As previously reported by the Cointelegraph, Dark Wallet is an ambitious project that is aiming to provide a higher level of anonymity for users and change the way you look at privacy. It has even been named by Wired magazine as the top technology that could make Bitcoin “far more anonymous.”
For the past several weeks, Dark Wallet has been undergoing alpha testing as reported by Phil Cohen who noted that “a totally professional-grade software offering is taking shape.”
Dark Wallet Alpha3 (v0.3.1) is currently available for testing on Chrome/Chromium browsers only.
Disclaimer: this is an alpha preview version and developers are advising against using real Bitcoin during testing. Instead, the recommended method is to perform the trial run under a testnet account, using tesntnet coins to prevent losing real money. However, the software does “function well enough to allow many to participate in and contribute significantly to the code development, review, debugging, testing and stable release candidate,” according to the report.
Using testnet to scrutinize Dark Wallet alpha will give users some real hands-on experience in using the wallet at zero cost and with no risk. Of course, bugs are expected, which you can report here if you happen to be one of the vigilant testers to spot one.
Dark Wallet alpha installs easily as an extension for your chrome browser. But beware:
“Do not ad lib upgrades or you certainly risk losing your contacts, pockets, addresses and coins. I have seen this happen to several testers who had no backups and thought the “seed” was all that was needed to restore from scratch. To be clear, the seed is needed to recreate your Dark Wallet identity and you, additionally, must have a backup to restore on top of the recreated identity. By following the upgrade instructions you might save yourself from that testing exercise.”
Then, start by setting up a testnet ID before starting to explore the
interface. You can create as many screen names as you want in the spirit of
Dark Wallet’s superior anonymity. It’s recommended that regular backups are
made as you would with any other Bitcoin wallet. This can be done with the
“Backup all wallets” button on the Identities page. On Linux, it is stored as a
backup, encrypted JSON file in the Download directory, which you should copy to
a backup drive.
Cloak & Lobby
One of the most notable features in the wallet is a secure and anonymous chat room called the Lobby. It allows users to send a “beacon” to contacts to let them know you’re in the lobby looking for them in Bat-signal fashion. Your identity is displayed as a four word cryptographic signature.