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Samourai Wallet founders' arrests are 'a wake up call for crypto' — Bitcoin pioneer Amir Taaki opines

Crypto pioneer and anonymity advocate Amir Taaki has voiced his opinion regarding the Samourai Wallet founders' arrests.

Portrait of Amir Taaki with serious expression and hand on chin, responding to criminal charges against bitcoin developers

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Amir Taaki, an anarchist revolutionary, hacktivist, and programmer known in the crypto space as one the first Bitcoin core developers, has spoken out on the Samourai Wallet indictment.

In a recent blog post, Taaki urged the crypto community to “step up” its game in the face of heightened state-sanctioned regulation and governmental oversight. Taaki regards the arrest of the Samourai Wallet devs as a “wake up call for crypto” to pursue better methods for anonymity and privacy.

“Being prepared to resist the surveillance megamachine means forming a completely dark ecosystem where operators are able to mobilize under protected cover,” Taaki said.

When the Bitcoin blockchain was starting to gain traction sometime in 2011, Taaki was among the first few dedicated developers. He was also responsible for crafting the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) purpose and guidelines, as well as the first ever BIP that launched the proposal cycles. This initial proposal was later revised and improved by Luke Dashjr, another prominent Bitcoin core developer at the time.

Taaki argued that governments worldwide are intensifying efforts to regulate anonymous transactions, ostensibly to combat illegal and “criminal” activities. However, he believes that these measures suppress innovation and curtail individual freedoms.

“The action against Samourai devs (who are ideological agorists) reveals that the state is moving in on anybody who challenges the status quo,” Taaki stated.

Agorism is a philosophical and political position associated with the darknet movement, initially developed by Canadian-American libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III (aka SEK3). The term is derived from the Greek word “agora” which refers to an open marketplace where people gather to trade and share opinions.

A philosophical journal called Agorist launched in 2022 espouses and attempts to expound on these ideological positions. The journal is supported by a group of crypto figures such as Kevin Owocki (founder of Gitcoin), Cody Wilson (activist, co-founder of Dark Wallet), and controversial contemporary philosopher Nick Land.

It is not clear whether Taaki is a supporter of the crypto-oriented philosophical journal, although his most recent initiative, Darkfi, appears to align with the aims of the agorist movement. Darkfi is an anonymous platform for collaborative fundraising and distribution, directly aimed at challenging existing regulatory frameworks to advocate for freedom through blockchain technology.

In 2013, Taaki was also closely associated with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, through a Calafou-based organization called unSystem. Alongside Cody Wilson, Taaki co-founded Dark Wallet, one of the first privacy and anonymity-focused crypto wallets at the time.

According to Taaki, the arrests of the Samourai Wallet founders happened because the founders were “doxxed teams essentially,” meaning that their identities were revealed through centralized RPCs (remote procedure call).

This status, as opposed to the Darkfi project, opened a loose end for the Samourai Wallet devs. Taaki said that Darkfi is approaching mainnet launch this year, and is currently preparing to release a final testnet.

“We are ready. We are well prepared. Nobody can stop us. We’ve been laying down roots for years,” Taaki said.

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