How to

Tutorial: Samourai Wallet, a customizable bitcoin wallet

Key facts:
  • This is a specialized bitcoin wallet.

  • Its ability to perform multiple private transactions is its biggest attraction.

Simplicity and versatility, that’s how I would personally describe the portfolio that I will present below. I think Samurai walleta wallet that, in addition to performing typical portfolio operations, offers us a wide range of very interesting configurations.

Samourai wallet main interface. Source: Samurai Wallet.

Let’s start by first talking about its simplicity. As you can see in the image on the right, this is the main interface. Simple and intuitive. Very easy to use, because it does not require additional knowledge.

as i mentioned earlier, The configurations that Samourai offers are part of what sets this wallet apart from the rest. In this regard, in this tutorial I will not only teach you how to create, support and use this wallet, but you will also learn how to take advantage of the most prominent settings that it presents.

Before starting, it is important to clarify that this app is still in the alpha stage of development and is only available for Android devices.

Given the above, you might think that you can lose your funds if you have problems accessing your wallet, but remember that the app is not the one that manages your cryptocurrencies, it’s you via your private keys. So if we execute a return to another compatible walletsuch as Mycelium or Coinomi, through the 12 recovery words generated by Samourai, we will have access to our private keys and, consequently, our funds.

Samourai wallet installation

As I said before, this is an app that currently only works for Android devices, so we will find an installer in the Play Store named Samurai wallet.

The application is currently under development, which is why it appears as unpublished. Source: Play Store Android.

As you can see, the application appears as unpublished, but there is no problem; We must have only as an alternative, in case of error or malfunction, the return of the wallet to another compatible one.

Create a new portfolio

Once installed, the next step is to open the app and grant some relevant permissions to allow it to function properly.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

The first thing we will do is select an option Create a new wallet.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

Before creating the wallet, Samourai will offer us an additional security option, known as Passphrase. Before we explain how it works, we need to keep in mind one important detail: Samourai Wallet saves an encrypted file of the last wallet used on the device, which allows faster wallet recovery. Therefore, regardless of whether we uninstall the application, the backup will remain. This only applies to the last used wallet..

To restore from this save file, we must enter the password that corresponds to the specified backup. This can be seen when starting the application, because at the bottom we will see a notification that a backup has been found.

On the other hand, when restoring in the traditional way, i.e. entering 12 words for recovery, the passphrase must also be entered.

Note that this phrase is not stored anywherenot even on our device, so we have to consider it and save it in a safe place, along with the 12 words.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

What follows is setting a security PIN or password. This code is a string of 5 to 8 digits that will serve as protection for the application itself, as it will be requested every time we open it.

Finally, in this process of creating a new portfolio, we have another essential part which consists of 12 recovery words. This string of words, along with the passphrase, is the only way we can get our funds back.

It is advisable to keep this seed away from any digital media. This makes us less likely to suffer from hacks. In fact, it is advisable to write it down and keep it somewhere safe. Finally, the wallet will be ready to use.

Usando samurai wallet

First of all, I have to mention that in this section I’m just going to teach you how to use this wallet the traditional way., namely: how to receive, send and view funds. I’ll teach you about each of Samourai’s own configurations later.

Initially, we see the balance expressed in BTC, although we can see its equivalent in satoshis (the smallest part of a bitcoin) by clicking on the amount. It should be noted that after the latest update, Samourai no longer allows you to view your balance in dollars or any other fiat currency.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

Also, in this same section you will find the bottom options button. From here we can send, receive or create and manage them PayNymID I’ll explain what it is and how to use it later.

Meanwhile, I’ll show you how can i get funds. Let’s start by going to the section to receive from the button below.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

In this section we will have the SegWit address at the top and its abstraction in a QR code. Besides, we have an option advanced, where we can make other configurations.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

From here we can set the following parameters.

  • Claim amount: here we will set the specific amount we want to receive. This will generate both a new bitcoin address and its similar QR code; which, when scanned, will automatically mark the amount to be transferred.
  • address type: is the type of address we want to generate to receive. Recall that currently not all wallets send bitcoins to SegWit addresses, such as Copay or Bitpay. That’s why from here we can choose traditional addresses that are known to start with 1.

As for the transactions, we can see them from the home screen.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

Once you’ve completed this process, it’s time to study how to send bitcoins via Samouraj. First of all, we have the option to scan the wallet directly, just select the icon in the upper right corner.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

When you select it, the camera will open automatically. On the other hand, we can go to the send section, from the blue options button on the main screen.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

As you can see, here we will enter both the destination address and the amount to send, but we can set some additional parameters. first, we can set a commission per transaction turn off. This can increase or decrease the likelihood that the transaction we send will be quickly confirmed on the blockchain, because the higher the fee, the faster the miner will take it. We can also set personalized commissions.

We also have the option to send this transaction using the tool Ricochet. Before I continue, I’ll take a moment to explain what this service is all about and how it helps improve privacy.

For starters, let’s note that Bitcoin is not completely anonymous. For this reason, when we make a shipment, this transaction is recorded in the blockchain. In fact, if we use a block browser that allows us to see the details of this transaction, we will realize that we can see the source address, which in this case is ours, and the destination address. Consequently, anyone can know the state we have, if only they know our public address.

