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Author Topic: Bitcoin Anonymity  (Read 1513 times)
awesomey
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October 22, 2012, 08:00:59 AM
 #1

I jumped on bitcoin because I've heard that it was anonymous. But after more reading I'm not so sure. Is it that all transactions can be monitored, traced, and/or viewed publicly? I mean ultimately if everything could be traced back to either you putting money in, or pulling money out... well that doesn't sound very anonymous to me at all!

So are bitcoins anonymous or not?
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gweedo
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October 22, 2012, 08:06:43 AM
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Bitcoins is anonymous, while yes every transaction is put into a data structure called blockchain. No one knows any identifying attributes that can be traced to you. You get a bitcoin address that you can generate hundreds of and use for many different transaction. If you still think your not being anonymous you can then take advantage of a coinmixer. So yes bitcoin is anonymous. 

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awesomey
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October 22, 2012, 08:28:56 AM
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No one knows any identifying attributes that can be traced to you.

But wouldn't those bit coins have to have come from some initial transaction? Say for example:
- I use bitinstant buy some btc to put into my wallet by depositing cash through bank wire or whatever.
- Then lets say I spend those coins on a a product that is banned in my country, and some gov. agent recieves my btc and confiscates it.
 without knowing my identity, but looking in the bitcoin network, couldn't he ascertain that I had previously placed money from bitinstance into my wallet (assuming he know's bitinstants wallet address, order on bitinstant raid, get logs/interview, and identify my bank wire)? or if not bitinstant, find anyone in my transaction history whose wallet is known and get them to disclose (potentially) identifying information about me?
DannyHamilton
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October 22, 2012, 08:35:14 AM
 #4

I jumped on bitcoin because I've heard that it was anonymous. But after more reading I'm not so sure. Is it that all transactions can be monitored, traced, and/or viewed publicly? I mean ultimately if everything could be traced back to either you putting money in, or pulling money out... well that doesn't sound very anonymous to me at all!

So are bitcoins anonymous or not?
With some effort, bitcoin can be used in a rather anonymous way.  However, without effort it becomes rather easy to reduce your anonymity.

If I obtain all my bitcoin through either mining, or exchange with individuals who don't know my identity, and I use a new address for every transaction, and I am careful to never associate my identity with any of my bitcoin addresses, then I can be pretty anonymous using bitcoin.

However, if I provide identifying information to an exchange like Mt.Gox and use them for currency exchange then they can potentially provide that identifying information to entities who can then track my use of bitcoin.  If I use an address for a transaction with someone who can identify me, and then use that same address or other transactions in the future, then that person can provide my identity to entities who can then track my use of bitcoin.

awesomey
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October 22, 2012, 08:48:30 AM
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Hmm, so even if one of my wallets were to be linked (potentially) to identifiable information, they'd be hard pressed to prove (without other evidence) that every address in-between was linked to me, and not some other joe turning it around and buying some government-hated product?

So the more hops the better for anonymity... hmm this currency is starting to sound like the internet  Wink
b!z
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October 22, 2012, 09:59:03 AM
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Hmm, so even if one of my wallets were to be linked (potentially) to identifiable information, they'd be hard pressed to prove (without other evidence) that every address in-between was linked to me, and not some other joe turning it around and buying some government-hated product?

So the more hops the better for anonymity... hmm this currency is starting to sound like the internet  Wink

Yep, that's right.
Bitcoin is designed to be anonymous.
gweedo
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October 22, 2012, 06:39:43 PM
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- I use bitinstant buy some btc to put into my wallet by depositing cash through bank wire or whatever.
- Then lets say I spend those coins on a a product that is banned in my country, and some gov. agent recieves my btc and confiscates it.
 without knowing my identity, but looking in the bitcoin network, couldn't he ascertain that I had previously placed money from bitinstance into my wallet (assuming he know's bitinstants wallet address, order on bitinstant raid, get logs/interview, and identify my bank wire)? or if not bitinstant, find anyone in my transaction history whose wallet is known and get them to disclose (potentially) identifying information about me?
This is like such an impossible that you have a better chance of hitting the lottery then having this happen to you, but it would take alot of data analytics to search and figure out all that information from the blockchain, plus how would they know bitinstant owns that address? plus they I doubt bitinstant mined those coins so they would have alot of history. That would never happen.

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Stephen Gornick
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October 22, 2012, 06:44:42 PM
 #8

Bitcoin is designed to be anonymous.

Not true.

Bitcoin is meant to be pseudonymous.  There's a difference.

From the Bitcoin wiki:

Quote
While the Bitcoin technology can support strong anonymity, the current implementation is usually not very anonymous.
- http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Anonymity

If it were anonymous, Goat's 400 BTC would still be gone:
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=82600.0
 - http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=113389.0  <-- Another example.

And if Bitcoins were anonymous, this wouldn't be possible:



 - http://toolongdidntread.com

Now as far as it being possible to use bitcoin in an anonymous manner, can you identify a single thief from the following?

1. MyBitcoin Theft (1110544 $)
2. Allinvain Theft (502750.20 $)
3. July 2012 Bitcoinica Theft (305200 $)
4. Bitfloor Theft (248088 $)
5. Linode Hacks (230468 $)
6. Bitomat.pl Loss (236000 $)
7. Stefan Thomas Loss (128000 $)
8. Tony Silk Road Scam (100000 $)
9. May 2012 Bitcoinica Hack (91306.46 $)
10. Bitcoin7 Hack (50000 $)
11. June 2011 Mt. Gox Incident (46970.91 $)
12. BTC-E Hack (42000 $)
13. Mooncoin Theft (24000 $)
14. Betcoin Theft (15509 $)
15. February 2012 Bitcoinica Theft (15000 $)
16. Bitcoin Syndicate Theft (12134.61 $)
16. Ubitex Scam (11668.70 $)
17. Andrew Nollan Scam (10978 $)
18. October 2011 Mt. Gox Loss (8115.12 $)
19. Bitscalper Scam (5000 $)

BFL_Lab_Rat
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October 22, 2012, 08:52:06 PM
 #9

Among other methods mentioned, I think one of the best ways to keep yourself anonymous is to use a mixing service to help sever any ties to previous bitcoin addresses.

You mean like TOR?

I am in no way affiliated with Butterfly Labs. The BFL in my nick stands for Bass Fishing League.
SLok
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October 22, 2012, 11:28:23 PM
 #10

Among other methods mentioned, I think one of the best ways to keep yourself anonymous is to use a mixing service to help sever any ties to previous bitcoin addresses.

You mean like TOR?
Well well, if it isn't Frizz23 with his personality disorder. AKA troll BFl_Mitt, now BFL_Obama on the ButterFly Labs forum, and now here as BFL_Lab_rat, and Frizz32 of course. Have you cancelled that BFL order yet? Oh wait, you just made that order up, didn't you?

WARNING! Don't trade BTC with Bruno Kucinskas aka Gleb Gamow, Phinnaeus Gage, etc Laundering BTC from anonymous sellers, avoid!https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=649176.msg7279994#msg7279994 #TELLFBI #TELLKSAG #TELLIRS WARNING! Darin M. Bicknell, a proclaimed atheist, teaching at the Jakarta CanadianMontessori School. Drop your kids there at your own risk! WARNING! Christian Otzipka - Hildesheim is a known group-buy scammer, avoid! WARNING! Frizz Supertramp, faker with dozens of accounts here! WARNING! Christian "2 coins to see SLOk's" Antkow, still playing his little microphone...WARNING! Slobodan "Stolen Valor" Bogovac, faking being a ProfessorWARNING!Marion Sydney Lynn, google him, errr her, errr.. and lol
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