As blockchain surveillance becomes more prevalent, cryptocurrency advocates have created ways to make digital currency transactions more private. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has an application called Cashshuffle, which allows users to shuffle their BCH with other fractions of BCH to obfuscate the transaction trail. To complete a shuffle, there are a few steps you must take to utilize the Cashshuffle protocol via the Electron Cash lite wallet.
A Guide to Shuffling Bitcoin Cash With Cashshuffle
Keeping your business private is a sovereign right and when it comes to money, people like to keep their spending habits and transactions discreet. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developers believe in confidential transactions, and last March the Electron Cash wallet saw the first implementation of Cashshuffle added to the client. Cashshuffle is a decentralized coin mixing scheme that shuffles your bitcoin cash with other network participants. The shuffling process makes it difficult for chain analysis entities to follow transactions. Since March 27, millions of dollars have been shuffled and the platform continues to be a top BCH application. To ensure crypto transactions are concealed from onlookers, we’ve drafted a step-by-step Cashshuffle walkthrough so you can keep your bitcoin cash transactions confidential.
The first step is to download the latest Electron Cash wallet which is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and mobile phones as well. However, Cashshuffle only works for the desktop client of EC and the latest EC version is 4.0.8 at the time of publication. The application is a touch less than 60MB and only takes a minute to download depending on your internet speed. After the download completes, you can then open the application and get familiar with the EC wallet’s user interface (UI). First time EC users will have to start a new wallet or import existing BCH into the wallet using a private key. To quickly get started, create a new wallet and write down the new mnemonic phrase. The EC software will ask you to verify the 12-word phrase in order to make sure it was written down correctly.
After the new wallet is created, you can begin shuffling coins with Cashshuffle but you’ll need to send some funds to the newly created wallet. It’s worth noting that the entire process of using the EC wallet’s Cashuffle service can be done over the Tor network for added privacy. Users can connect to a reputable onion node or select a proxy and port while simultaneously running the Tor browser. After opening the newly created wallet, the EC client’s interface has six sections at the top of the window which include history, send, receive, addresses, coins, and a BCH address converter. Press ‘Receive’ so you can send yourself some funds to shuffle as the EC software will provide a QR code you can scan. You can also copy and paste the BCH address and fund the address that way as well. After you send the funds, wait for one confirmation to begin the shuffling process.
By default, Cashshuffle is turned off when you use the Electron Cash wallet for the first time. To turn Cashshuffle on, simply press the orange stack of BCH bills icon next to the padlock icon on the bottom right side of the wallet window. When Cashshuffle was first launched in March, it took a while to connect to peers and shuffle some coins. However, these days there are a bunch of people shuffling and initiating a shuffle took less than a minute. While waiting for the shuffle to happen you can watch the connection in real-time by pressing the coins tab at the top of the window on the left side of the address converter.
To complete the Cashshuffle walkthrough I decided to shuffle 0.01440652 BCH ($5 worth). The coins tab will show that you need to connect with five participants in order to start the process. While it’s waiting to connect, the EC software will tell you how many Cashshuffle players are connected and when it reaches five the shuffling process will start to queue. Shuffling the $5 worth of bitcoin cash was executed simply by funding my wallet, turning on Cashshuffle and waiting for a group of players to join.
As mentioned above, during my test the Cashshuffle process took less than a minute, but if you have to wait a bit longer just leave your computer on while it’s connected to the internet and leave Electron Cash running. You can do other things on your computer while you wait and come back to the wallet when the process is complete. Looking at the coins section in the EC wallet later, you will see that the shuffle status window says “shuffled” when everything is done. In the EC transaction history section, the funds shuffled will indicate the process was completed while also displaying the fee for the shuffling process. The Cashshuffle scheme itself requires onchain confirmations and you will have to wait until your shuffled transaction to confirm to move the funds elsewhere. In order to keep mixed coins (UTXOs) private you should not combine the shuffled outputs after completing the Cashshuffle process. With the EC wallet you can always specify exactly which UTXOs you want to spend and deal with shuffled coins in a separated fashion.
Improved Privacy Is Coming to Cashshuffle Which Aims to Wreck Chain Analysis
Cashshuffle is a really nice application to add more privacy to bitcoin cash transactions, but the method is not 100% perfect. Recently Electron Cash and Cashshuffle engineers have been working to strengthen the Cashshuffle process with a scheme called Cashfusion. Speaking with Electron Cash developer Jonald Fyookball on July 25, the programmer detailed that Mark Lundeberg was collaborating with the project and helping the team make it better.
The Cashfusion concept, when introduced, will bring higher levels of privacy to the Cashshuffle process. This is because the new method will allow an arbitrary number of inputs and outputs of non-standard amounts which essentially offers private coordination and zero-knowledge of linkage between Cashshuffle participants. Fyookball said that Cashfusion is still under development but “the badass thing is that [Cashfusion] is going to allow the user to have any inputs and outputs they want.” The developer added:
[Cashfusion] is going to completely wreck chain analysis.
Cashshuffle continues to be used every day and there’s been a total of 22,631 shuffles since March 27. Out of those 22K shuffles, a whopping 127,702 BCH has been shuffled or $43.3 million at today’s prices. Every weekend Cashshufflers gather together on ‘Shuffle Saturdays,’ which usually see a greater number of BCH shuffled than the weekdays. The website Cashshuffle Stats gives people a glimpse of all the shuffling action taking place using the protocol with information like shuffle volume, daily count, weekly count, and shuffle counts by pool. If you want to test the Electron Cash wallet with Cashshuffle you can download the latest version here. Bitcoin.com also offers you the opportunity to purchase bitcoin cash (BCH) and other leading coins if you’d like to obtain some BCH for shuffling.
What do you think about the Cashshuffle process? Have you tried to shuffle some coins using the Cashshuffle protocol? Let us know about your experience and let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned software. Bitcoin.com or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, software or services mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Electron Cash, Cashshuffle, and Jamie Redman.
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Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.