While we have already busted a myth of Bitcoin being anonymous, that does not mean that anonymity is something that Bitcoin does not have. On the contrary, if the users of Bitcoin choose different tools or features connected to anonymity, they can. Often they are even encouraged to do so.
This applies to wallets, where the Bitcoin users store their bitcoins and keep their private keys. Let’s thus briefly introduce different reasons why anyone should consider anonymous wallets for Bitcoin and then introduce some of the most interesting ones.
As per its name, Bitcoin anonymous wallets are devices, software or platforms that provide better privacy when it comes to transactions, payments or storing bitcoins. While Bitcoin as such is not anonymous, but pseudonymous, usage of proper tools, devices and features can dramatically improve the anonymity of the users.
One of the main features of most of these wallets and a key reason why they can stay anonymous is that they do not require any proof of identification, proof of address, bank account, phone number or even an email address. Through that the providers of these products and services can maintain the anonymity of their users and thus improve their user experience in case they value privacy or anonymity in the financial world.
Before we introduce a few different wallets that enhance anonymity, it is important to state a difference between anonymity and security in terms of Bitcoin wallets. While security of wallets is just as important, if not more so than anonymity, security simply means how safe your coins are in your devices.
To enhance security, it is almost necessary to use hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. These can also help with anonymity, but first and foremost, they are improving the security. This is simply because they keep the private keys offline, so that no one can hack into those wallets. But, as we have stated before, while security keeps your bitcoins safe, anonymity helps you keep your identity private and thus, safe as well. And if that is something that is important to you, here is a list of 5 interesting anonymous Bitcoin wallets, which everyone should have on their radar.
Samourai Wallet is one of the most outspoken wallets when it comes to Bitcoin and anonymity out there. Samourai wallet is for those who are really obsessed with the privacy and anonymity of their bitcoins. Their mission is all about privacy, which is described as follows:
“We are privacy activists who have dedicated our lives to creating the software that Silicon Valley will never build, the regulators will never allow, and the VC’s will never invest in. We build the software that Bitcoin deserves.”
While the mission and team can all sound great, the results are what matters. And when it comes to Samourai Wallet, they deliver. Samourai Wallet does not reuse the addresses more than once. This increases privacy since the bitcoin transactions are harder to track. Samourai also alerts users if they send transactions to previously used addresses.
Samourai Wallet also allows for usage of tools and features such as CoinJoin, Tor, VPN and avoids linking previous change outputs. Thanks to all of this, Samourai is priding itself by being the most private and anonymous bitcoin wallet. Yet, it is important to state that as of now, Samourai is only for Android devices.
If you are looking for a desktop wallet, Wasabi Wallet is the one to use. Formerly known as a HiddenWallet, Wasabi is open-source, non-custodial, anonymous bitcoin wallet that, unlike Samourai Wallet, is available on Mac OC, Linux as well as Windows. Thanks to being non-custodial, you are in charge of your coins, through your seed represented usually by 12 to 24 words, improving mostly security and self-sovereignty.
Wasabi Wallet is best known for its CoinJoin feature, Chaumian CoinJoin. This CoinJoin shuffling and mixing method which works with ZeroLink Framework. This ensures the fungibility of all bitcoins that are transacted from Wasabi. To put simply, fungibility makes coins indistinguishable from each other, thus making them harder to trace and improve the anonymity of the transactions.
To compare Wasabi wallet with Samourai, refer to our article Samourai vs Wasabi wallet.
Definitely not a surprising name in this list. Electrum Wallet is one of the oldest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets, being created and published in 2011. While Electrum is not a typical anonymous Bitcoin wallet, in combination with Tails OS, it can provide an interesting alternative since it routes all the traffic through Tor. Tails is an operating system that is designed to keep the privacy of its users on the Internet.
“Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it explicitly.”
Electrum is a lightweight Bitcoin wallet, which means that the client does not download the whole blockchain when transacting through it. Electrum is also a self-hosted wallet that is available on Windows, Mac, Linux or Android.
While being around for a long time, this wallet is not meant for the beginners or novices. It also has different features for which the user needs a better understanding of some of the underlying technologies and principles.
The fourth wallet that we will introduce is Mercury Wallet. Compared to the previous wallets, Mercury works differently, since it is built on the new layer-2 statechain technology that should help with Bitcoin scaling. This offers various benefits to the users.
Since Mercury is a layer-2 solution that is using statechain, the transactions are done off-chain, which means that they are not written in the blockchain (on-chain). This then means that they are not only anonymous, but are also almost instant and free, due to the missing presence of mining fees.
Thus, Mercury not only provides improved anonymity, but also the overall user experience, due to lower fees, faster transactions and easy-to-use peer-to-peer experience. As of now it is offered only as a desktop wallet that both Mac and Windows users can benefit from.
Last but not least, let’s also introduce a hardware wallet that provides strengthened anonymity. When talking about hardware wallets, most Bitcoin users will probably think of Trezor or Ledger, which are both very appropriate choices when it comes to security of your private keys.
Yet, if you want to enhance the anonymity of your bitcoins while still using a hardware wallet, BitLox comes to mind. This Hong Kong based hardware wallet provider offers three different devices, with BitLox Extreme Privacy Set being probably the safest choice.
This device provides interesting and highly anonymous features. In combination with Tails OS, the privacy solution offered by BitLox is one of the best in the Bitcoin world. BitLox also offers features such as indistinguishable data and NIST certified true random number generator to provide safer and more secure signatures on transactions. Tor-compatible web tool is also a part of the package offered by BitLox.
While we have selected five different Bitcoin wallets which enhance the anonymity features of users that by far does not mean that they are the only ones. On the contrary, there are countless others that the users can use such as PINT Wallet, Guarda Wallet, Rahakott Wallet or Edge.
These wallets, as well as the once listed above, were not listed in any particular order or preference. Each Bitcoin user can and should decide by themselves which wallets to use based on their preference, skills, experience or features and tools they are looking for.
While anonymity is very important to some people, not to everyone, when choosing a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency wallet, the users should always have security of the wallets as their first goal. Security and also self-custody should be important because without that, the users can hardly store their keys safely. Once they do, they can build more on it and improve their anonymity. And if they want to do that, the list of anonymous Bitcoin wallets from this article can be a helpful start.
Would you like to send Bitcoin privately without using an anonymous Bitcoin wallet? Use Whir. A tool for an average Joe who wants to protect their privacy. Send from 0.001 up to 1 BTC privately, without KYC, using a privacy-enabled CoinJoin transaction.
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Disclaimer: This article does not serve as a piece of financial advice or encouragement and inducement for the usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Its primary role is informative, explanatory, and educational. The readers have to decide themselves whether to use or not to use these types of services.