Learn to protect your security by ensuring your financial privacy.
Due to the open nature of Blockchain technology, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone anymore that Bitcoin is far from being anonymous, and in fact, it’s the most open cryptocurrency in the whole world.
This of course means that people with significant wealth in cryptocurrencies are at risk of getting harassed by all kinds of random strangers who might be stalking at them.
However, with the right tools, features, and actions one can actually obtain quite effective anonymity over their Bitcoins. That being said, one of the most effective tools to anonymize your Bitcoins today is a product by Samourai Wallet called: Whirpool.
And the following guide is to demonstrate how you can use this product yourself.
What is Samourai Wallet & Whirpool?
Samourai Wallet is like any regular Bitcoin wallet, however, it has few instinct properties that separate it from all other competitors in the market. And it’s that, it’s actually designed for true cypherpunks from the ground up. Meaning it offers a variety of privacy-enhancing features that can be used to manage coins in such a way that they can effectively break the link between their previous paths, or more simply put, make them more anonymous.
Whirpool is a mechanism that combines multiple participants coins or UTXOs into a pooled transaction with multiple inputs and outputs of the same size. Looking from outside it is almost impossible to determine which output belongs to which input. Unlike normal Bitcoin transactions, where there is usually one sender and one receiver. Whirpool makes it extremely difficult for someone outside to trace from where a particular coin originated, and where it was sent to.
If you are new to the Samourai wallet please refer to our previous guide before continuing as it will go through a simple step by step process on how to install and backup the wallet.
Anonymizing your Bitcoin
Getting ready to mix & anonymize your Bitcoins on mobile using Whirpool.
In order to use Whirpool you will need some Bitcoins, the current pool sizes are as follows:
- 0.5 BTC + Whirpool fee 0.0005 – Min deposit = 0.01050491 BTC
- 0.05 BTC+ Whirpool fee 0.0025 – Min deposit = 0.05250491 BTC
- 0.01 BTC + Whirpool fee 0.025 – Min deposit = 0.52500491 BTC
Make sure you have at least the minimum amount to pay for the fee, and to enter the Whirpool, currently the smallest amount you can anonymize is little over 0.0105 BTC.
If you have an insufficient amount of Bitcoins, simply spin off the receiving tab from the wallet and deposit some BTC. We recommend you enable TOR as well.
After you have the required Bitcoin amount for a pool of your choice, you can open the Whirpool app from the bottom right corner by tabbing the blue button that says “Whirpool”.
The service will then take a few seconds to connect and load up.
From there you can tab the blue Whirpool logo on the bottom right corner again, and either select “Mix UTXOs” or “Spend Mixed UTXOs“, since you do not already have any mixed coins, tab on the “Mix UTXOs” to start mixing & anonymizing your coins.
After selecting “Mix UTXOs” you’ll be able to select which UTXOs you want to mix using the Whirlpool, simply select your chosen UTXOs and tab on the blue NEXT button.
At this point, you can influence the mixing cycle and its priority, or other words, choose the amount of fees you want to spend to send these UTXOs into the Whirlpool.
After you’ve selected priority, tab Review Cycle Details to continue.
You can now review your Whirpool cycle details for the last time, confirm everything, and if it looks good to you, tab Begin Cycle to start the mixing process.
Before broadcasting the transaction, a Doxxic Change popup will come up, asking you to decide what you want to do with the leftover Unmixed Change from this transaction.
We recommend you choose YES, as it marks the Unmixed Change as “Do Not Spend“, you can always manually do this as well.
The importance of this choice is that you do not want at any point to mix your anonymized coins, with your unmixed coins, as this would deanonymize all of the work you’ve previously done.
Note: the wallet will automatically keep your POST MIXED transaction coins at a separate location!
When sending out the transaction, you’ll receive a notification for the transaction ID.
After broadcasting is complete, you’ll be back at the Whirpool main screen, and once you move away from the Whirpool screen, you will see a pending transaction, and the leftover Unmixed Change is marked as Do Not Spend.
Once the initial Whirpool transaction gets confirmation on the blockchain, the mixing will begin, you can now move back Whirpool screen and monitor your mixing process.
And once the screen loads, you will see your pre-mix UTXOs Queued for mixing.
Congratz your coins should now be getting mixed!
Once mixed, these POST-MIXED UTXOs will disappear from the main Whirpool screen, but you can view them by tabbing the Samourai Logo on the top left corner, this will take you to the POST-MIX section of the Whirpool.
From here you can send these coins like you would send any normal unmixed coins, simply tab the Send button at the bottom right corner, and choose the address you wish to use.
Remember: You do not want to mix these coins with the unmixed coins at any point!
And that’s how you anonymize your coins using the Samoura Whirpool!!
But now you might wonder, what to do with the left over Unmixed Change coins?
Our suggestion would be to leave those leftover coins there waiting for later mixing, as you gather enough change, you’ll eventually be able to mix them as well.
Note that Samourai also has many more advanced tools in its arsenal, it is recommended for example to use Cahoots Coinjoins for enhanced privacy when spending from post-mix address. Alternatively, Samourai will attempt to use STONEWALL by default.
These are just a few examples of the many other privacy features Samourai offers, the most important thing is that you now know how to anonymize your Bitcoins using Whirpool.
For more detailed information about all of the features, we suggest you visit the website.
Related & Notes
If you want to know how to anonymize your Bitcoins using a desktop computer, we’ve written another guide on how to do this using Wasabi Wallet & CoinJoin:
There are also several other privacy related articles that you might find interesting: