via github.com/bitcoin

Here's a promising development on Bitcoin Core that got merged today; the addition of I2P network support for node operators. This will provide another avenue through which bitcoin users can connect to relay transactions between each other using an anonymous communications protocol in addition to Tor. Your Uncle Marty loves optionality and user optionality was just expanded.

This is especially encouraging to see considering the recent unreliability of the Tor network as it attempts to withstand an ongoing attack. I can't personally speak to the quality of I2P as I have never used it, but if it is good enough to be merged into Core, I assume it is good enough to help users achieve better privacy when sending and receiving transactions on the Bitcoin network.

There are many layers to privacy considerations when using Bitcoin. The addition of I2P aids in the privacy of users as they relay transactions between each other. However, this is just one variable to factor in when attempting to use bitcoin in as private a way as possible. Users must also take into consideration things like attaching public addresses to KYC/AML compliant exchanges and services that are likely to share transaction data with government agencies if coerced. This is why CoinJoin solutions like Samourai's Whirlpool exists. To help break the links between your exchange account and public addresses associated with the private keys you control, CoinJoin transaction confuse heuristics used by chain analysis companies.

On top of this, users must be conscious of using block explorers to search transaction statuses or details without using a VPN or running that traffic through a service like Tor or I2P. One must also be aware of not using a public address more than once as to not combine bitcoin UTXOs. There are a number of other factors that I could go into detail about here, but I have to go eat some dinner.

At the end of the day, bitcoin users should be aware of where the network falls short of protecting users' privacy, the tools at their disposal to attain better privacy as they transact, and the fact that privacy is a human right that one should not be ashamed to seek out when using Bitcoin.


Final thought...

Pork chops on the menu. Yum.