Bitcoin mixer – Know everything about this
When researching the darknet, you’ve likely found that cryptocurrency is the top or only choice to make payment for products and services, whether through marketplaces or directly with darknet websites.
Many informational websites that teach people how to use the darknet will typically instruct you to use a bitcoin mixer.
Often this advice is simply pulled from other websites without any real fact-checking to see what the advantages or disadvantages are of using bitcoin mixers on the darknet.
Detailed in this article will be a complete overview of the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
What Are Bitcoin Mixers?
Bitcoin provides some anonymity by shielding your true identity from most people looking. However, there is a fully traceable record of every transaction that your bitcoin address has ever been involved in, and with some research, it’s possible to find what you’ve been purchasing or selling.
If you go a step further, law enforcement can track those transactions and may be able to find your true identity from an entry or exit point on the bitcoin blockchain, such as when you purchase your bitcoin with fiat currency or when you cash out your bitcoin to fiat currency.
A bitcoin mixer takes your intended transaction, mixes it with many other transactions and bitcoin addresses, and then sends the payment to the intended recipient without giving away who the original sender was for each transaction.
So a bitcoin mixer is essentially a black box that takes payments in from multiple parties, jumbles all of the bitcoin, and then sends payment, making the blockchain records challenging to trace
Types of Bitcoin Mixers
There are a number of services operating as bitcoin mixers, and there are two primary types for you to understand as they work differently.
Centralized Bitcoin Mixers
Centralized bitcoin mixers take your payment into their service and send different bitcoins out to your intended recipient, taking a fee in the process, typically 1-3% of your transaction value.
The biggest issue with this type of bitcoin mixer is that there’s still a possible record of your transaction in the bitcoin mixer’s logs or database, which, if forced, could be given up to law enforcement, so the privacy given by centralized bitcoin mixers has some flaws that could compromise your identity in the future.
Some bitcoin mixers guarantee that they do not capture logs of the transaction after it’s completed and does not store information such as IP addresses on users.
One benefit from some centralized bitcoin mixers is that you can receive a letter of guarantee, which essentially guarantees or provides proof that you made payment and can be used if there are issues in your recipient receiving their payment.
Decentralized Bitcoin Mixers
Decentralized bitcoin mixers utilize protocols such as CoinJoin to combine multiple users’ bitcoins or transactions, jumble them together in a peer-to-peer method, and then send a mixture of those same coins out to the intended recipient.
There is no record of exactly who sent how much to which recipient; however, the smaller a pool and more often it’s used, the less random it may become and easier it is to trace back who sent what payments to who.
Some services or programs have been built to deanonymize decentralized bitcoin mixers, so some services with the poor implementation or not enough randomized transactions can be reversed to see exactly what came from where.
Which Bitcoin Mixer Type Is Best?
Neither bitcoin mixer is ideal in all situations, nor is the potential there that your information may be given up through automatic deanonymizing or forced through legal intervention.
You would need to make an informed decision on what type of bitcoin mixer is best for you and then pick the best service of that type as they’re not all equal.
A centralized bitcoin mixer that guarantees logging information is not stored may be one of the better options as long as you trust the information really isn’t stored.
Advantages of Using Bitcoin Mixers
There is a range of advantages to using bitcoin mixers, but one of the big issues is that you pick the right mixer; otherwise, you miss out on the advantages and maybe pay for a service that isn’t working effectively.
The primary advantage of a bitcoin mixer is that it allows you to stay anonymous in all of your transactions, whether you simply don’t want people tracking how much bitcoin you have or what you’re purchasing, or if you’re trying to make purchases on the darknet and stay as safe as possible.
Almost all crypto blockchains provide a detailed record of the transactions a bitcoin address has made and allows anybody with a bit of skill or knowledge to track those transactions and even add up how much money that address has or had passed through it.
If your goal is simply to stay anonymous, then a bitcoin mixer provides perfect anonymity so that people can’t track what you’re buying, selling, or even how much you have.
When you consider that standard bank accounts provide this by default, it’s reasonable to assume that people will want this same functionality. Your friends, family, and competitors in business can’t check your bank account or look at what you’ve been buying.
When making purchases on the darknet, then you stay anonymous from law enforcement that may be interested in who is purchasing certain products or services. The original Silk Road marketplace provided a bitcoin mixer by default to hide transactions.
Protect Against Hacking and Extortion
When transacting on the darknet or with unknown entities, you’re giving away some of your information, and there are numerous options for people to hack and uncover your identity.
One such option is a dusting attack, which is a method used by attackers to send tiny transactions to addresses so that they can start tracking overall use and deanonymize the accounts and link them to a personal or business.
This will typically result in the attackers trying to extort or rob you of your crypto. In some cases, victims were even murdered for their digital currencies when attackers moved the extortion and robbery attempts to the real world.
