S12 E11: Lord Kristaps on JoinMarket & Bitcoin Privacy

Bitcoin privacy is a delicate topic, with lots of counter-intuitive nuances. After all, how can an open pseudonymous financial system retain privacy in a time when governments make efforts to assign national IDs to every bitcoin-fiat exchange? Well, we have CoinJoins: collaborative transactions which put together equal or divisible amounts in order to create indistinguishable outputs. It’s the modern way of adding multiple fingerprints to banknotes – except that the information is digital and gets broadcast across a global computer network.

Lord Kristaps is a maintainer of the JoinMarket project – a decentralized and open source solution which enables anyone to join or else coordinate CoinJoin rounds. Created by Waxwing (Adam Gibson), the system attracts lots of privacy-focused power users. Unlike Wasabi, it does not rely on a central coordinator and encourages anyone to fulfil this role. But the two main tradeoffs are the lack of predictable liquidity and the added complexity which makes it intimidating for newbies to participate. Nonetheless, JoinMarket is one of the most interesting and promising projects in Bitcoin privacy, and one that anyone can use without any kind of restrictions.

Kristaps is also a contributor to the Bitcoin Core project and the RaspiBolt full node distribution software. And when he doesn’t think about the complexity of on-chain anonymity, he also serves as developer for the SatoshiSale Lightning-powered marketplace. If you pay close attention, you’re going to find out that the Latvian developer even created his own operating system when he was a teenager.

Throughout the interview, Kristaps and I cover a wide range of topics: from the differences between Wasabi and Samourai wallet, all the way to the privacy benefits of the Lightning Network and what’s the best way to start contributing to open source software.

Learn more about Kristap’s work from his public GitHub repository!

Listen to Lord Kristaps on Apple Podcasts, Spotify & YouTube!

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Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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