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A Decentralized Ethereum Mixing Service Offers Appealing Benefits

by on September 5, 2016

Mixing services are a way to provide Bitcoin users with additional privacy. As most cryptocurrency transactions are publicly broadcasted on the blockchain, there is a lot of transparency. But not everyone wants the world to see when they receive money, or who it comes from. A new Ethereum mixing service has been proposed, but there is a twist.

One thing that makes this mixing service stand out is how a decentralized Ether mixer contract is used. In most cases, mixing services are centralized and controlled by one or several people. Using those platforms requires trust, which is not easily given when it comes to letting others handle one’s funds. For this particular Ethereum offering, it allows users to use multiple anonymous addresses for withdrawals.

An Intriguing Ethereum Mixing Service

But that is not the major difference this service has to offer. There is another plot twist on the horizon and a rather intriguing one. Every anonymous address used during the mixing process has to contain a small amount of ETH. Users can easily achieve this goal by mining, using a faucet, or relying on centralized mixing services.

More importantly, this particular contract ensures honest users will not lose their money. It also provides a negative incentive for anyone who tries to “game the system”. To be more precise, any dishonest party will lose their initial deposit. Although this can be as little as one Ether, they have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

For now, this whole Ethereum mixing service is just a proof-of-concept, rather than a working project. Its primary objective is to raise academic discussion on the subject. But that does not mean it won’t be turned into a decentralized Ethereum mixer in the future. Details will have to be worked out, and the code will need to be created to make this all work, though.

Mixing services will always remain a topic of substantial debate. Some people argue that cryptocurrency users who have nothing to hide should not need such a service. At the same time, Ethereum has no inherent privacy or anonymity, which some users would prefer to have. A mixing service such as this one could bring together the best of both worlds.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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