VPNs that accept Grin as payment?

I think this would be a decent use case for Grin’s robust privacy. Mulvad for example: https://mullvad.net/en/account/#/#add_time accepts only one fully private coin being Monero. I would much prefer to use Grins for this, thoughts? Are there any already?


Grin privacy and Monero privacy are totally incomperable. Maybe when coinswap is live can they trade blows, but until then Grin is not a privacy coin and should not be recommended to users seeking privacy.

I say this as someone who strongly hopes for grin to become a privacy coin.


I’ve just seen news from lowendbox about mullvad, seems government does not like privacy at all.

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We can not trust any VPN provider anyway.
Better to pay with GRINs for VPS.
Or even launch some kind of P2P VPN on top of GRIN node and let users pay for your proxy with GRIN, just an idea :wink:
Example: https://www.orchid.com/


They can certainly be compared, as I did in Scalability vs privacy chart

As that picture shows, privacy is not a binary switch, but a spectrum, and Grin is toward its bottom, by sharing the two most important privacy enhancements over bitcoin:

  1. hiding amounts, and

  2. hiding addresses.

Monero is further on the spectrum (about as much as MW+CS), and shielded Zcash is further yet.

If some attacker is responsible for 90% of Monero transactions in order to identify decoys, then Monero becomes rather traceable. That could be a reason to recommend shielded ZCash to uses seeking privacy, as it doesn’t share that weakness…


what i want is privacy which gives safety to good actors and preferably not to bad ones. I’m probably the only one who thinks that having transaction graph leak is not a big deal as long as you have hidden amounts. I know that having transaction graph visible reveals some things but i think it’s important to not have perfect privacy since the jump from a solid privacy for everyday use to perfect privacy would bring more cons than pros in our world. So it’s important to strike a good balance. That doesn’t mean that i consider coinswap to be useless, quite the opposite, i think that it’s very good if the regulators have access to its mapping - yeah i know, 99% of people here will flame me for this, but it’s important to have good regulation and you can’t have one if it’s too private (don’t know where the line is honestly). I would consider having completely private coin to be good also if it would allow you to generate a “proof of not being a bad actor” without revealing anything else - whatever that means. But we probably don’t know how to do that today.

Well, I share some of the view. Unlike most, I believe perfect privacy in a financial system is not a good thing to have in a civil society. Both ends of the spectrum, complete surveillance and perfect privacy, don’t look like an ideal position to me. The former enables perfect control through monitoring while the latter enables perfect crime through the impossibility of monitoring. I don’t think either end is good. A good balance is probably somewhere in between. I’ve no idea how that looks like though.

Yes, Grin is better than Bitcoin, but Grin does not protect you from chain surveillance, so I would not consider it a privacy coin. Perhaps you define privacy differently.

If I understand your argument, its that chain analysis firms are always used for good, therefore “good actors” actors can consider grin “private enough”? If we trust corpos/banks to be honest custodians of the money system, then why are we even building decentralized money? This is a bad take.

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no, chain analysis will be public and everyone will be able to use it, good and bad people. What i’m saying is that i believe there exists a point where you have enough privacy to live safely - let’s say safety level is X (it’s not perfect privacy, so they can see some things that you do) and if you add more privacy your safety level decreases instead of increases. So what i’m saying is that privacy is not the only thing that defines how safe someone is and we should look at the other things aswell. For example if you have hidden amounts i believe that vast majority of things that you want to hide are already hidden. Now sure theoretically you leak with who you’re making transactions etc but i honestly think that’s not that important. And i’ve not seen anyone give me a good example of why that wouldn’t be the case, everyone just points out that you can get a lot of info through chain analysis, which i know is true, but nobody can explain to me why that analysis would make my life bad (and to be fair, i can think of some cases where that would be true, but like i’ve mentioned there are also downsides when you increase privacy). I just don’t agree that if chan analysis can reveal some data that that’s necessarily bad, i would be very surprised if what gives us the most safety is when chain analysis can say nothing.

Why do you say that? Today chainalaysis firms are private and opaque. They do not disclose their means, and yet use their data to imprison people? Why do you think that will change?

Because anyone can build it so i believe that sooner or later a public one will emerge. Maybe people are more hesitant to do it on coins where amounts are not hidden since it reveals way too much in that case so it’s way less desirable to have such data available to everyone.

Maybe. Chain analysis is expensive and governments are the only buyers. I don’t think anyone will run a free public service out of the goodness of their heart, so I expect privacy coins to protect me from the malicious chain analysis firms that we do know exist already.

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Public ones are already there, at least for Bitcoin:

  • Free, by a developer of chain-analysis with a good :heart:: https://www.walletexplorer.com/ (temporarily down, limits the amount of queries per minute)
  • Greg made this nice code to convert Bitcoin blockchain to Neo4J (a graph database), that can be easily used to query information, its under the hood of walletexplorer.com:
    Graph Database Blockchain: How to Import Bitcoin Blockchain into Neo4j
  • IP information (broadcast IP) for a transactions can be retrieved from blockchain.info or blockcypher (about 30 lines of Python code)
  • CoinJoins with non-equal value can be easily untangled using the Sudoku algorithm (in its core 5 lines of code).

The whole hassle is to link those together. That is what professional firms do better. Also they can manage the infrastructure to do chain analysis for many coins and accross chains, not really manageable on a hobby basis. Updating of walletexplorer.com or the Neo4J back-end are not so efficient, basically you have to rerun everything.

i think this forum lost its objectivity and sight. Instead of title and solid suggestion, forum people are about to discuss world climate problem. I cant believe.


but today’s Lord’s day :pray: today is a day to be humble and grateful :palms_up_together:

god bless.

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Opinions about privacy are varied within the community.
I am also fine with privacy preservation opposed to near perfect privacy like Zcash. It is one of the reasons I prefer to at least for the time being have CoinSwap optional.
I just want to buy my coffee in relative privacy/pseudonymity, but there are also many who would argue one should always aim for perfect privacy even though perfect privacy is never possible and always comes at a cost.
In the end we should and are balancing these visions and cater to both where possible.

But to get back on topic, feel free to ask your favorit VPN provider to accept Grin as payment. That would be a fitting use.


Didn’t mean to open up a can of worms :sweat_smile:
How is it possible for them to break the cross-input aggregation scheme if at all? Would be really interested to know. If not what is the vulnerability?

Being able to pay for VPN or VPS with Grin directly would help break analysis that depends on your network metadata I think.

This is a great idea!

What privacy vulnerability is coolwhip referring to? As far as I can tell the MimbleWimble design obfuscates the transaction graph unless you are a participant in the transaction?

MimbleWimble does not obfuscate the graph by itself. You need to participate in large coinjoins or coinswaps, but neither of those are available today.

Technically every MW transaction is a two party coinjoin, but two parties is not enough. Sender and receiver graph can still be seen. You need large coinjoins to hide the graph.