Dash needs to implement Shadowcash technology and truly be anonymous.

Do you think Dash fungibility / anonymity is a critical feature?


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xdashguy

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It is time to quit playing around with fungibility / anonymity of the coin. Dash was released as Darkcoin with the promise of true anonymous payment. It has failed to provide anonymity and fungibility almost 2 year later. The mixing technology of Dash is not good enough. It is slow, expensive, and requires people to opt-in to it instead of being on by default. That is not like Cash, so Dash cannot be Digital Cash.

What is shadowcash? Shadowcash is an anonymous coin built on top of Bitcoin technology (versus cryptonote which is an entirely new blockchain technology). Evan previously wanted to merge with Shadocash. So, Evan is aware of them and their technology. Why hasn't he implemented it yet? It offers true anonymous / fungible transactions similar to Monero. No mixing involved. Built on bitcoin blockchain.

Here is why Dash anonymity fails: It requires trust. Trust in the masternodes. Trust they are not logging the mixes and trust that your coins happened to get mixed in uncompromized masternodes. Masternodes are NOT anonymous, so it is easy for a state actor to target these nodes via hacks or targeting the people. That is not good enough and it is why no one accepts Dash's fungibility solution. The opposition does have valid concerns.

What about masternode blinding? Let's be real, this is vaporware. This has been promised for 1.5 years. And despite the code being "already done and tested" it has not been released. Why would working, tested code not be released when so many users are turned off and criticize current mixing. In addition, blinding is not instant. Lastly, even blinding the masternodes will not make the transactions as secure as shadowcash or monero. The transactions will still be correlatable. The ability to correlate gets less with more users and more mixing, but it can still make someone a target.

Here is the truth: People demand anonymity. The official argument from Core is that they don't want to focus on this now because it could make the coin a dark market coin which is bad for mass adoption. That would have been a good argument two years ago. The problem is Dash already has all the downsides of a darkmarket coin with none of the upside.

Here is why: 1) Dash started as Darkcoin, which was specifically targeting the anonymous crowd (and by relation dark markets. Look at the naming of the coin). 2) It already advertises being anonymous. The result of 1 and 2 is hindered mainstream adoption (by big business). The problem is 3) due to it NOT actually being anonymous (due to usability and severe flaws in its mixing) it also gets none of the benefits of being an anonymous coin because its an open-secret that Dash is NOT anonymous (hence why monero was adopted by darkmarkets and not Dash despite Dash being more mature).

So, what is the downside?
We already suffer the downsides of being "anonymous" but since we are not really anonymous we get none of the upsides.

I think its time to finally fix some of the fundamental problems with Dash. Evolution is great and it is great to have an easy to use wallet (which is essentially what evolution is), but having a wallet for a product that is useless by design does not work. First, Dash needs to be useful and actually do what it intends to do which is be digital cash (it can never be like cash until the anonymity is solved).


 

GrandMasterDash

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More so, an anonymous system without the aid of MNs would mean MNOs can't be held complicit in money laundering.
 

xdashguy

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More so, an anonymous system without the aid of MNs would mean MNOs can't be held complicit in money laundering.
VERY good point. A MN being prosecuted for money laundering would create a devastating chilling effect. Since master nodes are not anonymous (and will never be so) it is important to reduce the number of legal attacks against as much as possible.

Not to mention a cryptographic solution (shadowcash) versus a mechanical solution (mixing) is just superior overall. Both systems could exist at the same time if desired (to protect the small chance of the encryption scheme being broken).
 

ec1warc1

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The fact that "monero was adopted by darkmarket" and not Dash is not a problem to me. The 1% of all transactions that relate to people buying illegal products and services does not interest me as a service provider (miner/MN owner). What interests me is the 99% of transactions that relate to every day purchases. Dash has instant send which is much more important in terms of "money as a service" than anonymity. -- just my 2 duffies.;)
 

ec1warc1

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Oh, and to continue with my original idea a bit...
upload_2016-10-3_11-29-52.png
I don't want to give the idea that fungibility and anonymity are not important. I voted YES, it is critical. However, I think this feature can be improved and I hope that it will be improved. I just don't think it is the most important or best feature that dash offers the world.
 
