The Dark Wallet project has one simple goal: Keep bitcoin anonymous. With many bitcoin services rushing to embrace the legitimacy of regulation and government oversight, it’s hardly surprising that there are many in the community who are deeply concerned about an encroaching loss of privacy and surveillance. By building in “coin mixing” and “stealth” wallet tools, the Dark Wallet takes an important step towards providing options for those who would prefer to keep their financial transactions truly private.
After several months of development, the Dark Wallet team recently released an alpha build of the software. The software is fully open source, and will eventually include a core written in pure Python to allow third party developers to create their own versions. As with any alpha release, many features are still incomplete or buggy, but the initial release shows a promising suite of advanced bitcoin-related tools to rival any current wallet system.
Current features include:
• Multisignature cooperative wallets
• Escrow support
• Stealth payments and CoinJoin mixing
• Web integration
The DarkWallet system was developed by anarchist programming collective unSystem, which raised $50,000 via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to support the project.
As promising as Dark Wallet is, the developers have strongly urged testers to use their testnet for the system rather than risk actual bitcoin. As an alpha release, the software is very unstable and far too risky for real world use. As a debut of an idea, however, it makes an extremely compelling case for the flexibility of bitcoin’s protocol.