Samourai Wallet introduced a new feature to improve bitcoin fungibility

FinTech | January 30, 2017 By:

Samourai Wallet introduced a new feature that improves bitcoin fungibility.

The team recently revealed Ricochet, which is a feature that adds four additional hops to a transaction. The Samourai team explains that thousands of transactions are flagged and blacklisted by blockchain spies on a daily basis.

“Bitcoin banks and exchanges freeze funds and suspend users based on blacklists published by blockchain spies,” explains the Samourai developers. “Blockchain spies look at the history of your coins around five hops deep. Your coins can be frozen for their past activity. Even if they weren’t in your control. Ricochet adds four additional hops to a transaction—by adding additional hops before the coins reach their final destination, the blockchain spies would need to look ten hops backwards, increasing their costs and overheads.”

Blockchain spying has increased significantly over the past two years, and some businesses are using tracing services. If there are connections to a frowned upon activity within the transaction hops analyzed, many companies may freeze your bitcoin account. The Samourai team views this as a privacy problem for bitcoin.

Ricochet collects the inputs and miner fees needed for the transaction, and the user also pays 0.001 BTC to Samourai to process the ricocheted transaction. Each hop transaction maintains one input and one output with the final transaction. The team explains the process does not eliminate blacklisting entirely but “fungibility is preserved by moving funds to an address out of the line-of-sight of ill-intentioned actors.”

This new tool is quite intriguing, as it will help improve bitcoin privacy for all users. Even though Samourai Wallet is still in alpha testing right now, the team keeps adding a ton of new features over time. Ricochet is just the latest addition to this growing list, and will be of great interest to a lot of bitcoin users.