Samourai Wallet — an open-source Bitcoin wallet focused on privacy — is working on an implementation of atomic swaps between Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR) to improve privacy features for its users, as tipped this weekend on Twitter (now X). The “laser eyes” community didn’t like it, proposing a boycott.
On August 4, a known developer (@SamouraiDev) of the Samourai Wallet posted a print screen showing code lines for what would be an automated trade (or swap) between BTC<>XMR. The post was made as a comment to a similar print screen by a known contributor to open-source projects of the Monero community (@pokkst).
The original post didn’t reveal where the operation sawn in the code lines — known as atomic swaps — would be implemented, but the following comment started a new drama on Bitcoin Twitter. With supportive and positive comments, but also with negative rages, and boycott propositions.
“Bro, you teamed up with @SamouraiDev?!”, asked @notsofast (186 thousand followers). To which Pokkst answers that they “also developed” another privacy feature “in the wallet app” called JoinBot.
A Bitcoin influencer known as PlateLicker (@PlateLicker_21m) called for his, circa 11 thousand, followers to boycott Samourai Wallet for implementing a feature with Monero, in response to an official pronunciation of the wallet’s account.
“Gatekeep all you want. We’ll bulldoze right through you, like we’ve unapologetically done since day one”, stated the Samourai Wallet official account on August 5. “Cross-chain atomic swaps between BTC and XMR are here, we’ve been hard at work to make it a reality, wipe the tears from your delicate little laser eyes”.
According to another Bitcoin influencer, Vlad (@TheVladCostea), the issue was due to Samourai Wallet’s positioning in the industry for all these years, as a Bitcoin-only wallet.
“These are the people we grind for”, says Samourai Wallet
The official account also commented, in another branch, that they never changed their positioning.
“This point is never lost on us. These are the people we grind for. The people who actually transact. (…) The people who put enough value on their privacy.”
What is an Atomic Swap and how it works
“Atomic swaps are peer-to-peer trading mechanisms used for transferring cryptocurrencies across different blockchains without the need for trusted third parties. This type of trustless swap is an important part of decentralized finance (DeFi) trading. DeFi transactions occur on-chain, without the need for a third party.”– Trust Machines on atomic swaps
“With an atomic swap, there is no third party, you put BTC into a time-locked multi-sig [wallet] such that when the other person takes the BTC they have to send you the monero.”– @crypto_0ptimist on Twitter
Laser eyes and Bitcoin maximalism
Back in 2021, some Bitcoin enthusiasts started changing their profile pictures on Twitter, adding a “laser eyes” effect. The most accepted meaning for this meme is showing the world they were bullish on Bitcoin’s price action, but also that they were laser-focused on BTC, ignoring other projects in the space.
The laser eyes became a sign of Bitcoin Maximalists. A group of investors that believe BTC is the only legit, and worthwhile cryptocurrency in existence.
Two well-known members of the ‘laser eyes tribe’ are Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador; and Michael Saylor the billionaire executive of MicroStrategy. Bukele recently removed his laser eyes, but Saylor is determined to keep his own.
Jason Lopp, has given a complete history lesson about Bitcoin maximalism in a blog post from March 22:
“Maximalist attitudes tended to be more of a firm ‘no thanks’ when presented with worthless altcoin projects. Many of us found it offensive that some folks thought they’d be able to get rich quick from low-effort Bitcoin knock-offs.”
He defines the laser eyes as part of the “maximalist culture” that gathered strength and support during the pandemics, with “several other factors”, in Lopp’s words.