Using a bitcoin tumbler service is by far the easiest way to make sure that your bitcoins stay safe. Free from the prying eyes of governments, hackers, and corporations.
Also called mixers or cleaners, bitcoin tumblers allow you to easily sever identifiable ties between the transactions you make and your wallet address.
The security of a bitcoin tumbler far exceeds that of mixing our bitcoins yourself. It is also incredibly simple. Most bitcoin exchanges require you to open an account, using sensitive information like your name and banking account information. While this is necessary to purchase bitcoin, using the coins that are so closely tied with your personal information makes it easy for outside entities to track your purchase history and your finances. They can also easily tie the purchase to you, taking away much of the anonymity that makes bitcoin great.
The most secure way to avoid sharing any personal information is to ensure that you use a bitcoin tumbler before you transact any of those newly purchased coins.
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Using a Bitcoin Tumbler: Using Freshly Purchased Coins
When you purchase coins for the first time, they are deposited into an online crypto “wallet”. This wallet has a very specific signature or key- much like the number of a bank account. This key is then logged anytime you make a purchase or sell bitcoin. The key is logged into the blockchain ledger, validating the transaction and opening a log of it to the public.
In this way, all bitcoin transactions are immutable, public, and verifiable. With the right kind of software, that wallet key can be tied to the bitcoins that were purchased and the bitcoins that are spent. If any personal information was supplied, or even identifiable IP addresses were used, to create that wallet or buy the bitcoins in it, your personal information is then also directly tied to those coins. While that information isn’t part of the public domain, it’s relatively simple for law enforcement, data collection agencies, or the government to link wallet keys to the information supplied in setting them up.
Using a bitcoin tumbler makes it possible to remove that tie from those coins, even though they’ve never really left your possession.
Using A Bitcoin Tumbler
Hiding Your IP Address
To fully protect your anonymity, it’s suggested that people use specific software and operating systems that mask IP addresses. There are quite a few different ways to achieve this, but most often the use of a VPN and specialized Linux software are suggested.
The VPN software is super simple to use and instantly obscures your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic. However, VPNs tend to cost money, and for the computer savvy, there are other ways to hide your IP address.
You may consider using TAILS (The Amnesiac Incognito Live System) which is a type of Linux based operating system. This system can be quickly and easily booted up on any computer using a USB drive or DVD. This system leaves no trace activity on any machine once you’ve finished using it.
TOR is perhaps the most common software used to remain anonymous on the web. Also known as the “dark web” or “deep web” TOR is a free client that anonymously connects you to a volunteer-operated network of servers. These servers equip you with a new IP address in the same way that a VPN would.
Using multiple combinations of different types of operating systems and software is generally the best way to ensure that your initial purchase of bitcoins and transitional wallet setup won’t be linkable to your personal information or your IP address.
Setting Up Wallets
At a minimum, you will need to create at least two new wallets. A transitional wallet and a storage wallet.
If you already have bitcoin, chances are you already have a storage wallet. As you’re learning about bitcoin tumblers, it’s unlikely that you used one to gain the bitcoin you already have. This means that your current storage wallet is compromised and is most likely already linked to your IP address or personal information. This isn’t an issue, as this is exactly what bitcoin tumblers aim to fix!
Creating a transitional wallet is simple, just make sure that when you create any future wallets, you do so using the TOR network or a VPN- or ideally, both. This way the wallets that will contain your clean bitcoin won’t be traceable back to your machine or you.
A transitional wallet is a clean wallet that you send your original bitcoins to. Once your coins are held safely within a clean transitional wallet, it’s time to send them to your mixer. Make sure that your final storage wallet is set up in the same manner that your transitional wallet is- keeping your IP address masked and using an operating system that will not leave trace on any given machine.
Set Up Your Mixer
Make sure that you are fully registered with the bitcoin tumbler you will be using. It’s always important to do your research and ensure the legitimacy of any bitcoin tumbler you plan on using. There are some mixing services that are scams and once you deposit your bitcoin into them, you will not get it back. Using a reputable bitcoin tumbler should be simple, straightforward, and transparent.
There are quite a few excellent mixing services, so make sure that the one you use comes highly recommended. Most of the best bitcoin tumblers will be found on the TOR network, so stick to those.
All bitcoin tumbler services will charge a service fee, so expect to pay anywhere from 0.5-3% of the amount deposited. Any bitcoin tumbler you use should come with some verifiable guarantee that you will not receive any of your own coins once mixed.
Mixers that also function as TOR wallets can be a great choice for someone who plans on multiple transactions following a single mix. If you do plan on using a tumbler that functions as a wallet, your storage wallet may not be necessary.
If you plan on using a tumbler/TOR wallet combo, make sure that you only plan on tumbling as many coins as you will use per transaction. Keeping your larger stash in a safe and anonymous offline wallet.