Many articles have already been published that are concerned with the privacy of the biggest cryptocurrency. While they have provided a few crucial points, which the users of Bitcoin who want to have improved privacy need to have in mind, they have not yet offered a guide to actually using Bitcoin privately. So here it is, in a rather atypical format of 8 easy to follow steps.
8 Simple Tips and Tricks for Bitcoin Privacy
While most articles on Bitcoin privacy can be very exhaustive and technical, this one will only mention some of the key things to have in mind when trying to maintain privacy while sending Bitcoin. Each of them is a huge topic on its own, so if you want to know more, it will be best to explore it in details.
1. Generating new address
One of the simplest “tricks” anyone can do when it comes to privacy, is to always generate a new address for each transaction. Most of the wallets now do it automatically, but if not, make sure to generate a new address with every new transaction. This makes it much more difficult for anyone to track and trace your Bitcoin stash if they wanted. Unless you have the wallet connected to your identity, which is our second point.
2. Do not KYC
No matter how many new addresses you generate, once the wallet is connected to your identity, everyone knows what you receive. Thus, making sure that your identity, ID or KYC is not anywhere near your wallets is very important if you want to preserve some form of privacy in the Bitcoin world.
3. Know how to use CoinJoins or Bitcoin mixers
Usage of CoinJoins and Bitcoin mixers might be questionable in some places, or frowned upon in others, but these tools can severely improve the privacy of the user. Moreover, most jurisdictions have not placed any sanctions over the usage of Bitcoin mixers or CoinJoins. Knowing how to use these in practice can be helpful in preserving or improving your privacy.
4. Use Lightning Network for payments
Lightning Network has been also mentioned in various articles on many occasions, since it is relatively easy-to-use compared to the level of privacy it brings. For coffee or cheeseburger payments, LN can be a really nice way of staying private while enjoying benefits of spending some sats and supporting merchants who decided to include Bitcoin in their payments option.
5. Decentralised exchanges or peer-to-peer meetups
Bisq or Hodlhold, two platforms that we have already mentioned several times, can give anyone access to relatively easy non-KYC bitcoins, which is crucial for privacy. Moreover, a peer-to-peer approach to either buying or selling can be very important on its own, so going to Bitcoin meet-ups or conferences can always bring another opportunity for those who want to trade Bitcoin for cash or vice versa.
6. Bitrefill or PayWithMoon
Another interesting alternative to actually using Bitcoin for payments are platforms such as Bitrefill or PayWithMoon. These platforms give anyone a chance to pay for products indirectly, through vouchers or in the form of “code redeeming.” While they are very specific and usually serve the best in smaller amounts, these platforms can provide yet another alternative to how the bitcoiners can spend smaller parts of their stash anonymously and in real life.
7. Do not talk about or broadcast your wealth
This one might be rather surprising, as it is probably the simplest. But, throughout the short Bitcoin history, many people have already regretted sharing or broadcasting their Bitcoin wealth. Not only is it easier for governments or different agencies to then try to connect the given person with any Bitcoin stash.
But it is much easier for criminals or thieves to steal from people like this either via internet and hacks, or more directly via a personal attack. Cases like this are more common than one would think and they mostly occur only due to the fact that people share too much on social media or in their local pubs. This can allow you to enjoy your freedom and privacy without the fear of anyone coming after you.
8. Use Whir
One of the fastest and most convenient ways to retain your privacy, while still spending or receiving Bitcoin is offered by Whir. This platform uses CoinJoin mechanism to help its users be more private when sending bitcoins to one another.
Moreover, it is very easy to use, since it behaves literally just like any normal transaction. The only difference is that the users need to go through the platform itself. However, no sign-up or accounts are needed, which means that the privacy of the users is maintained. Additionally, if there are even more privacy-concerned users, Whir.to allows for usage of Tor directly through the platform, yet again, improving privacy. The only limitation here is the total amount possible to send through Whir at once, which is up to 1 BTC.
There are countless other ways how users of Bitcoin can maintain, improve or regain their privacy in the Bitcoin world. Since Bitcoin is not anonymous, but rather pseudonymous, there are some additional options how to strengthen your privacy. Some of them are more complicated, while others are simple and quick steps that can help straight away. Do your transactions wisely, and if you feel like you need more privacy, read more about any of methods mentioned above.