Suggestions for the Privacy Coins course

Hi @Grant_Hawkins, I didn’t find a topic for your course, to report suggestions, mistakes etc. so I created one :wink:

I have 2 points to suggest / debate:

  1. In the end of the lecture Linking UTXOs you mention to check Alex Gladstein’s article “A world without bitcoin” which I googled, but I think it’s worth, when you mention any kind of resource or also a curiosity like in this case, to add the link to the description. The link I found is: I added it to my reading list, so I’m sure many others will like it too.
    The suggestion in general is, in your lectures, please add such links, so it’s a bit more interactive to click something to read after watching the video. Thank you. Very interesting course so far.

  2. Are you sure that governments can retroactively tax people for not declaring something that in the past was not forced to declare? That’s not how law works. Or have you got some examples of places where this happened? When a new law is introduced, the law can be applied only in the present and the future, not in the past. E.g. say that a government makes holding crypto illegal, usually there is an announcement and a date when the law will be valid, e.g. imagine this happens now and the law will be introduced in January 2021. If I get rid of my crypto during this year, I can’t be prosecuted in 2021 for something I did in the past, because in the past it was not illegal. Else imagine how many new laws will criminalize people who could not really read the future. It would be a crazy kind of justice system. It’s still debatable, but luckily it’s not that bad… :wink:
    I make an example. In Switzerland we have to declare the value of our crypto and this is tax free, we just pay taxes on the total value of all assets we own. So the value of crypto is mixed with the value of precious metals and cash hidden under the mattress we own. It’s a small tax, something like 0.1% so say a person owns assets such as a few cars, a house, some cash, some crypto, some gold etc for a total of 1 million CHF, 0.1% of that is actually 1000 CHF/year it doesn’t matter if I bought BTC at 1 CHF many years ago and sell it now. I’m taxed for its potential value even if I don’t sell it. Capital gains are not taxed in Switzerland. But say if they decide to tax capital gains from 2021, I still have time until the end of the year to sell them, knowing that from 2021 every sale will be subject to the new tax, they can’t retroactively tax me for the years in the past where there was no tax on sales.


@Firepol, For the point number 2, it seems retrospective laws can be possible. Though the example link, i am pasting is related to an institution.

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@Grant_Hawkins I noticed that some thumbnails in the course are missing, see screenshot:

I think in the indicated places you wanted to insert the thumbnail you usually use for the lecture (the picture with a notebook and 2 pencils), cheers

@Grant_Hawkins in this lecture:

You linked this reading assignment:

I googled for coinjoin and found exactly the same, but written in a better way (with headlines, bold etc.) so I think this is more readable and should be used instead of a forum thread:

Also feedback. To me, the coinjoin article was very hard to read and understand… why don’t you make a video about it and try to explain it a bit less technically, as you did for bitlaundry?

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@firepol Thanks for starting this thread!

  1. Good idea, I’ll do that.
  2. I meant to present this as a hypothetical. I should add at the beginning, “people are concerned that this could happen at some point in the future, so they take precautions now.” That being said, I have seen some stories, but anything bordering on ‘financial advice’ gets tricky so I don’t link anything. :man_shrugging:

Will update video thumbnails.

Regarding the post - I like to include primary sources wherever possible… I think part of the job is to show this tech in context, and the original post gives good context. Also, since when difficult = bad?

Regarding the post - I like to include primary sources wherever possible… I think part of the job is to show this tech in context, and the original post gives good context. Also, since when difficult = bad?

Well, difficult = bad is not true, but it’s true that wikis have been invented in order for people to collaborate/contribute on documentation and make it better. So for educational purposes I’d still argue that a well written wiki article taken from a forum thread is better than the original forum thread in this case. But hey, I’m not here to start a flame war, I just discovered by chance the bitcoin wiki, which seems quite an official source of information, so in the next lectures if I see again some (long) technical proposals or articles from the bitcointalk forum I’ll personally look them up online and compare it. And I hope you won’t mind if I’ll share the link :wink: Cheers

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@Grant_Hawkins Hi Grant, I heard so much about CloakCoin’s Enigma Protocol and heard that it has the ability to port to a different chain, can you shed some light on it, maybe can you make a course specifically for CloakCoin, I heard from Pillar project community that they wanted to do some POC’s to integrate them in their wallet to reward Pillar token holders with Cloak, Cloak was a Fork from BTC 6 years back, also heard that they are recently planning to upgrade to BTC codebase for Atomic swap compatibility …can you help design a course around Cloak coin and its Enigma protocol, so that I can help Cloak coin community in the near future developments :slight_smile:

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@Grant_Hawkins Just to add to my previous comment, Recently There is been news from Chain-analysis that Zcash and Dash transactions are 99% traceable, can you please shed some light on this? whereas Cloak coin Enigma protocol was un-hacked and un-traceable till now


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We’re going to shift away from privacy projects for a bit, but will def keep in mind!

If the Cloak community needs someone to help w education they can definitely reach out to me on Twitter - @granawkins. :pray:

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Congratulations on finding some clickbait! Have you been doing your homework? :wink:

Zcash is transparent by default. 99% of transactions on Zcash are not meant to be private. Going from transparent-to-private logically must disclose the amount.

Dash is also transparent by default. PrivateSend gets exponentially stronger when its used multiple times.

Also the author needs to brush up on terminology:

  • Anonymous means the identity is unknown
  • Confidential means the amount is unknown
  • Private means both
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how do i actually go about buying monero and other privacy coins in a private and secure way? vpn? vpn + tor?

There should be a course on how to learn how to use these services products to be safer and more secure when dealing with buying, using, selling privacy coins. no point in learning about these privacy coins if i cant actually get them in safe and private manner and also manage them in a safe, secure, private anonymous manner. @Grant_Hawkins @ivan

Good point & good suggestion. So to buy e.g. Monero (XMR) I’d do the following (anybody please correct if you think it’s a bad strategy):

I’d use an exchange like binance. KYC is not required for what I recall (unless you need to withdraw more than 1 BTC). You buy some XMR (monero) and send them to your wallet. You can assume that this transaction can be traced back to you. So you must use some dummy email and send BTC or USDT or USDC (from an address never used before). Also use a VPN (or TOR, why not), good idea.

Now you create another wallet and send the coins you received from binance to that address, maybe in different times. E.g. a bit now, a bit in a few hours etc.

You can also use mixing services such as Changejelly and similar. But they require KYC… so I prefer the binance (or any exchange that does not require KYC) approach to start with.


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You can also try Bisq exchange to buy XMR :slight_smile:

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