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GrandMasterDash

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The fact that "monero was adopted by darkmarket" and not Dash is not a problem to me. The 1% of all transactions that relate to people buying illegal products and services does not interest me as a service provider (miner/MN owner). What interests me is the 99% of transactions that relate to every day purchases. Dash has instant send which is much more important in terms of "money as a service" than anonymity. -- just my 2 duffies.;)
That 1% can be a very important....
  • someone wanting to pay for an abortion in a country where it is banned or socially unacceptable
  • a pregnancy test, or other medical consultation / procedure
  • money for alternative software development when ShapeShift et al become fully licensed and regulated by law
  • exchanges blocking certain transactions because of a mathematical model predicting a high chance of "illegal activity"
  • money to smuggle you out of the country because you're terrified within your own country
  • money paid to informants / snitches... no wait, government agencies might want their own transactions private for reasons of "national security"
Required tracking is the first step, thus drawing a line and saying "dark activity is illegal". The final step, world domination.
 

halso

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This is a good summary, and something i have been thinking about alot recently.

From what i gather there are plans for an alternative privavcy solution in evo. And it involes having a seperate 'private' account.

From what i have read in different places this account will engage in ahead of time and passive mixing. And it wont invole MNs.

It would be great if some of the core team cud chip in and explain in more detail how the new 'protocol level' solution will work.
 

David

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Here is the truth: People demand anonymity. The official argument from Core is that they don't want to focus on this now because it could make the coin a dark market coin which is bad for mass adoption. That would have been a good argument two years ago. The problem is Dash already has all the downsides of a darkmarket coin with none of the upside.
Actually, the official argument from Core is that Dash is anonymous. Period. If you don't think so, then prove it. Here's a start for you: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg14195259#msg14195259

You want to talk about trusting masternodes? Read the whitepaper and find out how many nodes an attacker would have to control before the anonymity of an 8 round transaction would be compromised. IIRC, 2000 masternodes (2,000,000 DASH) would give an attacker a 25% chance of deanonymizing you. Then again, you can always just do another 8 round PrivateSend and reduce those odds accordingly. If you think there is somebody out there with 2000 masternodes waiting to deanonymize you, then use another currency.

Let's face it--you always have to trust something. If you use Shadowcash or Monero, you trust the cryptography they're using. You're trusting that no new mathematical model or computing model will ever be able to deanonymize your transactions, because if it ever comes to pass, everything you've ever done is laid bare. You're trusting that Monero's cryptography is not based on an NSA-approved standard, as it is said to be. You're placing a lot of trust in somebody or some thing.
 

GrandMasterDash

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Actually, the official argument from Core is that Dash is anonymous. Period. If you don't think so, then prove it. Here's a start for you: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg14195259#msg14195259

You want to talk about trusting masternodes? Read the whitepaper and find out how many nodes an attacker would have to control before the anonymity of an 8 round transaction would be compromised. IIRC, 2000 masternodes (2,000,000 DASH) would give an attacker a 25% chance of deanonymizing you. Then again, you can always just do another 8 round PrivateSend and reduce those odds accordingly. If you think there is somebody out there with 2000 masternodes waiting to deanonymize you, then use another currency.

Let's face it--you always have to trust something. If you use Shadowcash or Monero, you trust the cryptography they're using. You're trusting that no new mathematical model or computing model will ever be able to deanonymize your transactions, because if it ever comes to pass, everything you've ever done is laid bare. You're trusting that Monero's cryptography is not based on an NSA-approved standard, as it is said to be. You're placing a lot of trust in somebody or some thing.
I agree the mixing might be good (if somewhat slow), however, what is being suggested is a way to make privacy the default function and only lift it when desired. Also, as previously mentioned, there is a public list of IPs for all the MNs and that makes the network vulnerable to legal / illegal persuasion. Keep in mind, most hosts will give up their client info very easily in order to stay in business. Stopping 4000 would be relatively easy, leaving most MNOs frantically running around looking for new hosts while also wondering if it's all worth bothering with.

Personally, I think two networks could co-exist (clear and dark) without cross-over yet sharing the same blockchain.
 

xdashguy

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Actually, the official argument from Core is that Dash is anonymous. Period. If you don't think so, then prove it. Here's a start for you: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg14195259#msg14195259

You want to talk about trusting masternodes? Read the whitepaper and find out how many nodes an attacker would have to control before the anonymity of an 8 round transaction would be compromised. IIRC, 2000 masternodes (2,000,000 DASH) would give an attacker a 25% chance of deanonymizing you. Then again, you can always just do another 8 round PrivateSend and reduce those odds accordingly. If you think there is somebody out there with 2000 masternodes waiting to deanonymize you, then use another currency..
Let me address each point you made:

1) Users don't want to wait a week to mix coins through hundreds of nodes hoping they get one that is not compromised. When someone gives me a $100 USD I don't have to go launder this hundreds of times. It is anonymous right then and there. That is what people expect from Digital Cash. People want fungible cash, fast.

