Setting Sail from Wasabi

nopara73
4 min readDec 26, 2023

In 2011, Gavin Andresen, a prominent developer in the early Bitcoin community, announced plans to present Bitcoin at a CIA event. Shortly afterward, Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, withdrew from the project. He stepped back, reassured that Bitcoin no longer needed his involvement. Bitcoin was invented, and it could not be uninvented. With this, the revolution of decentralized money had begun. While I may not be as mysterious and my achievements not as grand, they are still sizable because my crew and I made Bitcoin anonymous.

2015, December 23, was when I sketched up the blueprint for a privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet, a treasure map to uncharted territories in Cyberspace. And ever since, I have worked on it tirelessly. Along the way, a crew of like-minded individuals joined me, sharing in the vision and adventure.

In 2018, we launched Wasabi Wallet, which revolutionized Bitcoin privacy. It was the first non-custodial, lightweight Bitcoin wallet, which enabled perfect privacy for its users. Although we significantly enhanced Bitcoin’s fungibility, I wasn’t yet satisfied. I elaborated on it two years later in an unpublished article of mine:

In 2019, I started working on our bus factor: what if I get hit by a bus? What do we need to accomplish in order to make myself completely replaceable? I gathered my concerns in a GitHub issue and acted upon them: Roadmap? How to replace nopara?
By 2020, we successfully transferred my CTO and code maintainership responsibilities and ensured there were no more uncomfortable bugs remaining in the software; thus, the company could go on without me just fine. I’m officially prepared for being assassinated.

Which brings me to my last journey with Wasabi Wallet. I am planning to devote 100% of my attention to coming up with and implementing the next-generation anonymity technology for Bitcoin. I would like to take another stab at this, using all the knowledge I have accumulated over the years. I promise I’ll do my best and expect the same from those who will accompany me.

The year 2022. It marked a new chapter in our saga with the launch of Wasabi Wallet 2.0: while keeping the privacy guarantees of 1.0, we have reduced blockspace usage tenfold, and to everyone’s surprise, we have also delivered by far the most beautiful and user-friendly desktop wallet out there. WW2 is a major step toward freedom, liberty, and human flourishing. Then, we spent a year improving and battle-testing it, which brings me to the end of my last journey.

zkSNACKs, the banner under which we sailed, grew to encompass 30 full-time contributors. Together, we steered Wasabi Wallet to become the largest and, by far, the most popular Bitcoin privacy solution and the second most actively developed open-source Bitcoin wallet. Second only to the mighty Bitcoin Core. The teams are currently working on scaling the wallet to enable true financial sovereignty to as many users as possible. Their projects include the launch of a mobile wallet, hardware wallet coinjoin integrations and translations to various languages.

Cypherpunk 2073, aka nopara’s vision. The result of half a decade of ideation.

Our journey, though filled with remarkable achievements, was not without its challenges. From early on, we braved storms of sockpuppet and bot attacks, lies and threats of wannabe competitors, and more seriously, in recent years, even the overreaching grasp of the World Government. Both of these fronts have escalated to the point of targeting my family.

Nevertheless, Wasabi Wallet was invented. And it cannot be uninvented.

Cryptocurrencies will bring tyrannical governments and dictatorships to their knees. Bitcoin is the single largest revolution in the history of mankind, and Wasabi Wallet has a major role to play in this.

Ahoy, brave souls of cyberspace! The winds of change are blowing, signaling it’s time for this old cypherpunk to leave the helm of this grand adventure. My job here’s done. I’ve moved on to other things. Wasabi is in good hands.

But YOU, little cypherpunk, set sail and let the Great Pirate Era begin!

VIVA LA LIBERTAD CARAJO

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