Nobody panic. It’s really not as bad as it sounds.
When most normies think about bitcoin, the dark web, and the term “bitcoin laundering” in conjunction with anything besides their socks- hackles are definitely raised. But understanding that while these services are indeed enticing to the common criminal, they’re also incredibly useful to the average Joe.
To start off with, we should get one thing crystal clear- bitcoin laundering, bitcoin holding, and the dark web are not illegal activities in and of themselves. However, the exact thing that makes these concepts so appealing to criminals is actually exactly why they should be loved by all. It all has to do with security and anonymity.
The true beauty of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that they allow their holders many things. Examples: to use, gain, and access funds without the overarching and wholly unnecessary control of legislation and centralization. No middlemen, no international borders.
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Bitcoin Laundering and Bitcoin Mixers
While the term “bitcoin laundering” does indeed sound frightfully similar to the wholly nefarious and illegal act of money laundering, they are two different things entirely. They do share some core principals like keeping your money and its origins anonymous. But Bitcoin laundering doesn’t necessarily require ill-gotten gains.
All you need in order to launder bitcoin is some bitcoin and a deep-seeded need for privacy. Bitcoin was touted to be anonymous and decentralized since its conception, but the reality of the situation is that, at best, bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous. Leaving many virtuous users upset at the invasion of privacy.
In response to this, these users are starting to use bitcoin mixing services to help ensure their privacy. Much like you wouldn’t care to share your bank statements with the world, most crypto users don’t want to share their bitcoin finances with anyone either. Which doesn’t really seem all that bad.
By using bitcoin tumblers, standard everyday users of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can keep their holdings under wraps and free from the prying eyes of blockchain analytics.
Bitcoin Tumblers and Blockchain Analytics
The old adage “Money is power” is quickly becoming outmoded in modern-day society. If scandals involving large companies like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook tell us anything, it’s that data is more powerful than money. Personal information, such as your name, address, bank account details, purchase patterns, political alignment, and even general ethical adherence can tell large corporations all they need to know about you as a consumer. People use this information to skew important details. And even begin to shape the way that we view and interact with the world around us.
Where lobbyists once controlled the economic and political climates- these powerhouses of industry and living are now greatly controlled by media influence and marketing. Making it so everyday people are now less in control of the choices they make, whether they know it or not.
Analytics are the currency of modern-day consumerism, and believe it- you vote with your wallet. It’s no wonder that people from all over the world are looking for a better way to live their lives out from under the ever-watchful eye of big brother. This may all may seem a bit dystopian for most palettes. But agencies are racking in billions of dollars just by tracking the online habits of the standard citizen.
Which is where bitcoin laundering can provide a massive peace of mind for many. Making it next to impossible to track purchase patterns or financial holdings. In fact, with the growing distrust of fiat alongside turf wars between major players in global economics, cryptocurrencies are the go-to hedge for funds. For billionaires and Joeschmoe alike.
Bitcoin tumblers work by severing any ties you may have to your coins that are held within the blockchain. Blockchain is the public ledger that keeps bitcoin alive, well, and fully decentralized. The technology was originally created to ensure complete anonymity of transaction. But thanks to sophisticated analytical software, these transactions can be easily traced throughout the history of your coin- unless you launder it.
What is Bitcoin Laundering
Bitcoin laundering, tumbling, or mixing is the process by which a holder of the currency essentially washes it of any historical ties. Whether that means ties to their personal information, gained from shipping addresses or bank details used to purchase original coins, or IP addresses and wallet trading habits.
Anytime you use bitcoin, you are becoming a part of the immutable paper trail known as the blockchain. They only way to break that trail is to take a tip from the common criminals of yore and launder the money.
This works by depositing your coins into a mixing service. Which mixes it with tons of other coins from a number of different sources. Following hundreds of complicated microtransactions, you are then delivered “clean” coins of the value that you deposited (minus any fees). The coins are clean because of how clever the blockchain analytics might be. They will be unable to trace your new coins back to you as an owner.
This works especially well when users choose a dark web mixing service. As the dark web is generally free from oversight and is ran on a peer-to-peer network. Couple a dark web tumbler with a dark web wallet. Most likely you shouldn’t ever have to worry about the security of your identity or your privacy.
Does it sound criminal? Maybe. Will criminals use these services for their evil doings? Most definitely. But the truth is that whether or not criminals are capitalizing on the pseudo-anonymity of bitcoin, they’re doing it negligibly. Not only that, but should mixing services vanish into thin air, criminals will still find a way to do what they do best.
Leaving everyone else in the yolk of legislation and centralization. With no options to protect themselves and their cash.