Address Reuse

The first rule of Bitcoin privacy:

Never reuse addresses!

The second rule of Bitcoin privacy:

NEVER reuse addresses!!


Problem

Easy wallet clustering

If an address is used more than once, it means that the same private key can spend all its coins. It is very easy to find all the UTXOs of an address, and thus to find out how many bitcoin the private key holds.

Further, in a transaction where one output has a reused address, then it is very likely that this output is the payment destination, and not the change. Most wallets automatically generate new change addresses for every transaction, but payment addresses are selected manually by the user.

Read more about the privacy concerns of address reuse in the separate entryopen in new window and the privacy chapteropen in new window of the Bitcoin wiki.

There are different types of address reuse:

Publicly advertised addresses (donations)

Here, a person publishes a single address to a public forum, like in the bio of a social media network or on a website, and anyone can send bitcoin to this address.

Dusting

With a forced address reuse attackopen in new window, an attacker sends a small amount of bitcoin to an already existing address. The attacker hopes that this dust coin is consolidated with another coin, thus linking the two in a cluster.

Intentionally malicious

Since Wasabi is libre and open-source, anyone can modify a fork of Wasabi to make sure the same two addresses are recycled in every CoinJoin registration. This is someone intentionally deanonymizing himself, and he might have quite dubious motives.

Wasabi's Solution

Remove used address from GUI

Wasabi encourages the user to not reuse addresses. You always get a new Bitcoin address whenever you generate one. Previously generated addresses, which haven't received bitcoin yet, are displayed at Unused Receive Addresses. An address is automatically removed from the Unused Receive Addresses list once that address receives funds.

To protect against forced address reuse attack (Dusting), Wasabi has a modifiable dust limit, where the wallet does not show coins below a certain threshold value.