Good morning nopara73 and Chris,

> One way to resist a likely taint analysis attack is to involve other
> parts of the bitcoin economy in your transactions. For example our
> exchange thief could deposit and then withdraw his stolen coins through
> a Bitcoin Casino or other bitcoin service hot wallet. His coins might no
> longer be 100% tainted from the exchange hack but perhaps have 5%
> exchange hack, 5% bitcoin ATM, 5% mined coins, etc etc. The numbers are
> made up and they depend on the exact algorithm but the main point is
> that involving the rest of the bitcoin economy in your transaction is
> one practical way to stop taint analysis being a useful attack against
> on you.
> Another important point is that taint isn't part of bitcoin's code
> anywhere. It is an external reality that surveillance companies impose
> on users. The only reason taint has any influence is because of
> censorship, for example an exchange which uses the services of a
> surveillance company has the power to freeze funds (i.e. censor a
> transaction) if they believe the user's deposit transaction is tainted.

Adding on to this, we can consider the *economics* of taint.

Tainted coins are less valuable than untainted coins.

However, as pointed out as well, taint is not a consensus among all Bitcoin 
There are no cryptographic underpinnings that would allow all nodes to agree on 
their individual taint analysis.

The people knocking on doors often have limited amounts of reach: there are 
real economic barriers to the knock-on-doors people being shipped to the other 
side of the Earth (fuel costs, ammunition costs, sociopolitical knock-on 

Thus, suppose I am a miner with N coins.
As the coins have no history, they are "completely clean", as it were.

As a miner, I exist somewhere in the universe.
It is possible that I exist in some location on Earth (we cannot know; please 
ignore scurrilous slander that I am somehow existent outside of time and space).

Now suppose you have some tainted coins.
As noted, those coins are tainted only within some jurisdiction.
Outside that jurisdiction, however, they have no taint (taint is not a global 

If I happen to live outside the jurisdiction where your coins are tainted, and 
I have some clean freshly-mined coins, I can offer this deal to you:

* Give me N+1 tainted coins for my N clean coins.

Now, again, the premise here is that there exists no global knock-on-doors 
people who can come to my datacenter and start asking questions to the sysads 
administering my computational substrate.

In that case, you might very well take the deal:

* You have not lost economic power, because the tainted coins, in your 
jurisdiction, are of lower value than N+1 anyway, and might even have value 
below that of N clean coins.
* I have gained economic power, because the tainted coins, in my jurisdiction, 
are not tainted and have the same cleanliness as my fresh mined coins.

This is a simple example of gains from trade, this time from jurisdictional 
arbitrage, thus such deals will exist.


But that is specious, as it assumes that there exists no global knock-on-doors 
Obviously, there could exist one or more entities who are able to ship 
knocks-on-doors people all over the globe, taking advantage of economies of 
scale and reinvestment (more knock-on-doors people to knock on doors of people 
they can extract more economic power from to hire more knock-on-doors people) 
to achieve practically global coverage.

Against this, we must remember that ultimately censorship resistance of the 
coin is what can protect against such an attacker, which can impose its own 
non-consensual-but-pretty-damn-important view of taint practically globally.

Censorship resistance requires that owners of coins have control of the keys 
(your keys your coins) and that they can offer bribes to miners to get their 
transactions committed (mining fees).
Custodiality makes it easier for fewer knock-on-doors people to need to be 
shipped to stop certain activities.

Now, the Bitcoin Casino example is of course an example of not your keys not 
your coins i.e. custodiality.

For the purpose of mixing, the "Bitcoin Casino" here is simply aggregating 
multiple UTXOs and then sending them back out to many other new UTXOs.

This is in fact the same operation that CoinJoin does, it aggregates multiple 
UTXOs and creates many new UTXOs to different clients with shared taint.
The advantage is that CoinJoin is still your keys your coins, you still own the 
keys with which to sign the CoinJoin transaction, and thus improve censorship 
resistance of your mixing operation.

For CoinSwap as well, we can consider that a CoinSwap server could make 
multiple CoinSwaps with various clients.
This leads to the CoinSwap server owning many small UTXOs, which it at some 
point aggregates into a large UTXO that it then uses to service more clients 
(for example, it serves many small clients, then has to serve a single large 
client that wants a single large UTXO for its own purposes).
This aggregation again leads to spreading of taint.
CoinSwap, in this regard, is something like the cofunctor of CoinJoin.
Again, the advantage here is that CoinSwap is still your keys your coins, 
compared to the situation with Bitcoin Casino which is custodial.

(@Chris: I think it would be a good design for SwapMarket makers to avoid 
spending-together its owned coins when swapping, but if it *does* need to do so 
(i.e. its coins are all too split up and it becomes unable to serve a client 
without spending more than one coin in a tx), to spend-together *all* its UTXOs 
and try to serve as many takers as possible in a single tx, to simulate 
precisely the batching operations that custodial services use, thus appearing 
as some new custodial service, without actually *being* custodial.)

Thus, we should consider that CoinJoin and CoinSwap improve the censorship 
resistance, and thus improve our global resistance to a potential global 
attacker using taint analysis.

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