TL;DR: Bitcoin Cash transaction privacy tool CashFusion continues to impress analysts from across the ecosystem. The latest is from data scientist James Waugh who recently posted his findings under the provocative title, Is CashFusion Really Anonymous? His rigorous testing proves CashFusion is for real.
Data Scientist Confirms CashFusion is for Real
Within the realm of peer-to-peer electronic cash, few goals are more coveted than improving transaction anonymity and privacy. Along with fungibility, the idea is to assist in cash-like features without making them necessarily embedded with the client protocol. Heck, even super genius Elon Musk agrees: without greater privacy characteristics, Bitcoin is just another clunky, dumb version of PayPal, maybe even worse if users believe themselves to be falsely shielded from outside eyes.
Enter a first iteration of working to solve that problem, CashShuffle. It has been live for months now, providing relative transaction anonymity for bitcoin cash (BCH) users. Wallets like Electron Cash employ it as a handy option, pooling funds, essentially “mixing” UTXOs around, and spitting them out in the hope of blurring chain analysis and tracking. It has worked well, but experience with CashShuffle proved more needed to be done. Enterprising sleuths can still suss out transaction patterns, trails, admittedly with a few more cumbersome steps, nonetheless.
CashFusion is an evolution from lessons learned by using CashShuffle in the wild. Headed by noted developers Jonald Fyookball, Mark Lundeberg, and Calin Culianu, CashFusion claims to have a heavier transaction combinatory experience for users who value privacy. Still in its testing phases, many across the ecosystem, from various coin projects, have praised CashFusion as a concept but remain skeptical.
There is No Way for Us to Know
Data scientist James Waugh recently put CashFusion through a battery of tests on that score. “After repeating this process for all the inputs & outputs,” Waugh concluded, “we find that there is no way for us to know if the candidate match we found is the true transaction i.e. it’s not possible to establish a concrete link between these inputs and outputs since it’s more likely that these inputs & outputs are linked by pure coincidence than it is that they are verifiably linked by their payment amounts.”
However, is it possible, in the way it might be for CashShuffle, to use yet another method to unweave transactions from CashFusion? “Fortunately for those who are excited by CashFusion, no! I have repeated this process across thousands of matched subsets, none can be mathematically proven to be the true transactions,” Waugh stressed. “This is encouraging for CashFusion users since CashFusion is far more practical than other CoinJoin protocols that require users to send equal transaction amounts.”
The independent results come after CashFusion developer Calin Culianu announced a new build had been released. It includes user interface tweaks, a plugin “loaded by default” on new installs, and “some internal nits and fixups,” he noted. CashFusion testers also recently revealed some 1,700 transactions to over 6,500 BCH have been performed successfully during its early trials … in hopes of formally being released in a few months.
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DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.