Who will run the CoinJoin coordinators?

Who will run the CoinJoin coordinators?

Original Postby kravens

Posted on: June 2, 2024 10:01 UTC

The recent crackdown on non-custodial privacy tools has led to significant changes in the landscape of Bitcoin privacy services.

The closure of coordinator servers for Samourai Wallet, due to police confiscation, and Wasabi Wallet, following a voluntary shutdown, marked a turning point. These platforms were pivotal in facilitating CoinJoin transactions, offering users enhanced anonymity by pooling multiple transactions into one, making individual transactions harder to trace. In response to these closures, alternatives like JoinMarket with Jam, which operates without a central coordinator but involves a more intricate setup process, have gained attention.

Amid these developments, the introduction of the BTCPay Server CoinJoin plugin stands out as a noteworthy adaptation. This plugin leverages the WabiSabi protocol, previously used by Wasabi Wallet, to enable users to host their own coordinator services. The BTCPay coordinator not only facilitates privacy-enhanced transactions but also makes itself discoverable via Nostr relay, thus integrating seamlessly with wallets that support the WabiSabi protocol such as Wasabi Wallet, Trezor Suite, and others. An example of a tool designed to locate active coordinators is available here.

To contribute to the Bitcoin privacy ecosystem and offer local users an option to maintain their transactional privacy, the author has set up their own BTCPay coordinator service. Detailed instructions for joining this service are provided, aiming to address the current issue of low participant numbers in new coordinators. The absence of an intuitive flow in wallets to guide users towards these alternative coordinators, or in some cases, like Trezor Suite, a complete lack of the option to switch coordinators, poses challenges for user adoption.

The broader implications of these shifts and the community's response to them are yet to be fully realized. There is speculation about whether a decentralized network of BTCPay Coordinators might emerge, growing more resilient with each challenge, or if solutions like JoinMarket will attract users who previously relied on the centralized services of Samourai and Wasabi Wallets. The evolution of Bitcoin privacy techniques appears to be at a crossroads, with the potential for innovative solutions to emerge in response to regulatory pressures.