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Philosophy of mixing (Reddit Bitcoin)


Sat Feb 15 2020 08:06:38 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time), Administrator

From a legal and moral perspective I have an issue with bitcoin's attempts to deal with its lack of fungibility.

It always revolves around actively choosing to mix and/or swap coins with someone else. It is very obvious that a tiny percentage of people do this, as will always be the case if bitcoin survives and becomes more mainstream, so the participants will be likely to be doing something criminal. Therefore, if you mix you are likely directly involved with helping a criminal obfuscate their funds.

Despite being of a cypherpunk mindset it makes sense to me why this could be made illegal and I would feel discomfort doing it. It surprises me that systems like Wasabi with its centralized coordinator that gets paid are not treated the same as custodial mixing services and I would not be surprised to see it deemed illegal in future.

Alternative projects that are private on the protocol level, like constructs that use ring signatures, do not mix coins like this; the cryptographic constructs just don't reveal information that shows which output was spent. Ignoring the technical limitations of mixing, this achieves a similar goal but without the legal/moral issue of directly swapping coins with other people. It seems black-and-white to me, this is completely different, and money should be fungible without having to do the digital equivalent of going to a money laundering shop to clean your funds.

Why don't you see it like this? Or you don't care?

submitted by /u/sl73hf
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