Samurai Wallet and Wasabi are both privacy-focused Bitcoin wallets, but the two have been exchanging blows over which wallet is more private. Samourai kicked off the battle of words with a long message on Telegram, claiming that Wasabi is in fact de-anonymized and that all Wasabi transactions can be traced with a bit of effort. Wasabi quickly hit back with a Medium post that debunked and expanded upon a number of points made by Samouari.
Samourai Sends Extpubkeys Back to Servers
Allegedly, Samourai is taking all user extpubkeys and is sending them to its backend servers. This means that Samourai has a record of every transaction and deanonymize every transaction put through its Whirlpool service. While using the Dojo full node prevents this from happening, there are so few live Dojo users that it can join the dots together and trace any transaction back to the user. This could be a huge revelation, and if it does in fact turn out to be true, Samourai could be in for a significant drop in users.
The Privacy Rivalry Bitcoin Needed
What fun is Bitcoin without a good dose of rivalry? Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV have a strong rivalry between them, with developer groups constantly arguing. It provides entertainment and you can’t deny seeing Craig Wright squirm in court is rather amusing. Now, Bitcoin wallets are at it with Wasabi throwing some major dis at Samourai – it’s the privacy wallet version of Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly.
Samourai claims that by mixing Bitcoin, fees, and utxo into tx0 that all breadcrumbs are lost and uncertainty is guaranteed. However, Wasabi claims that there is no difference between doing this and Wasabi’s unmixed big red change outputs. Wasabi then goes on to add that its method is significantly cheaper and that its delayed utxo division will confuse his grandma, while Samourai’s isn’t good enough to confuse her.
So, Who is Right?
At the end of the day, if you deploy advanced chain analysis tools and techniques, you can work out the source of funds – but the average person doesn’t have access to the resources needed to do this. The claim that Samourai can de-anonymize every transaction thanks to it sending user extpubkeys back to its servers is rather worrying, but using your own full node to verify transactions should clear this issue up. For now, the world is waiting for Samourai to reply back to the diss, but for now both wallets are still a lot more private than using a regular Bitcoin wallet.
If privacy is your main goal when making Bitcoin transactions and your faith in these two wallets has been shaken, you can manually mix your own transactions. Simply swap your Bitcoin into a privacy-focused cryptocurrency such as Monero. Once you have Monero, you can then swap small fragments into Bitcoin and send each batch to a fresh Bitcoin wallet. From there you can create your own CoinJoin and make a payment. This is a lot of hassle to do manually, but if you don’t trust these two wallets then it’s your best option – for now.