Samourai describes itself as “a bitcoin wallet for the streets”. Find out what that means today in our Samourai Wallet review.
What Is Samourai Bitcoin Wallet?
Samourai is a highly-secure software wallet currently available through an alpha release on Android. The wallet promises to keep your transactions private, your identity masked, and your funds secure. It claims to offer better transaction privacy than other bitcoin wallets while still making it easy to send and receive money.
Samourai isn’t just about privacy, however. The wallet has another key feature that makes it a good choice for certain bitcoin users: you can dynamically increase the miner fee in case you want to free up a stuck payment or increase the speed of the transaction. Yes, Samourai has dynamic transfer fees.
The developers of Samourai have also added platforms like BIP 47 and Ricochet to give users better control over how their funds are sent and received, and who is able to monitor those transactions. We’ll take a closer look at all of these features down below.
Samourai Wallet Features
What makes Samourai different from the hundreds of other bitcoin wallets out there? Here are some of the core features on the wallet:
Dynamic Transfer Fees:
Users can increase miner fees for stuck payments and transactions that don’t confirm. You can pay more for your transaction if you want to speed it up, for example.
Samourai uses multiple algorithms and features to help preserve your transactional privacy. Samourai will never reuse your address, for example, which prevents valuable metadata about you and your purchase habits from leaking.
The platform also has randomized change outputs for each sent transaction, which makes gathering wallet address metadata more difficult.
Tor & VPN Support:
Another key privacy feature of Samourai is its Tor and VPN support, which allows you to route all transactions through an anonymous IP address.
Samourai recently introduced BIP 47, which brings privacy to public payment addresses through reusable payment codes. You can add a public payment code to send bitcoin anonymously. In this situation, you scan a payment code to open a payment channel between two wallets.
It’s a special transaction on the blockchain. Once the channel is open, you tap the channel name to send bitcoin directly to that wallet without needing to know the address.
Ricochet is a premium type of transaction that improves fungibility and frustrates blockchain spies. It also prevents transactions from being flagged as suspicious – like when banks or exchanges freeze transactions.
Typically, blockchain spies look at the history of your coins 5 “hops” deep. Your coins can be frozen for their past activity – even if they weren’t in your control. The purpose of Ricochet is to add 4 additional “hops” to a transaction. It doesn’t totally solve the problem, but it gives you an additional weapon.
Remote SMS Commands:
One of the unique things about Samourai is that you can send SMS codes to your wallet. You can remotely retrieve your wallet via SMS code, for example, or remotely wipe your wallet. Even if your phone is stolen and has a different SIM card, you can still enable remote commands using your special PIN code.
You can connect to your own node from your Samourai wallet, which lets you push Samourai transactions with your node. Samourai uses its own Iceland-based bitcoin nodes to push transactions to the bitcoin network.
The wallet will use these nodes by default. However, if you flip the “Trusted Node” setting, you can push transactions through your own node. You just enter the IP address and port.
Ultimately, Samourai has a number of advantages over traditional mobile wallets and software wallets. It’s for those who are concerned about privacy and want to put additional layers of anonymity between themselves and the bitcoin network.
One of the main advantages of Samourai is that it reduces the chances of your transactions or funds being frozen. Every day, users watch their funds freeze during legitimate transactions. Sometimes, this is because their coins were used for illegal activity 5 “hops” ago. Samourai wants to prevent this from happening.
Who Created Samourai?
The Samourai Wallet was created by a group of privacy activists who, according to the official Samourai website, “have dedicated our lives to creating the software that Silicon Valley will never build, the regulators will never allow, and the VC’s will never invest in. We build the software that Bitcoin deserves.”
The company was founded in 2015. In addition to Samourai, the company has launched products like Sentinel, PaymentCode.io, and Segwit.co.
Samourai’s Alpha version is currently available to download on Android. You can download the Alpha directly from the Samourai Wallet website.
Samourai Bitcoin Wallet Summary
Throughout 2017, the developers plan to continue adding new functionality to the wallet. By Q3 2017, they plan to have added full segwit support, mixing, and a trusted node for extended wallet functions while removing all third party apps.
Stay tuned for more information about Samourai as the company continues to push out new releases and updates over the course of 2017. You can visit the company today.