By hiding your transactions with bitcoin mixers, you restrict attackers’ ability to trace and find your information, keeping you safe and secure.
Keep Private Company Dealings Secure
Because we already know that bitcoin transactions are easily traced. Bigger companies that use bitcoin are more likely to have a public or known bitcoin address. If your company is working on private changes that require payments to be sent or received in bitcoin, then dealings with other companies can be hidden.
People may be able to see large outgoing or incoming transactions. But won’t be able to see the full information on that transaction. Which could give away private company information. That could affect the announcement of major changes, share prices, or anything else that needs to stay private.
Disadvantages of Using Bitcoin Mixers
Bitcoin mixers are falling out of favor, especially on the darknet, due to the range of disadvantages found in using them and the better alternatives that have emerged.
A recent analysis of the bitcoin blockchain indicates that there is very minimal use of bitcoin mixers compared with the overall bitcoin usage and that mixer usage is going down.
Some Exchanges Block Bitcoin Mixers
Some exchanges block bitcoin mixer transactions, such as Binance. So any payments to or from these exchanges using a bitcoin mixer will be flagged, and the transaction will be denied.
Exchanges don’t have issue-spotting transactions that utilize the bitcoin mixers of almost any kind.
The primary reason for exchanges blocking mixers is government pressure to keep transactions open and stop money laundering through the mixers, which has been a significant problem in the past.
A number of companies have had owners arrested and financial penalties imposed, so blocking any type of mixer transaction is the only effective way to stay on the government’s side and out of jail.
Not All Bitcoin Mixers Are Legit
It’s important to research the bitcoin mixer that you intend to use rather than just picking the first one you find for convenience. Not all bitcoin mixers are legit or even effectively obscure the transactions, making them ineffective and costly.
The top priority should be to make sure that you’re working with a well-reviewed bitcoin mixer and that it actually anonymizes your transactions to the point that they can’t be reversed with standard software.
Bitcoin Mixer Platform May Give Your Information Away
Using a bitcoin mixer hides your transactions from the general public, but if law enforcement wants to get your information, they can pursue other methods and encourage bitcoin mixer services to hand over user information.
Whether or not a company says they don’t store information on transactions or users, there is no real guarantee that your information is 100% safe, especially when owners are facing jail time or large fines.
If you’re using a mixer for darknet activities and it’s only advertised on the darknet rather than publicly, then your trust with that platform should be limited as well.
Big Transactions Are Easier To Trace
Typically your transaction will be broken up into multiple payments of varying amounts and included with a range of other bitcoin addresses making the transaction harder to trace.
However, if you’re making significantly large payments it becomes much easier to trace. Ultimately a specific large amount moves from you to the bitcoin mixer and then to the recipient. Unless there are many other large transactions happening simultaneously from the same mixer, it’ll become easier to see where transactions came from and where they went to.
Typically only smaller transactions up to the average will have true mixing and privacy benefits.
Many Darknet Marketplaces Don’t Accept Bitcoin
A large number of darknet marketplaces don’t directly accept bitcoin as a payment, and the ones that do may make the shift in the near future. So using a bitcoin mixer isn’t always possible with the marketplaces you want to use.
There was a significant issue in 2020 where a darknet bitcoin mixer was shut down, and the owner faces jail time and financial penalties due to money laundering accusations. Helix, the bitcoin mixer, was partnered with many of the larger darknet marketplaces, and this has soured them towards bitcoin and bitcoin mixers.
You can exchange or buy Monero (XMR) for bitcoin, but more and more exchanges are refusing to accept transactions that involve a bitcoin mixer which makes it much more challenging to use, and the exchanges that do accept it may be charging much higher fees to do so.
Ultimately if darknet marketplaces don’t accept bitcoin, then the general usage of bitcoin and bitcoin mixers simply goes away, and that’s the only disadvantage you really need to consider.
Which Bitcoin Mixers Can Be Used On The Darknet?
There are a lot of bitcoin mixers for you to choose from, and as we detailed above, not all of them work effectively at obscuring your information, making them pointless and costly to use.
Detailed below are the top bitcoin mixers that you can review and pick the one that works best for your needs and budget.
Blender.io is one of the most popular and widely used bitcoin mixers available right now. It provides an easy-to-use and beginner-friendly interface that requires zero technical knowledge or even understanding of mixers to use.
It’s also fully accessible from the darknet using your Tor browser, so you never have to access it from your own personal IP, which further hides your information.
You’re able to set delays on sending your payments out, either a specific number of minutes or after three blockchain confirmations.
Service fees can range from 0.5% to 2.5%, and it’s recommended to mix the percentages to obfuscate your transactions further.
Features of Blender.io include
- A letter of guarantee is provided so you can validate any missing payments with Blender.io and ensure you don’t lose any money.
