Last updated on January 2nd, 2018 at 12:00 am
Dark Wallet – Anonymizing Bitcoin
With the growing intrusion of government agencies, and the danger of third-party hackers, anonymity has been brought to the forefront of the digital age. Dark Wallet allows for near total anonymity for Bitcoin transactions, paving the way for both illegal uses, such as online black markets, or legal uses, such as privacy protection when transferring funds. Through removing association of any individual to their bitcoins, user payments are merged into an untraceable wad. This update, and the previous release, Alpha 6, bring interface translations, a new BIP44 compliant Keyring structure, an upgraded BitcoinJS, bugfixes, mixer improvements, a private key exporter, and a transaction size calculator.
Improvements to Dark Wallet’s Functions
The user interface has improved tremendously, becoming both more user friendly and more visually appealing. Many bugs have been ironed out. The behavior of the wallet has been polished, along with strengthening the mixer used for the CoinJoin operation.
The mixer was previously missing checks, making budgeting errors, and occasionally failing whilst sending funds. These problems have been remedied. The structure of Dark Wallet has been altered to accommodate for different languages, along with smaller changes to the lobby. Upgrading to the seventh alpha changes the addresses extracted from the backup seed, while prompting for the wallet password. The older stealth addresses won’t be scanned, and master addresses are not supported, but any old addresses are still supported, though discouraged.
Dark Wallet Alpha 6 and 7 Bug Fixes
Bugfixes were needed, as the Alpha 5 was disjointed due to significant internal re-factoring. The mixer, multisignature wallets, and read-only pockets were all patched. In the fifth alpha, a bug occurred where users who sent funds to an address had sometimes found that the funds would be seen in the pocket total, but were not sent. The funds were simultaneously nonredeemable.
Now, users affected by this bug can go to seed scanning and remedy this issue. The mixer was hardened significantly, so sending will be much smoother. Budgeting was added so that the guest mixer adds up funds spent towards fees on a budget. Peer inputs are now fund checked. The announce feature now awaits several responses, and is not defaulted to after a faulty mixing of coins. The wallet sidebar was redesigned for responsiveness and aesthetics.
New Bitcoin Anonymity Features Introduced
Dark Wallet’s Structure Changed to Bip44
The wallet structure was changed to Bip44, which is a standard that ensures seeds input into different wallets return the same set of addresses. Also, addresses generated for pockets will be placed in different orders so that they are compatible with other wallets. This was done so address change is achieved, without much hassle for users, but leaves old addresses still usable.It is recommended to migrate funds to newer addresses, so that new keys can be created, and the insecurities of older versions eliminated, but that is at the discretion of individual users at this time.
A More Robust Dark Wallet Scanner
To allow this, the scanner has been improved to scan for old or new addresses, but it is expected to be removed in later versions of Dark Wallet, making migration of funds a priority. The wallet will automatically remove old addresses without history or funds.
BitID Key Changes
The keys used for BitID have changed. Old keys are saved in the wallet, but they are not usable, as BitID usage is minimal. Logging in to websites with old keys is insecure at the moment. The stealth addresses for pockets has been changed, therefore, old stealth addresses will not be picked up by the scanner. Contacts must be updated, and funds sent to old stealth addresses will only be recoverable with versions of DarkWallet beyond Alpha 5. Master addresses are no longer supported at all.
Dark Wallet Switched to New Version of BitcoinJS
Dark Wallet Transaction Calculator
A calculator has been added for transaction size and recommended fees. It serves as an indicator as to how much in fees should paid for each cloaked transaction, but has not been added as an integral part of the general user interface, and will not until it undergoes further testing.
Bitcoin Private Key Exporter
A new tool was added, the private key exporter. It supports exporting any private key. They are exported in a .wif format so that they can be used in other Bitcoin wallets, which will allow users to easily switch funds from Dark Wallet to a standard wallet without the need to send it through the Dark Wallet system.
Dark Wallet Now Available in Spanish, With More Languages Coming
Dark Wallet was successfully translated into Spanish, with other languages open for user translation or request. As development goes forward, the project will expand to provide coverage for a larger and larger group of languages, as long as there is a great enough demand for the translations.
Dark Wallet Still Has a Few Remaining Issues
A few issues persist, such as the interface not updating without a refresh after certain transactions are completed, testnet complications in terms of updating wallets quickly, failure to return funds after an unsuccessful broadcast, and issues with chromium. However, these problems are being addressed, and will likely be corrected in the near future.
The release can be downloaded here: https://github.com/darkwallet/darkwallet/releases/tag/0.7.0
With a video guide, by Kristov Atlas, here:
Part 2 of this guide is not yet available, but will be released after a few specific bugs are corrected.