In 2015, two developers, Keonne Rodriguez and William Hill embarked on creating a Bitcoin Wallet with privacy on steroids. The project took off intending to align with the underlying principles of Bitcoin: security, transparency, privacy, fungibility, and decentralization. Fast forward to today, the buzz around the Samourai is at its peak at a time when the big guns are continuously monitoring the everyday behavior of individuals.
At present, many state actors are actively seeking to erect a cordon around the illicit activity that relies on cryptocurrencies. However, some of these initiatives are hampering the adoption of cryptocurrencies that prioritize privacy. For example, in 2018, the US Department of Homeland Security called for ways to circumvent privacy protections in some of the privacy-enhancing cryptocurrencies. In another instance, in 2020, the US proposed regulations that required exchanges to report all personal information of a person making transactions of more than USD 10,000 in a day. Samourai is a project aimed at protecting users’ privacy as much as possible amidst this regulatory ambiguity. The founders are dedicated to standing by the principles of Bitcoin as they themselves have stated:
“We are privacy activists who have dedicated our lives to creating the software that Silicon Valley will never build, the regulators will never allow, and the VCs will never invest in. We build the software that Bitcoin deserves.”
Samourai goes one step further by offering the Whirlpool feature to provide transactional privacy on the street. Whirlpool implements the CoinJoin protocol to mix Bitcoin directly within the mobile wallet. At its core, Whirlpool involves collaborative transactions between five participants. This makes it almost impossible to determine which output belongs to which input. It adds a critical layer of privacy on top of Bitcoin when Bitcoin privacy demand is shooting up globally.