Privacy is becoming an ever more contentious issue in the crypto-verse, causing the community to keep seeking ‘How to use Bitcoin anonymously’.
Why you should know ‘How to use Bitcoin anonymously’
As crypto enthusiasts push to broaden the adoption of Bitcoin and other digital assets, it pushes the watchdogs to implement KYC (Know-Your-Customer) and AML (Anti-Money-Laundering) regulations even more.
Of course, KYC and AML aim to protect users and their assets, but these regulations still have the downside.
The biggest problem is that they infringe on the ability to remain anonymous when buying and using Bitcoin (and Altcoins, too).
Although many believe that cryptocurrency is anonymous and is used on the dark market for money laundering, it is in fact pseudonymous. While you don’t use your real name to transact digital assets, it’s not a hard task to trace back your real identity.
There are clues such as IP address, wallet address and the amount of Bitcoin transacted in and out of an address that can be linked to your bank account, and then your real-world life.
These are not just a few caveats. In the history of cryptocurrency existence, there are many cases where victims were attacked right at their homes as hackers figured out their real identities.
That’s why the cryptocurrency community is still looking for ways to use Bitcoin anonymously.
How to use Bitcoin anonymously #1 Tip: Buy and sell Bitcoin online with cash
While many KYC-required exchanges don’t accept fiat money, there are other Peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms that accept various payment methods. The most famous and long-live one is LocalBitcoins.com.
Since 2012, LocalBitcoins has allowed users from over the world to buy and sell cryptocurrencies via Paypal, Visa/MasterCard or wire transfer. With this platform, you can search for partners in your area, make a deal on the price and then exchange money. This process is totally online, meaning you don’t need to meet your partner in place.
LocalBitcoins has a secure escrow service that holds Bitcoin from the seller until the buyer makes the payment. After the money is transacted, the coin is released to the buyer. This process not only protects both parties but also shields their identities.
But the downside is that LocalBitcoins is not KYC-free anymore. You must upload and confirm your identity in order to prevent money laundering and protect your digital assets.
In this case, to remain the anonymity of Bitcoin transactions, you can use a nickname, private browsers such as Tor or Brave and a VPN when using this platform. These tools prevent prying eyes from tracking back to your real identity.
Another disadvantage is the price. The price of your Bitcoin varies from one seller to another because they must cover the fees of the platform. Sometimes, the price is higher than many other exchanges, marking it a worth-considered matter.
Since the pros and cons of buying and selling Bitcoin online, those who want to remain privacy have learned that buying face-to-face is more practical.
How to use Bitcoin anonymously #2 Tip: Buy Bitcoin face-to-face
In fact, this is the oldest way to buy and sell Bitcoin. Old but gold. Nowadays, we go back to the old-fashion to keep anonymity for Bitcoin transactions.
Clearly, the most benefit is that coins and cash are traded directly and privately. Only you and your partner know each other’s address and how much was paid.
If your partner is also a privacy enhancer, he keeps your secret. As a result, no one can figure out your transaction and backtrack your identity.
One more thing is the lower price. You both don’t need to pay fees for any third-party so that the price is more affordable.
Unfortunately, this is not an optimized method. It’s really risky when you arrange a face-to-face deal with strangers. The good guys are out there but also the bad guys. There are scammers that can steal all your funds and also attack you physically.
To prevent this scenario, you should only purchase with an acquaintance. He can be your relative and neighbour who hold cryptocurrencies; or your good-relationship in the local crypto community.
Here this comes another problem. You are totally a new-coming who doesn’t know anyone but still wants to practice ‘How to use Bitcoin anonymously’? Let’s do it with a Bitcoin ATM.
How to use Bitcoin anonymously #3 Tip: Buy and sell Bitcoin through Bitcoin ATMs
Bitcoin ATMs are machines where you pay cash money in return to Bitcoin. Nowadays, these machines are located all over the world, enabling a convenient way to use Bitcoin anonymously.
Use online maps to locate a Bitcoin ATM near your area. Then you can buy coins directly with fiat money through some simple steps. There are also two-way Bitcoin ATMs that allow you to sell Bitcoin for cash.
With this machine, you don’t need to deal with any person, protecting your digital assets from the bad guys.
However, the anonymity of Bitcoin ATMs is still in question. Even with no-KYC ATM machines, you cannot completely keep your privacy. The ATM operators know your wallet address and there’s no guarantee that they won’t track back your origin.
With this in mind, you always need to create new addresses whenever making a transaction. If indeed, use a mixing service to mix and obscure your addresses. In this way, hackers hardly trace your transactions and as a result, you can stay anonymously.
Nonetheless, those methods cost money. You must pay a high fee for Bitcoin ATM purchasing, and another fee for the mixing service. If these fees never mind you, just go ahead.
But if you are concerned, let me introduce you to a totally free method on ‘how to use Bitcoin anonymously’.
How to use Bitcoin anonymously #4 Tip: Stay totally anonymous with Incognito Wallet
Right from its name, the Incognito Wallet provides users with an ‘Incognito Mode’ for their digital assets.
You can deposit Bitcoin to Incognito Wallet and turn on the Incognito Mode. In this way, your Bitcoin (BTC) is switched to privacy Bitcoin (pBTC) at the exactly 1:1 rate.
Privacy version coins can be transferred effortlessly without anyone knowing. Hence, no one knows your transactions, the amount involved or the addresses of the two parties.
Another thing is that the privacy version coins can be turned back to the origin whenever you want, just with one tab. And that’s all you need to do to send and buy crypto anonymously.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Not just Bitcoin, the Incognito Wallet supports various cryptocurrencies, including but not limited: Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), BAND, Harmony (ONE) and Monero (XMR).
The Incognito Wallet is not as popular as other common crypto wallets.
It’s not easy to persuade ones to switch from their own wallet to the Incognito Wallet. But once they use this wallet, they will realize Incognito is one of the best software wallets for privacy and never want to go back to the old one.
Our final thoughts regarding how to use Bitcoin anonymously
Clearly, using Bitcoin anonymously isn’t that simple, and it certainly doesn’t come for free. Besides the extra fees you need to pay for some services, you must also trade-off the convenience for anonymity.
Finally, learning about ‘How to use Bitcoin anonymously’ is not for bad purposes. Anonymity helps you self-protect not only your funds but also your real-world life. In the world of privacy, your information and personal data are the highest price.