September 12, 2017, 9:47pm
Hello fellow Whonix users, community and developers!
I’m a member of the Zcash (crypto-currency) community forum, a Whonix user and I have also been hosting Tor nodes for almost 10 years.
I hope to be an active contributor here in the Whonix community also, as a supporter of open-source and privacy related projects.
As the Whonix project is in need of donations and contributions - I wondered if you might be able to add a Zcash (ZEC) donation address on your donations page?
I would also like to make everyone here aware of the Zcash Foundation Grant Proposals 2017 Q4 …
Zcash requires a 64-bit OS currently, although I have been able to get Zcash working via Whonix-Qubes (64-bit)! The initial Zcash Foundation Grant submission deadline is the 15th September 2017 - although other funding rounds will certainly be open in the future (I’m certain)!
I for one, would certainly be keen to see Whonix 64-bit + integrated Zcash (and/or to contribute towards a how-to set-up)!
My own project ‘Zcash on Tor’ has a proposal here:
01:25PM - 11 Sep 17 UTC
**Motivation and overview**
The 'Zcash on Tor' project is an existing and free service for both the Zcash community and Tor users alike.
Our privacy focused service amalgamates high-capacity Zcash peer-to-peer nodes with fast, high-bandwidth Tor servers. The project aims to uphold the core values of the Zcash Foundation, particularly with regard to enabling users to better control their own financial privacy.
The project was started in mid-March 2017 from community donations totalling around $300 and has continued to-date, mainly through ongoing personal contribution.
Our primary motivation is to help solve network correlation issues that can affect regular Zcash users, through the continued provision of our censorship-resistant service and by further empowering and educating users to make the best use of existing software tools. We uphold the individual right to privacy as a basic and fundamental human right.
A grant will primarily enable us to:
1. Maintain our existing Zcash on Tor servers.
2. Establish (at least) 4 new increased capacity (Tier 1) Zcash on Tor .exit servers.
3. Develop and operate a Zcash on Tor .onion enabled mining pool for zaddresses.
4. Set-up (Tor enabled) Zcash Proving key distribution mirrors.
5. Work on supporting documentation, user guides and automated set-up tools.
We currently host 4 Tor Relays, 1 (2) Tor Exits nodes and 4 Tor hidden_service client nodes.
Therefore, a total of 10 dedicated _addnode=zcashxxxxxxxxxxx.onion_ nodes are already made available by our service.
Our public facing Relays can be located via the Tor Atlas: https://atlas.torproject.org/#search/ZcashTor
Each 'Zcash on Tor' IP address runs a full Zcash peer-to-peer node, enabling upwards of 256+ concurrent connections per node (helping to strengthen the network and contributing to a social good!). 4 new increased capacity (Tier 1) servers will enable us to scale up to thousands of concurrent connections and users.
Details of how to connect with our privacy service can be found via the Zcash Forum: https://forum.z.cash/t/zcash-addnode-tor-hidden-service-onion/13007 - another aim for the project is to improve supporting documentation, user guides and automated set-up tools.
**Team and background qualifications**
xyZcash (a.k.a BitcoinFX) is a long-standing and active member of the Bitcoin and crypto-currency communities. He has been hosting Tor Relay's and Exit nodes for almost 10 years. As a private individual, background qualifications and identity documentation are to be made available to the relevant parties, where deemed to be appropriate and necessary.
Other team members are currently TBD.
We will continue to evaluate and provide community updates in regards to our current and future Zcash on Tor service provision. Whilst some metrics (and estimates) can be made available for the approximate number of users and actual bandwidth throughput etc., good anonymity and privacy networks generally do not retain such information by design.
In terms of our operational security - we have partnered with https://tornull.org to limit any potential or actual abuse issues. We already have practical measures in place including firewalls and DDoS protection. See: https://forum.z.cash/t/an-example-zcash-iptables-firewall-for-linux-cloud-servers/8736
We will closely follow all security advisory notifications from both the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company and the Tor Project Inc., in regards to software upgrades and best practices. Our operating systems and cloud services are kept up-to-date with the latest security releases.
From a legal standpoint, as Tor Exit node operators, we are looking to establish a UK based Non-profit ISP (as advised by the Tor Project Inc.) and to perhaps put in place some form of legal defence fund contingency. We already have extensive experience of dealing with and responding to any abuse complaints.
We do not store any Zcash or make any direct transactions via our own servers; as such we are a network of routers operating as common carriers, much like the internet backbone. Our nodes therefore contain no identifiable routing information, or any details of transactions that are not already available on the Zcash blockchain. Our routers maintain no logs whatsoever of any of the Tor traffic and therefore attempts to seize our routers would accomplish nothing.
From a Zcash on Tor user perspective we are keen to work on improving supporting documentation, user guides and automated set-up tools - particularly in regards to users privacy, security and anonymity, as well as choice secure operating systems and procedures.
October - November 2017
- Identify appropriate hosting for the new increased capacity (Tier 1) Zcash on Tor .exit servers.
November - December 2017
- Set-up our UK registered non-profit ISP.
- Establish and launch (at least) 4 new increased capacity (Tier 1) Zcash on Tor .exit servers.
- Set-up (Tor enabled) Zcash Proving key distribution mirrors.
- Build and launch our full zcashtorservers.org service website.
December 2017 - January 2018
- Develop and launch our Zcash on Tor .onion enabled mining pool for zaddresses.
January 2018 - ongoing
- Work on improving supporting documentation, user guides and automated set-up tools.
- Build on and facilitate increased community education and outreach.
- Continue (and assist) with Zcash privacy research and development, where appropriate.
- Consider integrating additional Zcash on Tor services provision, such as the ORC (Onion Routed Cloud) ?
More TBD within our final submission document.
**Budget and justification**
Servers and cloud services;
We require $1050 (including UK VAT at 20%) as direct expenses to maintain our existing servers for a minimum of 6 months.
We require $288 (plus UK VAT at 20%) as direct expenses to maintain our 4 new high-capacity servers for a minimum of 6 months.
We would require $300 (plus UK VAT at 20%) as direct expenses plus estimated $500 min. to develop and launch our Zcash on Tor .onion enabled mining pool for zaddresses. The service will likely include a 1% mining fee as a direct contribution to our projects ongoing costs.
Our full costings breakdown will be in the final submission document (to include research and development, contingency costs, fees, overheads and any out-of-pocket expenses).
As a future non-profit ISP we are already operating our free and voluntary service on a tight personal budget and with some community support. Grant provision will allow the 'Zcash on Tor' project to focus on continuing our privacy research, development and outreach, as well as maintaining and securing existing and new services for the Zcash community and for regular Tor users.
Thank you for your consideration.
EDIT : 5th October 2017 : Zcash on Tor - Grant Proposal 2017 Q4 - Final Submission.pdf
To clarify, I’m not a Zcash developer or part of the Zcash Foundation. I’m just someone who would like to build bridges between our two communities.