So how does the Ricochet service help protect our privacy in these cases? In the first case, when we send bitcoins using this service, the funds will not be sent directly to the destination wallet, but will go through different wallets before reaching the recipient of the transaction. This provides greater randomness, as it is more complicated to trace the origin of the funds received by the wallet; But be careful, even though it’s harder, it’s not impossible to reach the broadcaster.

Likewise, it must be taken into account that, If we use this service, the miner’s commission will be charged an additional fee, due to the different movements that the sent funds will make before they reach their destination. The higher the number of wallets achieved by the initial transaction, the higher the commission for the miners.

Another option, faster and cheaper, is the Stonewall tool. In this way, Samourai Wallet increases the difficulty with which it is possible to define what the entries of a particular wallet are and, consequently, increases its privacy. This feature is enabled by default.

What is PayNym and how does it work?

PayNym es a new way to maintain anonymity created by Samourai. This method consists of creating a unique identifier, which will allow a new address to be generated every time others scan the code to receive bitcoins. In this way, the actual balances can be hidden.

This turns out to be very useful for sharing on websites, because if we put a QR code on our PayNym, people scanning through their own wallet will have a wallet address to send to, but it won’t help them see the total balance we have through the block browser.

As for its operation, when sending a transaction one channel must be open which allows the said transaction to be executed. After that, every time we decide to send bitcoins, a deterministic wallet will be generated based on the target user’s PayNym and in accordance with BIP47 standards. This keeps both your balance and the balance of the users we want to send bitcoins to anonymous.

It is important to note that this method can only be used in wallets compatible with the BIP47 protocol and using PayNym. Currently, PayNym is only available on the Samourai wallet.

We’ll start by creating PayNymID, that’s in case we didn’t create it when starting the portfolio. So we’ll start by selecting the blue button on our main screen and selecting the PayNym option.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

When we come, we will choose New at the top. We will choose later Request my PayNymID.

This is our unique PayNym identifier. Source: Samourai Wallet.

When you see this notification, the PayNymID will already be created. We must remember that the name we see is completely random and has nothing to do with our personal information. If so, it will be just a coincidence.

As you can see, at the top will be our PayNym identifier. Source: Samourai Wallet.

The robot image we see is the unique identifier of our PayNym. This robot, just like its name, is unique and randomly created.

We can see the identifier by selecting the user icon at the top.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

This will be the code with which other users can find us via a PayNym public registration and send funds through this feature.

Add contacts

The first step to add contacts is to select the “+” button at the bottom. We will choose an option later New contact.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

There are two ways to add it, either by copying and pasting the identifier or by scanning the contact’s QR code. Once we have already added it, The next step is to open a payment channel, which will allow transactions between users to be even more private.

We will open this channel by going to the list of contacts and choosing with whom we want to open the said channel.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

As you can see, we have to pay a one-time fee that will create a record inside the blockchain and open a payment channel. This will be completely private and will create transactions from anonymous addresses that do not allow funds to be displayed.

Sweep private key

Before using this option, we must first understand the difference between moving and importing.

First of all, when we talk about private key import, this means that the wallet we import it into will be in charge of managing it. Which threatens the security of our funds. For this reason, it is not recommended to perform this procedure.

On the other side, we have cleaning, which carries a fee, since private key assets are transferred. This is because the key will be exported to a new address generated by the wallet from which we import said funds. As a result, the old key remains blank and does not compromise its security.

Once we understand this, let’s clean up the private key. First of all, we will show the application menu.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

We will choose from here Deleting a private key.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

We have two options for this part of the process. One is to enter the password in writing, character by character, or its pair in a QR code. After we have made the import, we will be notified of the commission that will be charged to perform the cleaning. Then accept it and that’s it.

Advanced settings of Samouraj

This is one of the sections that make this portfolio stand out. It is about a large number of configurations that we can make. To start we have to show the menu and select Setting up.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

As you can see, the configurations are grouped by type. I will break each of them down, group by group. The explanation may seem very obvious to some, while others will require a little more digging.

Wallet

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • Automatic backup– Allows you to save an encrypted backup on your device. Said copy, when returned, must be accompanied by the code with which it was created. The backup that is saved is only for the last used wallet.
  • Mix PIN screen: makes the keyboard where we will set the security PIN appear scrambled when opening the application.
  • Tap enter PIN: makes the phone vibrate with each key press when entering the PIN.
  • Show the mnemonic– Provides access to all 12 wallet recovery words. However, note that this is only half of the backup, the other is the passphrase, which is nowhere to be seen.
  • Show XPUB BIP44: allows you to view the format’s extended public key BIP44.
  • Show YPUB SegWit– Allows you to view the extended public key for a SegWit account BIP39.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • Mostar SegWit 2PUB– Displays the extended public key of the SegWit account BIP173.
  • Change your PIN– Allows you to change the security code of the application.
  • Securely delete your wallet: allows you to delete the wallet we are currently using, as well as the encrypted backup that is saved on the computer. After this option is executed, the application will restart and we will have to create or restore the wallet.

