The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Coin Brief.
The team at UnSystem, the creators of Dark Wallet, recently released a transparency report as to where donations go. It is not a budget, but it gives a rough outline. An initial push in terms of funding was given in December of 2013, now the team believes they are on the final stretch to release the first complete version of Dark Wallet, Dark Wallet 1.0, by the end of 2014.
The intitial development budget was nearly 74 BTC, however, development can be costly. The optimal amount has risen to over one-hundred and thirty bitcoins. The team has received fifty-four percent of their desired budget, with an amount of approximately fifty-nine Bitcoins remaining.
Dark Wallet’s Initial Funding is Running Low
The budget spent thus far over eight months of work went 25.7% to paying developers, 13.1% to representation or media, 8.5% to computer equipment, 38.9% to general expenses, and 13.6% to family support. That, along with another thirty bitcoins spent to finance the Milan event, total to 103.7 bitcoins. Fourty-two of which came from crowd funding, and 61.7 of which came from the personal savings of developers.
The personal funds were derived from funds earned working on other projects and dark-market profits.
What Would the Optimal Budget Give the Dark Wallet Team?
The money obtained from donations will be spent on: Servers for 5.5 bitcoins. The servers cost 250 Euros a month, for eight months this evens out to about five and a half Bitcoins, developers to be hired for sixth months for 30bitcoins. The lead developer, front-end, general developer, system operations, and admins would all cost 7.5 bitcoins per month, 40 bitcoins until release, along with another 5 bitcoins for Amir and another developer’s previous work.
This would also provide a design budget for 5.2 bitcoins, a development hack-lab work-space for 11 bitcoins, Lab Infrastructure and facilities for the hack-lab, costing 10 bitcoins, including plumbing, furniture, bedding, and computer equipment, a survival budget for Amir Taaki worth 4.4 bitcoins, and food for the entire team, internet, ‘herbs’, and personal needs including medical are all added into this sum.
Finally, it would create an insurance buffer, if optimal funds are met, which would be extra funds set aside for emergency situations and peace of mind, along with a small portion to be given to family members with no other income. This would total 20 bitcoins.
Why fund Dark Wallet?
The UnSystem team promises that the official first release will provide a plethora of benefits. A tax free savings storage, near total anonymity, which could have the effect of increasing the value of Bitcoin by substantiating its’ feature-set, a single product without fees, open source infrastructure, no selling of user data, upfront transaction fees, visible blockchain transactions, and transparent team budget, amongst others points, make Dark Wallet a seemingly worthwhile project to fund.
Bitcoin has launched the internet into a new wild-west. The black markets that have appeared online, namely the Silk Road, have created a new subsection of the global economy. Previously unobtainable, illegal, or taboo items and services are now available almost instantly. The media knows Bitocin for facilitating the propagation of harmful substances and illicit materials; However, the potential extends far beyond that.
Many governments have taken the liberty to invade privacy and harass dissenters, even in many first-world nations, in the name of security. This invasion of privacy, whilst almost universally despised, has been difficult to resist. Currency and payments especially have seen a long history of limitation. Through the use of Bitcoin, and the advent of Dark Wallet, a new type of online freedom is reached.
Dark Wallet seeks to dismantle government regulation of funds that are based on associating certain bitcoins to individuals. Complex encryption mechanisms and CoinJoin attempt to make funds nearly untraceable. Dark Wallet could ignite the black markets and cause a much larger, safer, and inevitably ubiquitous usage of services similar to the Silk Road. True anonymity opens an entirely new range of trade possibilities.
Dark Wallet’s Potential Impact on Bitcoin’s Price
Bitcoin price has the potential to skyrocket due to Dark Wallet. Through an increased comfort level, individuals attracted to otherwise unobtainable goods, services, or even ideas, can now safely access them. Dark Wallet, by facilitatingtotally secret transactions, would likely bring new users into the darknet markets, and thus more Bitcoin would need to be purchased to fuel this new exploration, which would raise the price. More attention could expand the usage of Dark Wallet, and create a cycle that could perpetually raise Bitcoin price and usage.
An international market, without any specific regulation, could be created. An extra-legal microcosm could exist in every internet-connected computer in the world. All country boundaries, tax and legalities, could be transcended. Arbitrary law systems would have a theater to spring up, opening the door for experimentation with a multitude of economic and legal structures. People with like-minded beliefs, who could not establish them on the national stage, could gather online and implement whatever legal systems they desired. Individuals could not compel each other to abide by any laws, creating an utterly free marketplace. This has the potential to be the most democratic sphere ever established.
You can donate to the team at this address: 31oSGBBNrpCiENH3XMZpiP6GTC4tad4bMy
People are always free to do with their bitcoin what they prefer. My own plans do not include contributing to the funding of Dark Wallet. There are a number of reasons. Technical lead for SilentVault Justin Turrell commented about six months ago, giving a few of those reasons. He wrote, “Dark Wallet is a technology which pairs bitcoin spends of similar amounts amongst their customers, and co-mingles their coins together before sending them to the payee, in order to make the payments harder to trace on the bitcoin blockchain. In this respect it’s something like a coin laundry, except that the function is made part of the act of making a bitcoin payment, instead of a separate optional step.”
Justin continued, “SilentVault’s approach is superior to this in several ways:
1. Our payments do not take place on the blockchain at all. The only footprints are when blocks of coins are transferred into or out of SBC (Silent Bitcoin). It is impossible to know (from bitcoin’s perspective) what the velocity of SBC is internal to our network. Therefore the longer a particular coin sits in our reserve, the greater the likelihood that it has been spent many times before being withdrawn by the user who redeems their SBC voucher for SBC and claims that coin.
2. Our system supports more than just bitcoin. We also support litecoin and our own currency, Silent Silver (SSV). Additional issuers are contemplated for gold, USD, EUR, and CAD. We could also adopt additional alt-coins, including those from Ethereum, Mastercoin, Ripple, etc. All of these different types of assets would co-exist in the same wallet.
3. Payments in SilentVault do not require another user making another payment at about the same time, in order to provide enhanced privacy for both users. A single user can make a private, off-chain payment which only the payee will ever see.
4. Because vouchers are destroyed in every transaction, and replaced with new vouchers bearing fresh serial numbers, it is not possible to track the flow of money, for any of the asset types. This is digital cash without a public ledger.”
Although I have no plans to contribute to the Dark Wallet project, I can speak for everyone at SilentVault in wishing them all the best in their development work.
@Bitcoin You forgot to tell that our technology is already used as a standard in other bitcoin wallets! Nice article btw! 😉
Thanks guys, keep up the good work!