are used for watching and un-watching commands. They have a toggle button that switches the state of the contract. The pocket holds any keys the contract is set to watch, but only for normal or multisignature addresses. The pocket and contract are linked, so that changes in state of one affect the other, such as deactivating a pocket, will un-watch and un-sync other actions. The seed scanner deals with the predicament that if a wallet is restored from a seed, it will originally have older addresses attached to it. The wallet will need to scan for addresses with a previous history. That requires evaluating the history of several pockets and addresses for each pocket until enough empty addresses arise. A tool for wallet scanning was added for easier accessibility, however it will later be run on initialization automatically. The tool added can now be manually accessed to assist in restoring a seed.

New controls for Bitcoin transaction history

The history view has been altered, and now contains a pop-up menu that allows copying the tx-hash, navigating to the block explorer, or copying addresses. A label can be set for history rows, allowing for easy management of a growing database. This is related to the peer-section URLS.  Each wallet section has its own URL address, so browser history becomes easier to manage. Refreshing a page will redirect to the same sections, and links will do the same. Indexes and general terms have been put in the URL, which makes for easier usage, however this also presents several issues, as one can guess a URL, thus gaining access to information that may not be intended for them. Of course, a user could clear their browser history, but this contradicts the intention of the section URL premise.  Hopefully at some point in the near future a solution to this issue will be developed.

Coin Brief is an open source website for digital news. It provides cryptocurrency tools, mining calculators, tutorials, and more. It was acquired by 99Bitcoins on September 2015.

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