2) The whitepaper is WRONG. It makes a very basic logical mistake in its calculation. First of all, you don't need to compromise 4000+ nodes. You need to compromise the node OWNERS, which is a much, much smaller number. Furthermore, you just need to compromise the nodes HOSTS, which is an even smaller number. A state level attack on Dash would just require cooperation from amazon to inject malicious code on those specific nodes running master nodes. Remember, master nodes are NOT anonymous and will never be anonymous.

The point of this thread is to make Dash security better. Why would any sane person argue "Nah, we have an okay solution that works sometimes as long as conditions are right and you have a lot of time to wait"

So here is the real crux of it. Dash has a mediocre solution and there are much better solutions available. Why not adopt those solutions?
 

ec1warc1

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Question number 1: Is there any advantage to offering standard, non-private transactions as well as transactions that hide the sender through mixing or some other mechanism?
Question number 2: In the list of things that the Dash developers and community are working on, what priority does improving privacy have among all the other projects being worked on?
 

xdashguy

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Question number 1: Is there any advantage to offering standard, non-private transactions as well as transactions that hide the sender through mixing or some other mechanism?
Question number 2: In the list of things that the Dash developers and community are working on, what priority does improving privacy have among all the other projects being worked on?
To answer your questions:

1) Yes, though it is rare. The only advantage would be if irrefutable proof that a payment was sent was needed from one identifiable address to another (think of a contract that specified this). That is the only instance I can think of and it would be an edge case. It is rare enough that I personally think removing non-private transactions (not even making it an option) is best.

2) It is not just privacy, but fungibility. Without fungibility then suddenly the currency cannot function as only some coins can be accepted by merchants and some not and the list of "bad coins" will forever change. To answer the comment about developer time that is why I specifically mentioned Shadowcash. It will not take much developer time to implement because Shadowcash is already developed and compatible with bitcoin blockchain. Dash made the decision to make the 1st tier network bitcoin compatible so it can benefit from bitcoin development. As a result, it can merge the changes that shadowcash has already made. It does NOT have to develop the solution from scratch.

This is the logical direction of Dash privacy. Hence why Evan himself attempted to merge the two coins. However, since this, the direction of Dash has completely changed and privacy has all but been abandoned (refer to blinded masternodes being promised 1.5 years ago but never materializing). I am saying, Evan was right about the technology. He was wrong about needing to "merge" them. Just copy the changes and implement the same technology. That is why it is open source.

At the end of the day Dash needs a real use-case for the consumer. Consumers aren't going to buy the abstract idea of "Use Dash because it has a cool governance model that is better than alternatives". They need real, concrete utility and private transactions IS real, concrete utility because currently their choice is no privacy (credit card / bitcoin) or physical cash (which cannot be sent over the net).

The the other features of Dash either have no benefit over existing services. For example, credit card is instant also, if merchants offer a small discount for virtual currency they will likely get it with bitcoin too, etc. Tell me, as it currently stands, what is the benefit for me as a consumer to use Dash over bitcoin, credit card, or cash?
 

flare

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This is the logical direction of Dash privacy. Hence why Evan himself attempted to merge the two coins.
Can you provide a reference for this statement please?

We've never even considered to merge SDC technology into Dash back then - the merger was solely for the purpose of acquisition of human resources (e.g. developers, marketing ppl., designers).

If you assume something else you are mistaken (I've been participant of the negotiations btw.)
 
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xdashguy

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I am basing that on this thread https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/darkcoin-shadowcash-merger.2918/ Yes, I understand that you may believe it was not for technology and maybe it truly was not. However, it seems unlikely that someone would want the developers if they were not interested in the technology being created by said developers. After all, if you do not think someone is doing good work would you want to hire them? Why would a team merge unless they can find a common ground, so what would be the motive for Shadocash developers if Evan did not want them to continue working on their passion which is crypto-based anonymity?

I would say it is highly likely Evan was interested in the technology. If Evan was not interested in the technology, then okay it does not really matter. it does not change the fact that the technology would be a benefit to Dash today.
 

flare

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I would say it is highly likely Evan was interested in the technology.
As i wrote: Me and Evan started the negotiations with SDC back then - and i can tell you: We were not interested in the technology.