Currency, Block Explorer

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • block explorer: from here we will set which block browser to use to see the details of each transaction in the main wallet window. Among those we can choose from are: Samartbit, Blockchain Reader, Blockcypher and OXT.

Transactions

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • Receive on SegWit addresses: only generates SegWit addresses when we share our public address.
  • Return addresses: To know how this option works, it is necessary to have a clear concept about “changing” or “reversing” a bitcoin transaction. In the hypothetical case that we have 1 BTC in any address and want to send 0.9 BTC to a friend. The output of this wallet will be in the amount of 1 BTC, of ​​which 0.9 will go to my friend and 0.1 will return to me in the other direction. Therefore, if I have this option active, returns will arrive at addresses of the same type as the output. If we deactivate it, there will always be SegWit type addresses.
  • STONE WALL to spend: is an algorithm implemented by Samourai that increases privacy in wallets. This allows us to hide our balances from public view, by increasing the entropy generated in the transaction.
  • Send using RBF: allows you to send a transaction equal to another that has already been made but not yet confirmed in the blockchain. This allows for an increase in mining commissions on another similar transaction with the same results, so it is preferable to mine. Now you may be asking: What about the other one? If confirmed after the transaction with the highest commission amount, the double spend will be detected and will be rejected.
  • Define a trusted node: allows you to use your own node. It is important to note that this node will only serve to confirm the balance, but not to approve transactions, as the entire network must approve the block.
  • Use a trusted node: from here we will enable the option to use the node we previously defined.

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • Estimated network commission (fee): used to pre-define what the commission will be to pay each time we send a shipment. This may change at the time of delivery.
  • Sending transactions– If this option is disabled, sent and signed transactions will be copied to the clipboard
  • Send a hex transaction– Allows you to send a transaction with a hexadecimal signature.

Invisibility

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • Stealth mode: Makes the app disappear from the device menu. In this case, the only way to access it will be by dialing **TU_PIN#. Part TU_PIN We change it to the PIN that we previously assigned to the application. When you make a call, the wallet will open automatically.
  • Invisible initial and remote PIN: from here we can define alternative PINs that we can use.

Remote Control

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • Enable remote commands: from Samourai we can remotely manage our portfolio via text messages. If we set e.g. SW needs TU_PINobviously changing TU_PIN Upon the assigned PIN, in a text message, we will receive our seed expressed in hexadecimal.
  • Use a trusted mobile phone number– Makes remote commands available only for the number we specify.
  • Trusted mobile phone number: Here we will register the number that will allow access to the remote controls.
  • Protection against changing the SIM card: If this option is enabled and the SIM card of the device is changed, we will receive a text message to the registered trusted number stating that the SIM card has been changed.

Red

Source: Samurai Wallet.

  • VPN: it will give us the option to install OpenVPN, which allows us to give a little more privacy to our IP address through a VPN server.
  • Route via TOR– To use this option, we need to install Orbot first. This application enables routing through the TOR network. In this way, we can hide our IP address when connecting to the network, through a partially private connection.

Finally, we have some app settings that allow this report bugs to the development team and learn more about Samouraj.

Tips for improving privacy in Samourai wallet

At this point we need to be clear about each of the configurations of this portfolio. If so, I’ll give you a series of tips to help you improve your wallet privacy.

Let’s start with the Stonewall section. This feature is enabled by default, but why keep it enabled? Well, this feature makes it difficult for companies that analyze the Bitcoin blockchain to trace the origin of the funds you send. Because of this, you can let’s protect the privacy of our portfolio balances a little more For the most part.

Another interesting thing about Stonewall is its low price compared to Ricochet. Let us recall that the latter acts in a rudimentary way to hide the origin of the transaction, that is, it sends the amount to several addresses in order to try to deceive the true origin of the funds. Therefore, this method is expensive and the time it should take to reach its receiver will be extended.

Another effective way to increasing our privacy by using TOR. It basically works like Ricochet, but at the network routing level. For example: When we connect to a node to send funds, we will not connect directly revealing our IP address, but TOR will make hops on this connection so that our connection is partially hidden. I say “partially” because it’s actually very difficult to discover our IP through TOR, but it’s not impossible.

Another detail to consider, more so for recurring payments, is the use of PayNym. This option provides an additional layer of security by creating fairly anonymous 1-to-1 connections, further ensuring our security. As an example of this you can look at in this transaction. If you notice that you can’t see the details or balance of each wallet listed here, that’s how our information is being hidden.

Samourai wallet conclusions

Personally, I think it’s a well-developed portfolio with very active support, willing to solve any problem that the application presents. Especially considering that it is still in development and execution errors may still occur.

On the other hand, we have a wide range of privacy-enhancing settings not found in other wallets; something that makes Samourai Wallet a wallet that stands out from the rest.

As for the disadvantages, using it can cause the application to close suddenly. The Samourai team is already working on this bug, to eradicate this kind of problem when version 1.0 is released.

You can watch the video tutorial on our channel Youtube.

Featured image courtesy of Samourai Wallet.

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