For the longest time, there have been a lot of questions regarding Bitcoin’s lack of anonymity and privacy features. This has caused cryptocurrency enthusiasts to look for different solutions, including altcoins. But TumbleBit looks to change all that. The service will act as a Bitcoin-compatible anonymous payment hub.
Unlike what some alternative cryptocurrencies may offer, TumbleBit is designed to create unidirectional unlinkable transactions. Anyone in the world will be able to make quick anonymous payments, none of which will be recorded on the blockchain itself. The Tumbler will act as an untrusted intermediary to provide this feature, with off-blockchain payments in seconds.
What is rather interesting is how not even the Tumbler is able to link transactions from payer to payee. More importantly, the platform is designed in such a way no bitcoin can be stolen, nor can anonymity be violated at any stage during the process. All in all, this sounds like the solution most Bitcoin users have been waiting for over the past few years.
The Tumblebit white paper states,
“To deliver on this promise, anonymity must also be provided in the face of the anonymity-enhancing service itself—if the service knows exactly which payer is paying which payee, then a compromise of the service leads to a total loss of anonymity. Compromise of anonymity-enhancing technologies is not unknown. In 2016, for example, researchers found more than 100 Tor nodes snooping on their user.”
Addressing the scalability issue is done by processing all transactions off the bitcoin blockchain itself. In doing so, the service removes the 10-minute delay associated with waiting for network confirmations. By using TumbleBit all transactions will be completed in mere seconds.
For users who prefer to use TumbleBit as a regular mixing service, that is also possible. The total payment time will still be heavily reduced, and take approximately 30 seconds. Users can expect the same level of anonymity, and no one will be able to link transactions and addresses together.
Assuming this service works as advertised, TumbleBit will be a significant competitor to ZeroCash and other cryptocurrencies focusing on anonymity, such as DASH and monero. Until the solution has been adopted by Bitcoin users on a broad scale its implications remain to be seen.
More detailed information on what the project has to offer can be found in the whitepaper.