We were interested in the team, in their skills - as Darkcoin was lacking work power back then. We knew the people were passionate for their project, so we tried to buy them out by merging.

We failed with the merger and chose a different direction by acquiring other talents. In the end this road was the better choice if you ask me.

it does not change the fact that the technology would be a benefit to Dash today.
I don't see this as a fact - I see someone talking passionately about his perception, which is OK.

And this is a fact: I don't see any benefit in merging SDC technology into Dash ;)
 

ec1warc1

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I am just curious... who is xdashguy? a new member who knows so much history of Dash is rather odd. Could it be TheDashGuy? That would be fine. To me, a new member with history, an old member who wants to change identity, a troll, whatever... I think all viewpoints and opinions should be welcome including anonymous ones. That being said, if you have changed identities or logins, but you use a name so similar to the other name... I am trying to understand where you are coming from. xdashguy as in "ex dash guy" - former? or what?
 

xdashguy

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And this is a fact: I don't see any benefit in merging SDC technology into Dash ;)
I have stated a case as to why it is beneficial and the exact ways that it provides a benefit to Dash. I outlined the usability issues of mixing (takes too long, costs too much) and I outlined the security concerns of mixing especially given the few points of compromise that is required to compromise the masternode network. The market itself has even not accepted Dash as a private coin given these limitations and chose to adopt another coin, based on an entirely different blockchain that required new tooling to even support, rather than accept Dash as a drop-in replacement to their existing tools. That should tell you a lot about the usability and security perception (whether real or imagined -- I argue security issue is real) of Dash mixing

So, my argument is quite well laid out and comprehensive. What exactly is your argument that Dash would not benefit? I am genuinely curious as to why you think current Dash anonymity is a success. Because, from my perspective it has been a market failure, a user experience failure, and a security failure. And there is data to back it up. Just search this forum for people complaining about waiting days for mixing to occur, or fees, or there being a limit of 1000 DASH that can be mixed at one time, etc. Current solution offers bad usability and bad security. If I am wrong in that, then please tell me w hy.
 

xdashguy

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I am just curious... who is xdashguy?
Let's try to keep this thread on topic and that is the topic of Dash fungibility and how to enhance it as the current solution is not working. You are welcome to read my post history on the form or PM me privately or start a new thread. I have no other identities, but even if I did it is not relevant to the topic here.

Keeping discussion laser focused ensures it is productive. The focus in this thread is Dash fungibility.
 

ec1warc1

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I am trying to understand one thing about this thread from a technical level, so please excuse me for asking dumb questions if that is the case....
Question number 1: would a pool of coins ready to be included in mixing not make our mixing routine faster than it is?
Question number 2: could burnt coins, like the ones spent on voting proposals, be used for mixing?
Question number 3: I have seen that we vote overwhelmingly YES to spend a few coins each month on mixing process... I am not really sure how that works, so how does that work? Where do those coins go and how does it help the mixing process?
Question number 4: Is there something better than mixing? If so, what?
 

xdashguy

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New I am trying to understand one thing about this thread from a technical level, so please excuse me for asking dumb questions if that is the case....
To answer your questions:

1&3) Mixing could be faster if there were more people doing it. That is the answer to question #3, which is why people vote for liquidity. It essentially just ensures there are people mixing. Since mixing in Dash is an opt-in process imagine you were the only person at a time that wanted to mix. There would be no one available to mix and the process would stall. So, you need people who want to mix in about the same time as you. That is what the liquidity providers provide. Mixing is more effective the higher number of participants exist in the process. One failure of Dash anonymity is that few people mix since it is opt-in process and not on by default. It is not on by default because it is cumbersome and costly in its current implementation.

2) Not as things are now and if they could be used it would not really help much.

4) Yes, a cryptographic solution which is what Shadowcash and Monero provide. A mixing solution is based on Trust. Trust that the mixers are not compromised, which is really not a low probability event given they are on few hosts and states are very good at compromising computers / people and masternode IPs are public knowledge.

You could argue that cryptographic solutions also require trust but the trust required decreases rapidly with time and is never as high as the trust required for mixing. There is a big difference in trust level though. For 1) a cryptographic solution can be provable anonymous while mixing cannot be 2) a cryptographic solution is very trustworthy from the beginning and increases its trustworthiness as time goes on (that is why it is important that bitcoin has been operating so long without a vulnerability. This increases its trust worthiness). A mixing solution does not gain trustworthiness overtime. In fact, it loses it because while Dash gains adoption this reinforces a crypto solution (since the crypto has not been broken despite incentives which anecdotally shows it is a solid crypto design) while with the mixing solution the security of it is decreased as state-level actors have more interest in compromising it.

