Max Hillebrand is an economist and open-source entrepreneur who runs Agora Towards Liberty. In this interview, we discuss the release of Wasabi Wallet 2.0 that he has been contributing to, the importance of CoinJoin, providing easy privacy for everyone, and why the personal risks of facilitating privacy are worth it.
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Every year increasing volumes of personal digital data are being leaked. As the general public doesn’t perceive the impacts to be immediately damaging, there is insufficient consideration for the risks posed by this creeping encroachment on privacy. But, it is the replacement of cash by digital currencies that is causing privacy advocates real cause for concern.
Removing people’s ability to transact is perhaps the most potent means of control outside of internment. Monitoring and censoring personal transactions by both private institutions and the state is becoming increasingly common. As we saw in Canada, the temptation to use such draconian measures can be too much for governments of all persuasions to resist.
Bitcoin’s censorship resistance is therefore the right tool at the right time. However, maximising the privacy utility of Bitcoin requires certain practices to be adopted by the user, and the application of the right tools. CoinJoin is one such practice, which re-establishes Bitcoin’s fungibility by breaking the traceability of UTXOs. The issue to date has been that such a technique requires reasonably advanced technical skills.
This is where Wasabi Wallet 2.0 seeks to help. It comes with CoinJoin as an automatic built-in function. Privacy as standard. This is a potential game-changer: privacy is obviously easier to maintain when more people are able to remain private.