- All logging information is deleted after 24 hours, which helps with transactions being tracked or the company being forced to give the information up.
- Up to 8 different bitcoin addresses will be used in the same transaction as you, which helps hide transaction data more effectively. The fewer addresses included and the fewer overall transactions make it easier to trace back.
ChipMixer takes your transaction and keeps your bitcoins; it then uses its own supply of bitcoin to send out a payment to your recipient. Your original bitcoin, which people can trace, never reaches your recipient and adds deniability if anybody is checking into your bitcoin usage.
While ChipMixer isn’t a casino, it allows you to bet and utilize your Bitcoin. If you win, you can double your bet.
ChipMixer has no transaction fees but accepts donations as its primary source of funding.
Instead of mixing your bitcoins, you get brand new bitcoins from a prefunded wallet that ChipMixer owns, making transactions highly untraceable and no records recorded on the blockchain.
FoxMixer uses a method to take in transactions and then mix and replace bitcoin using its pool of available funds.
One of the big features of FoxMixer is that it allows you to select the origin country of your bitcoins. Assuming that it is currently available. So that your transaction could look like it comes from Canada. While you’re currently in the US, which further hides your transaction and origin.
The fees for FoxMixer are a 0.001 BTC transaction fee plus 1% of the overall transactions.
Features of FoxMixer Include
- All logging information is deleted after 24 hours which makes tracing or follow-up by law enforcement later a challenging process.
- FoxMixer is available via the darknet. So you never have to access it from your own location, providing enhanced privacy and restricted tracking.
- A letter of guarantee is provided to ensure that if your transaction doesn’t make it. You can follow up and won’t lose your money.
- Selects outbound transactions based on what is currently available. So that all outgoing transactions are similar and blend in at the time they’re sent, making them harder to trace.
UltraMixer uses a range of different outbound bitcoin addresses to further randomize transactions and ensure privacy.
One of the big benefits of UltraMixer is that it’s not just a bitcoin mixer but provides a range of other cryptos to choose from and mix. Your bitcoins are never used, but new bitcoins are pulled from a pool and sent; your coins are simply added to the pool for somebody to use in the future.
The transaction fees are 0.0002 BTC per transaction and 0.5% of the overall transaction, which makes it one of the cheaper bitcoin mixers to use.
Features of UltraMixer include
- All logging around transactions is guaranteed to be deleted, which enhances your privacy if UltraMixer has issues in the future.
- A letter of guarantee is provided to ensure that you can follow up if payment is not completed with your recipient.
- Delayed transactions are available to further obfuscate your transactions
- Your bitcoin is never used, but your transactions come from a pool of usable bitcoin
SmartMixer works like many others by accepting your bitcoin, and instead of mixing it and sending it out, you get brand new bitcoin sent for your transaction, which has no connection to you at all making the transaction highly private.
You can pick to have your transactions go out quickly or between 5 – 24 blockchain confirmations; for even more enhanced privacy; you can pick to have transactions go out randomly.
The transaction fees are 0.0001 per transaction and 0.5% of your overall transaction. Which is another extremely cheap fee structure for bitcoin mixers in general.
Anonymize accepts your transaction and replaces your bitcoin with brand new bitcoins. That have no connection or traceability back to you.
You can pick fast payments or delay your transactions. You also get the option of sending in one payment and sending transactions to multiple recipients. But it is ideal if you’re buying multiple things on the darknet as the transactions won’t line up with the transactions out.
An added feature of this bitcoin mixer is that you can fund transactions from multiple addresses. And break your payments up into 5 outgoing transactions rather than one for one. Transactions can be up to 180 BTC maximum.
You have the option to immediately delete any transaction logs once your transaction completes. This is unlike many other bitcoin mixers that wait 24 hours to delete.
CryptoMixer has a large bitcoin reserve. So that you don’t need to wait for other users to fund your transactions. And it has a zero-log policy. Meaning that logging is never even generated. So there is no chance of your information or transaction being stored.
The transaction fees are 0.0005 BTC per transaction and 0.5% of the overall transaction. Making them on the low end of fees for a bitcoin mixer.
Features of CryptoMixer include
- A letter of guarantee is provided. So that you can follow up on any transactions that don’t complete or have other issues.
- Large bitcoin reserve so that transactions can complete quickly without waiting for other users.
- The zero log policy ensures that your transaction and information are never stored.
8. Bitcoin Mixer (Tumbler)
Bitcoin Mixer takes in your transaction and, based on your transaction amount. Puts you into the low-value or high-value pool of available bitcoins. Your outgoing transaction never has any of your original bitcoins included. So it can’t be traced back to you.
The transaction fees are randomized between 1% – 5% to make multiple outgoing transactions appear different. Further hiding the overall transaction.
Bitcoin Mixer is also available on the darknet. Meaning you never have to access it from your home location, making the overall privacy high.
