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5 Tools That Make Your Bitcoin Transactions The Most Anonymous

Digital transactions usually still leave records, and it's no secret that it does happen when it's done using blockchain technology. Bitcoin, being the most popular cryptocurrency in existence, already has a lot of transactions done within the platform. Despite how it was first introduced in the early days of its development, Bitcoin transactions in and of themselves don't really offer the users the most anonymity.

While names and locations don't really appear in the public ledger that the transaction records are being kept, the addresses that are being displayed there are real and easily traceable with enough analysis and effort. One example of this is how third-party users are able to cross-reference transactions done within the platform that are credited to the exact same wallet address. Essentially, they can add up all the amount of money being moved by that address to identify the total amount they are holding in the wallet.

Difference from traditional banks

"How different is a traditional banking method of transaction from cryptocurrency?" is one of the questions that arise whenever one is engaged in learning about cryptocurrency. One of the major differences is the fact that cryptocurrencies don't use third-party entities like banks and payment merchants to oversee transactions. Instead, it uses a public ledger to store information, also known as a blockchain.

This is similar to when a company has a database of all the information of their employees and their activities that has anything to do with the company's resources. This particular database can be accessed only by certain people in the company who have high-level clearance. In blockchain technology, however, everyone can see the information in the database.

With banks that offer services like wire transfers and credit card purchases, most of the time, the payment merchant is required to give the individuals' transaction history to the authorities. Though legal, it is still considered a risk that the users agreed to upon signing up and opening a bank account.

There are also some risks of your data being sold off to credit bureau companies so they can make credit reports and scores. In 2017, Equifax's database was compromised after a huge hack happened. Without strict security measures, all the data that is being kept by a company like this will be leaked and accessed by cybercriminals.

Cryptocurrency and its function

Cryptocurrency revolves around the idea that when a decentralized network is properly utilized, people can freely exchange goods and services without so much regulation which usually takes a lot of time and resources for both the authorities and the user. However, the paradox is that things are not so easy when it comes to commerce in general, since lack of regulation of the market also means that illicit activities are becoming much harder to catch. This is why when people lose their money in cryptocurrencies such as phishing, scams, and hacks, there isn't much that the government can do for them to be able to retrieve that money.

Necessary countermeasures are being applied by people engaged in cryptocurrency, such as masking of address, among other things. Keeping a detailed knowledge about how the modern financial world works is essential, considering that it's much more complex in nature than the simple physical form of currency where people can easily move money.

In this article, we are going to discuss and break down ideas that are useful to staying anonymous so that our cryptocurrency transactions are safely hidden.

Bitcoin mixing

This is by far the most effective way to stay hidden from the public. Bitcoin mixers are a way for the users to hide their transactions by breaking down and merging their coins with others so that they can share and mask each other's wallet addresses.

As of the moment, some countries like Japan are discouraging people from using mixers because it becomes harder for the authorities to keep track of potential illicit activities. While it's true that mixers can be used to do illegal activities like moving stolen Bitcoins by exchanging them with untainted ones and money laundering, most people use coin mixers just because they value their privacy.

Nevertheless, it gained a notorious reputation after it was discovered that Bitcoin mixers were being used by darknet markets to be able to complete transactions with utmost secrecy. This isn't new to the scene, and there have been attempts to revive the darknet market called Silk Road many years after the owner was apprehended by the authorities.

Bitcoin mixers are usually large centralized services, and that means there is a third-party server that does the merging of the coins by taking in inputs and outputs from individuals who joined the mixer. The risk here is that it still technically works like a hot wallet where multiple addresses can be compromised if the service's database is hacked because only the service knows which address belongs to whom.

CoinJoin

In contrast to most mixers, CoinJoin is a decentralized network where a large number of users will agree to breaking down and putting their coins together in a mixer that they collectively control. The main difference here, when compared to centralized mixers, is that CoinJoin doesn't have a third-party service provider that holds their information.

Although it's easy for an observer to conclude that a user is using CoinJoin for transactions, they're not aware which of the outgoing addresses belong to that user. It's completely randomized, and even the users are not aware of each other's details.

However, some cryptocurrency users are wary of the Coinjoin technology because they find it complex. And because they do not fully understand how it works, they don’t believe it can safeguard their privacy. Remaining faithful to its commitment, Unijoin ensures that users enjoy the benefit of security that Conjoin offers by simplifying it for its users.

Altcoins

Atlcoins, or alternative cryptocurrencies, are one way to keep an anonymous transaction. It's done by exchanging the user's coin for another coin that is popular and large enough for the transaction to not stand out. This is done so that the trails are not directly traced back to the same address because the user has to create another wallet address within the alternative coin to be able to make the exchange.

Another thing to note here is that it's important to not exchange the same amount in every transaction because it essentially gives out a clue to the public that it's the same user that's having those transactions, only with a different coin and address.

For example, a Bitcoin user wants to make a transaction via altcoin. They first need to choose which cryptocurrency they are going to exchange their Bitcoin in. Ethereum is a good choice since it's large enough for the transaction to not stand out. The user has to create a wallet in Ethereum and make the exchange, and then the user will exchange it back to Bitcoin for a different amount. The total amount of money can still be accumulated by making multiple transactions.

Tor Onion Router

Tor browsers are most known for their ability to allow the user to surf the deep web. This technology can encrypt the traffic in the user's internet network by assigning them to random computer nodes that exist within the Tor network. As the name suggests, it reroutes the digital footprints of your transaction to lead to different places at the same time.

In doing this method, observers wouldn't be able to identify which address really did the transaction because they're credited to different addresses.

Logless VPN

Logless VPN essentially works very similarly to Tor Onion routers, but the main difference is that it doesn't store any data about your internet traffic when it does the job. The user also has the choice which server they want their traffic to be in before the transaction arrives at the destination.

There are a large number of VPN services out there like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. The drawback with this is the same thing that was mentioned about traditional banks—the user has to trust that the VPN company they subscribed to wouldn't store and sell their data to other companies.

Unijoin, a cryptocurrency service provider, cancels out this drawback as it brings into the market a log-free transaction facility that makes crypto users untraceable and safe from the claws of hackers.

Making a new address in each transaction

When Bitcoin was first introduced, the developer explicitly stated in the original whitepaper that the users need to make a new wallet address in every transaction to remain anonymous. It's still applicable today since it's one of the easiest methods of hiding away the user's identity.

This will protect the user from not only hackers and scammers but also from robbers who could easily manage to trace the user's address because of the money they hold in a single wallet. For example, a digital merchant sells items and accepts Bitcoin as payment. If they store all of their earnings in a single wallet, it would be easier for the robbers to just hold the merchant at gunpoint and take all their money in one go. It's a simple idea and can be applied to any other form of currency, be it digital or physical currency.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency in itself is not any more secure than traditional banks, but given enough effort and security measures, it will give the user assurance in data and transaction security. Though there are a handful of ways that a user can make transactions without compromising their identity, it's no doubt that mixers and CoinJoin are the most effective ways to do it.

Trustless and decentralized networks are often the most effective method in utilizing anonymity on the internet in general since it provides the users the option to play safe with their transactions. They can withdraw from the transaction, and they can be assured that no one on the internet keeps their information because there is no need for them to give it if they fail to go through with it.

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