—— 2 years ago · 5 min read ——

Bitcoin privacy

Once again, we return to the neverending topic of Bitcoin privacy. This time, we bring five steps you can follow to achieve better Bitcoin privacy...

While we have been over some basic steps of keeping your Bitcoin stash private, repetition is the mother of learning and the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment (Zig Ziglar).

That is why once again, in this article, we will briefly explain some of the most important concepts that are connected to Bitcoin privacy, which can be easily followed by everyone.

5 steps to Bitcoin privacy

Achieving privacy in today's digital world is not easy. Everything that is happening online is in some form monitored and most of the daily tools and apps that people use are being closely tracked.

That also applies to the world of Bitcoin, especially since its blockchain is completely public. However, there are measures that can help anyone, no matter their IT level or experience with Bitcoin, to improve their Bitcoin privacy. Here are 5 simple steps that are literally for everyone.

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1. Never reuse an address

And we are starting with a pretty simple rule to achieving Bitcoin privacy. While address reuse was very common mainly in the beginning of Bitcoin, by now, most of the developers and privacy enthusiasts have figured out that that is not safe. This means that most wallets, platforms or exchanges will already have implemented a feature that automatically generates a new address every time you want to receive some satoshis.

Due to this, the users will never have to think about manually generating new addresses, as the wallet does it for them. Nevertheless, it is always a good practice to check whether the newly generated address is actually new and not reused.

Reusing the same address over and over again can be dangerous mostly because these addresses are inherently easy to track. That means that for any blockchain analytics companies or government bodies looking at the on-chain data, the Bitcoin transaction tracking becomes much simpler.

2. Do not KYC – at any cost if possible

Another piece of advice that we have been very repetitive about is to never use any KYC service.

The safety of Bitcoin KYC (Know Your Customer) depends on how it is implemented. In general, KYC is a process used by financial institutions and businesses to verify the identity of their clients and assess their potential risks for money laundering or financing terrorism.

The purpose of KYC is to prevent identity theft and financial fraud, so it can be considered a security measure. However, if the personal information collected during the KYC process is not handled securely, it could potentially be accessed by unauthorized parties and used for nefarious purposes.

It is important for individuals to be careful about the personal information they share during the KYC process and to ensure that they are dealing with a reputable and trustworthy organization that has strong security measures in place to protect their personal data.

Obviously, not everyone has the chance of actually picking where they get their bitcoin from. However, there are plenty of options out there to get to bitcoins with better privacy.

Anonymous Bitcoin exchanges, CoinSwap platforms or Bitcoin ATMs are just a few of those examples. Moreover, there is also an option of buying bitcoins anonymously in person at a meetup or a conference. All of these and some other options are vastly superior to exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance or any other centralized exchange that asks you to verify your identity.

3. Use CoinJoins and mixers

Third, easy advice is to simply use CoinJoin Bitcoin mixers. This can be fairly simple if you try to find wallets that offer these services. We have written about Wasabi or Samourai wallet, which are two wallets that are very concerned with the privacy of their users and try to improve upon it. Thus, these would be the best places to start with, since both offer some form of CoinJoin or Bitcoin mixing services.

There are however other mixers or CoinJoins that one can use. With the current environment, in which regulators and governments are trying to clamp down on people more and more, one can expect that usage of these tools will only increase, if people want to improve their financial privacy. Thus, it might be fairly reasonable to try to learn how to use and operate these tools.

4. Do not brag about your stash

This step is so simple that it has nothing to do with Bitcoin as such. This is simply a common sense that, however, people seem to forget when it comes to cryptocurrencies overall.

There are not many people who would be going around and broadcasting how much money they are making and where they have stored it. Yet, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors, who were lucky enough to earn and be profitable from this sector, seem to be forgetting that criminals and thieves can come for them, since they are doing exactly this.

There have been several documented and probably countless undocumented crimes related to robberies of people, who earned their wealth in crypto-world, but were too outspoken about it. Just like in other parts of life, if you do not have to divulge this type of information, e.g., how much bitcoin you own, do not do it. In fact, if possible, only share this with the people closest to you that you trust and know.


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5. Use simple tools such as Whir

And we obviously cannot forget about the usage of Whir. This simple tool has the potential to improve the Bitcoin privacy, while not being any more difficult than any other form of transaction. In fact, Whir works on the surface just like any other Bitcoin transaction.

Due to the implementation of CoinJoin in its services, Whir obscures transactions that are happening on the platform, which means that it helps to improve the privacy of its users. Whir is thus a very nice example of how anyone can improve their privacy in the world of Bitcoin rather simply, as it only requires a few clicks to use.

Bitcoin privacy is not a rocket science

These are probably the easiest steps anyone can do in this sphere. There are obviously many more measures that people can have in mind to improve their Bitcoin privacy, but these would be the simple steps that anyone should be able to perform rather easily, without any technical or IT background.

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.

Further reading

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Crypto mixers and the fight for privacy

Financial privacy is under increasing threat from stringent KYC and AML regulations. While these measures are intended to curb illicit activity, they also expose ordinary users to extensive surveillance and data collection, undermining their personal autonomy and security. As a result of these regulations, crypto mixers and privacy-focused wallets are being targeted, but what are the real consequences of losing financial privacy?

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