S6 E6: Max Hillebrand on Bitcoin Privacy Advocacy & Wasabi Wallet

Max Hillebrand is a well-known privacy advocate who enjoys Bitcoin for its anarchistic and state-agnostic qualities. He loves using cryptography to conceal his fingerprints on the internet, but likewise enjoys funding projects that help him protect his privacy.

In recent years, Hillebrand has been associated with the Wasabi Wallet project. And he has contributed with suggestions since the initiative’s nascent days, when it was simply called Hidden Wallet.

Correspondingly, Max Hillebrand spends most of the time of this interview talking about Wasabi Wallet, Join Market, Taproot, and all the great projects which aim to boost Bitcoin’s base layer privacy and fungibility.

Max Hillebrand also introduces Wabisabi, the new CoinJoin system developed by ZK Snacks (the Wasabi Wallet team). Whenever it comes out, this implementation is going to make coin traceability a lot more difficult, and also make CoinJoins a lot less obvious on the public ledger. Furthermore, he mentions that there are at least 3 mobile wallet developers who seek to port Wasabi’s technology to portable devices.

In the last part of the interview, Max Hillebrand mentions some of the secrets behind his privacy setup (PGP, YubiKey, Tor, hardware wallet, Qubes operating system, no bank account). Furthermore, he takes questions from the audience and offers useful advice to those who seek to break away from the surveillance state. And when it comes to the ongoing feud with Samourai wallet, Max is surprisingly diplomatic and focused on the real enemy.

Listen to Max Hillebrand on Apple Podcasts & Spotify!

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Time stamps:

02:47 – Max Hillebrand’s involvement in Wasabi wallet

6:56 – From Hidden Wallet to Wasabi

9:23 – Why Wasabi is great

12:29 – What are CoinJoins?

14:56 – You click a button and magic happens

19:46 – Bitcoin fungibility

22:33 – What is Wabisabi?

26:19 – Wasabi mobile wallets

28:39 – ChainCase

31:15 – Wabisabi vs Join Market

36:22 – The Samourai wallet situation

41:28 – How does it feel to be surveilled by the Europol?

45:48 – What else is Max Hillebrand involved in?

49:27 – Perspective on ETH defi degenerate ponzis

50:27 – Why is Max Hillebrand not anonymous on Twitter?

55:00 – Using Yubikey on a daily basis

58:30 – How to acquire privacy in the era of surveillance

1:03:16 – Threat models

1:06:19 – Does Max use hardware wallets?

1:09:10 – Andrew Chow’s hardware wallet interface

1:11:53 – What about the Lightning Network?

1:19:37 – Lightning clients that aren’t very privacy-friendly

1:27:49 – Where to follow Max

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Vlad Costea

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

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