Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2014/077

Mixcoin: Anonymity for Bitcoin with accountable mixes

Joseph Bonneau and Arvind Narayanan and Andrew Miller and Jeremy Clark and Joshua A. Kroll and Edward W. Felten

Abstract: We propose Mixcoin, a protocol to facilitate anonymous payments in Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies. We build on the emergent phenomenon of currency mixes, adding an accountability mechanism to expose theft. We demonstrate that incentives of mixes and clients can be aligned to ensure that rational mixes will not steal. Our scheme is efficient and fully compatible with Bitcoin. Against a passive attacker, our scheme provides an anonymity set of all other users mixing coins contemporaneously. This is an interesting new property with no clear analog in better-studied communication mixes. Against active attackers our scheme offers similar anonymity to traditional communication mixes.

Category / Keywords: applications / Bitcoin

Original Publication (with major differences): Financial Crypto 2014

Date: received 3 Feb 2014, last revised 21 Apr 2014

Contact author: jbonneau at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Note: Extended version

Version: 20140422:014122 (All versions of this report)

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