Features of Bitcoin Mixer include
- All logging information is deleted after 24 hours. Making the possibility of law enforcement getting your details or transaction information unlikely.
- Randomized service fees to further hide outgoing transactions so they can’t be put together when traced.
Mixer.money takes the bitcoins from incoming transactions and blends them together with other users. So that you end up with new bitcoins not connected to you. It uses multiple blending algorithms to ensure they’re untraceable.
You don’t need to register an account. But it can take up to 6 hours for your coins to be mixed and ready for use. Which is not ideal if you need fast transactions completed.
Bitcoin mixing is available for values between 0.003 and 50 BTC.
The transaction fees are 0.0007 per transaction and 4-5% per overall transaction value.
Features of Mixer.money include
- Logging information is deleted after 48 hours. Which is double that of most bitcoin mixers but still quick enough to ensure privacy from law enforcement.
- Accessible from the darknet to ensure you don’t ever need to access the service from your home location.
- No accounts are required when sending transactions, so no information is stored.
Are Bitcoin Mixers Illegal?
Bitcoin mixers aren’t inherently illegal. But they have been tied to money laundering operations. There have been a number of high-profile arrests around the use or operation of bitcoin mixers on the darknet.
However, the arrests are primarily for major operations or bitcoin mixer companies when millions of dollars are involved. For general use of a bitcoin mixer. It’s unlikely you would have legal issues simply from using one of these services.
Consider it comparable to paying for everything you purchase in cash. Which allows you to stay anonymous with no tracking of what you purchased. The only legal issue is in what you purchase with your money or crypto.
If your intention is to hide money through a bitcoin mixer. Then that is illegal, and if you purchase products or services that are illegal through a bitcoin mixer. Then the actual purchase is the illegal part of the transaction rather than the use of the mixer.
There are multiple agencies across the world. They do want to make use of bitcoin mixers without capturing identifying information. Such as your name and address, to be illegal. So if you’re providing your identifying information to a bitcoin mixing service. Then it somewhat defeats the purpose for many users.
Alternatives to Bitcoin Mixers
After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of bitcoin mixers, you may be wondering. Whether there are alternative services or methods for obscuring payments on the darknet or in general.
There are two primary methods that are becoming popular alternatives to bitcoin mixers, privacy wallets, and privacy coins.
Privacy wallets are another method of obfuscating bitcoin transactions. Blockchain analysis indicates privacy wallets are being used much more heavily than mixers since at least 2020.
Standard privacy wallets are simply an extension of mixers with more privacy and features. As well as no need to trust the company providing the service or other users included in the transaction. As CoinJoiin protocols are the standard.
However, the issues faced by mixers are the same that privacy wallets encounter overall. Exchanges do or will likely start blocking these transactions, and darknet transactions still won’t accept bitcoin in the near future.
The future of private cryptocurrency is with privacy coins. And the big player is Monero (XMR) which has become the standard on the darknet. Almost all marketplaces accept Monero as part of their payment options. Or exclusively as their only payment option.
The benefit of Monero is that privacy is built into the cryptocurrency. So no added services are required, and most major exchanges accept Monero as its valid crypto to trade-in.
Monero offers a number of privacy features, making it ideal for the darknet. And why more and more marketplaces are using it exclusively for payments.
When logging into the Monero blockchain, information such as transaction amount as well as the sender. And the recipient of the transaction is never fully made available; an approximation of the transaction amount is provided.
In fact, Monero transactions create a one-time stealth address for that specific transaction, and it will never be used again. So it’s not even possible to see that a specific Monero user is even active or using the crypto for anything.
The IP address of the sender and recipient is hidden, making it even more challenging to trace transactions. It’s also possible to enable and use Tor to further hide IP address information and transaction details.
So when you can’t see who the sender was, who the recipient is. And how much the transaction was for, makes it extremely challenging to trace. Or match transactions to payments for services or products on the dark web.
Utilizing a privacy coin like Monero with the Tor network on the darknet makes it an ideal payment option. When privacy is a major concern.
Should You Use Bitcoin Mixers On The Darknet?
Using bitcoin mixers on the darknet or in general is going to become a significant challenge moving forward. So it’s unlikely that there is any real reason for you to use them.
The biggest issue will be that darknet marketplaces simply don’t accept bitcoin. With many already moving away from the crypto and towards alternative privacy coins like Monero (XMR)
The other big issue is that exchanges won’t or soon won’t accept transactions that utilize bitcoin mixers. This means even if you wanted to buy Monero using a bitcoin mixer transaction. It’s going to be challenging average person.
The benefits of privacy coins, especially Monero, are going to take over for darknet transactions. So it’s a more worthwhile approach to move some of your money into Monero. Or start taking some of your payments in XMR so that you can use it on the darknet.