S13 E2: Nopara73 on Wasabi Wallet’s Beginnings and Future

First launched in October 2018, Wasabi wallet has certainly elevated the standard for Bitcoin privacy. Mostly developed by Nopara73 (Adam Ficsor) with help from his friends Matthew Haywood and Lucas Ontivero, the first Wasabi release made CoinJoins and coin control a lot more accessible.

As Nopara73 reveals in this episode, his journey in the world of Bitcoin privacy started with a conversation during a P2P trade when the other person was able to see the amounts moved though the single address being used. Then Nopara got inspired by Andreas Antonopoulos to invest his time and skills into Bitcoin, and decided to work on an interface which makes Adam Gibson’s JoinMarket accessible. During this journey, he also took C# coding lessons from Nicolas Dorier, the creator of NBitcoin who authored an ebook named “Blockchain Programming: Blockchain Programming in C#” and would later become the “Emperor” of BTCPay Server who makes BitPay obsolete with open source software.

In the beginning, Wasabi wallet was supposed to be called Hidden wallet. But the name change brought an entire code rewrite and took another couple of years to complete. The result, however, was meritorious. The first version of Wasabi wallet had simplified advanced features that you would otherwise only find in Electrum and enabled easy access to Chaumian CoinJoins. Furthermore, unlike JoinMarket, it introduced Neutrino-like block filters which download some of the latest blocks in order to offer a kind of hybrid between a full node and SPV that makes the user extra sovereign. Wasabi wallet users never needed someone else to provide the backend server, but instead could accelerate the initial load time by running their own instance of Bitcoin Core or Knots in the background.

Though great and innovative in its way, Wasabi 1.0 had some shortcomings – most notably, users needed 0.1 BTC to join a CoinJoin round and could only get outputs of equal sizes. Meaning that funds were merely getting scrambled, without any sort of division or consolidation to make tracking more difficult.

The last time I interviewed Nopara73 in the spring of 2020, he spoke about hiring a team of cryptographers to significantly improve the Wasabi wallet design. In the 3 years that passed, the privacy wallet introduced the WabiSabi engine which outputs unprecedentedly large CoinJoins that simultaneously do divisions and consolidations in a very efficient and scalable way.

A constant from across timelines remains the Pay to End Point (P2EP) discussion. Since 2019, the development of this excellent privacy technique has mostly stagnated across all companies involved in the initial brainstorming. But the idea is still alive and some implementations seem to have worked between developers.

Also, Nopara73 chooses to stay optimistic about the future of privacy and even goes as far as suggesting that the future of financial transactions is in the power of thought and will – as we’d all presumably become cyborgs in a few decades so the action of sending money becomes a telepathic (but most likely radio signal driven) exchange between individuals.

On a more serious and realistic note, Wasabi wallet is currently pursuing new integrations. Two of them include adding Wasabi CoinJoins into Trezor Suite and BTCPay server. Both of these plans are highly ambitious and bound to normalize Bitcoin privacy across the board, thus bringing it to more mainstream audiences.

Currently, Wasabi wallet hosts the biggest CoinJoin coordinator, with lots of liquidity and a great deal of plausible deniability. As this privacy tool gets more traction, it’s likely that the CoinJoin rounds will become bigger and a lot more frequent – thus bringing Bitcoin closer to fungibility.

Financial success and fame among his peers don’t seem to have changed Nopara73 too much. Nonetheless, his long-term ambition remains the same: to buy Microsoft!

Listen to Nopara73 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts & YouTube!

Ideally, you should use a player that doesn’t track you, doesn’t require registration, and allows you to download the content for offline listening – just like this one.

On the other hand, if you do choose convenience and make use of these big tech platforms, you would be of tremendous help if you subscribed and left feedback where it’s possible: Apple Podcasts allows you to leave 5-star ratings and comments, while YouTube also has a thumbs up system. These aren’t just vanity metrics for myself, as they instruct these platforms on the importance on content and they proceed to rank the uploads accordingly.

More likes and subscriptions translate in easier discoverability – meaning that someone searching for “Wasabi wallet interview” is more likely to find this than anything else… granted that you leave some positive feedback for others to see. Thank you in advance!

Bitcoin Takeover Podcast Season 13 Is Sponsored By Wasabi Wallet, Cryptosteel, Bumbee & ShopInBit!

Wasabi offers a free and open source private-centric wallet which makes use of mega CoinJoins in order to provide excellent plausible deniability and obfuscation. If you don’t want your KYC exchange to know what you’re doing with your bitcoins after you withdraw them, join a Wasabi CoinJoin round and reclaim your freedom to do whatever you want with your money without being tracked – exchanges such as Coinbase and Crypto.com are interested to know where their users spend their BTC after withdrawing them.

Also, if you’re concerned that someone else you know in real life has access to your public addresses and knows how much BTC you own, Wasabi wallet has got you covered. For amounts lower than 0.01 BTC, you pay no coordination fee – but if you’re wealthier, the fee is 0.3%.

Download Wasabi wallet 2.0 for free today and reclaim your privacy!

Cryptosteel are innovators in Bitcoin cold storage. Back in 2013, they launched the Cryptosteel Cassette, which made it easy to back up your seed phrase, passphrase, or any other form of private key on the sturdy metal which resists water, fire, and earthquakes. 

Today, Cryptosteel offers the MotherLode: an all-in one box which endows you with everything you need to become financially sovereign. Inside the ModerLode, you get a Cryptosteel Capsule and a hardware wallet of your choice.

All Cryptosteel products are engineered and manufactured in Poland. Order your Cryptosteel metal backup system today on Cryptosteel.com and use promo code BTCTKVR at checkout for a 10% discount on your order. Cryptosteel – secure your wallet seed phrase!

Are you a writer, photographer, musician, or video creator who’s trying to generate some revenue? Bumbee is the Bitcoin way to monetize your content. It’s more censorship resistant than any other platform of its kind, with a low and flat one-time fee of 10%. 

Bumbee is as easy to use as any social media mobile app. Sign up today at bumbee.com and subscribe for free to the Bitcoin Takeover account to get access to some time-exclusive content. If you’re monetizing your creativity, why not get paid in bitcoin for it? Bumbee.com – the Bitcoin way to monetize your content.

Online shopping with Bitcoin is easy. ShopinBit is Europe’s biggest Bitcoin Store with over 800 thousand products. Ranging from Bitcoin books, toothpaste, mobile phones, computers, and watches. This month, I bought a Nintendo Game & Watch console with the classic Legend of Zelda – and it arrived in only 5 working days.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ShopInBit’s got you covered. Their concierge service will get you anything and ship it worldwide. Additionally they also have a Travel HACKING Service to get you the best deals on all things travel: Flights, Hotels and more, for business and for vacations.

Bitcoin Takeover listeners get a nice discount,  of course:

Use code BTCTKVR on your first order for a one-time 5 euro discount.

For more details, go to ShopinBit.com. ShopinBit – Europe’s biggest Bitcoin store

Vlad Costea

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

So, what do you think?

Follow Me