Beyond all this, the mixing solution is weak legally and politically. Unjust laws are much more accepted by the masses when it targets a few people versus many people. Masternode operators are public as their masternodes are public. And they are few in number (far less than 5000 people as there are multiple nodes per operator and only around 5000 nodes). A mixing solution will always have this limited supply of actors because it is done in the 2nd tier network, which is limited to masternodes. So, governments just need to declare it money laundering or make laws that require them to log data, etc. Next, they just ask amazon for the owners information and prosecute them. Or, a large portion of master nodes are already on amazon. My guess is that > 50% are on < 10 hosting providers, so just tell those hosting providers to compromise the master nodes (they have physical access to the servers after all).

A cryptographic solution operates on the 1st tier of the network. That is a much broader base and as Dash gains popularity it will be much harder to attack this level of the network because it is less centralized and public and affects more normal users.

So, overall, a cryptographic solution requires less trust, is faster, is harder to attack politically, and is better in about every way.

I want Dash to be the most secure solution possible. I am not saying that mixing should be replaced. I am saying let mixing stay as it is, but include an additional level of anonymity via cryptographic means. The greatest weakness to the crypto solution is there could be an implementation error. It is easy in crypto to make a mistake and if i is exploited it could mean it is not anonymous. That is why I mentioned ShadowCash in the first place as their implementation has been tested for about 2 years. They have worked out the bugs so Dash will not have the same implementation mistakes.
 

bertlebbert

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So a cryptographic solution in addition to the existing mixing solution? That sounds like not a bad idea to me...
I'm curious how complicated would this be to now incorporate into Dash? Seems to be lots on the plate already.
 
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xdashguy

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So a cryptographic solution in addition to the existing mixing solution? That sounds like not a bad idea to me...
I'm curious how complicated would this be to now incorporate into Dash? Seems to be lots on the plate already.
That is why I recommend to implement Shadowcash technology. Their technology is also built on bitcon core code just like ours. As a result, they have done 90% of all the work. Just copy their code and implement into the Dash system.
 

xdashguy

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Why do Dash users not mix? Lack of interest? Lack of demand? Lack of understanding?
1) Dash is not used for commerce yet. It is mostly used for speculation. As a result, there is little need for privacy in its current form. One big reason why it is not used for commercetransactions is likely because it is offers poor privacy. So, given that, why not just use bitcoin which has much less friction when using it for commerce?

2) Another big reason is usability. Current mixing costs money and takes a loooong time. As a result, it is inconvenient.

How does a "cryptographic means" work and is it feasible?
Yes, it has already been shown to work in Monero, which is based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoNote The CryptoNote website provides more: https://cryptonote.org/inside
https://cryptonote.org/inside

The cryptonote coin (which monero is based on) is built on new blockchain that is not compatible with bitcoin. However, Shadowcash is built on bitcoin-like blockchain and it implements similar technology of ring signatures.

Watch the video on Shadowcash here: https://shadowproject.io/en
 

ec1warc1

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It would be interesting to see what people who are against the idea have to say, perhaps a comparison of PROS vs CONS, including the time to implement. I believe that such a move would require a vote.
 

Vedran Yoweri

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My perception is that that would kill dash, look at malero. It's a great plus to have a plain, tracable blockchain and the option to mix. Best of both worlds and freedom to choose in any situation.
Besides, more important work is being done right now, tinkering with low level stuff without a good reason would be a waste of time. If peeps want absolute anon stuff they can just buy molero or zcash.
 

GrandMasterDash

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My perception is that that would kill dash, look at malero. It's a great plus to have a plain, tracable blockchain and the option to mix. Best of both worlds and freedom to choose in any situation.
Besides, more important work is being done right now, tinkering with low level stuff without a good reason would be a waste of time. If peeps want absolute anon stuff they can just buy molero or zcash.
Yes, best of both worlds, but why make a traceable blockchain by default? - what's wrong with fungibility by default and traceability when you want it? Tbh, making a case for other cryptos seems a bit diversionary. I hope limited resources / priority is not the only reason because I think those kind of resources could be brought in accordingly.