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Author Topic: Mixing your Bitcoin might become illegal in the future  (Read 851 times)
zanezane
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May 12, 2021, 08:22:05 AM
 #81

Let's look at it like this.

Money laundering will always be illegal, regardless of fiat or crypto. You're trying to hide dirty money, that's always a crime today in the past and in the future.

But mixing Bitcoin does not equal money laundering and the mere activity of going into a business and making your money trail more private? That can't ever be a crime. Otherwise our regular use of fiat is wrong.
The problem with mixing though is that there is no other way for it so it can compromise with authorities, for me I wouldn't risk letting mixers loose knowing that they can be used for crimes like money laundering or tax evasions. Think of it like this, there is a bowl of with 100 M&Ms and around 20 of them are poisonous and will kill you instantly, no way to tell if they are poisonous, I am sure that no one is going to risk taking it unless they are suicidal or have a death wish.

Bitcoin mining is now a specialized and very risky industry, just like gold mining. Amateur miners are unlikely to make much money, and may even lose money. Bitcoin is much more than just mining, though!
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May 12, 2021, 09:18:48 AM
 #82

Yes, this is likely to happen. KYC will become the norm for the crypto industry, licensing (as binance, ownr and others) and other regulatory means.
Well this was expected long time ago, it's just that there are some preventing that happening now but in the end? this will be implemented.

So be ready for the mixing activities because sooner or later you will be needing to present KYC before doing mixing

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May 12, 2021, 05:06:31 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #83

Bitcoin mixers have one job: To disguise the original source of Bitcoin funds. While the medium (Bitcoin) is new, this is the very definition of money laundering. I don't know of a single good reason to use a mixing service, other than to try to hide ill gotten gains, although I'm sure someone will come up with an excuse or two. If the government actually cared enough to look that deeply into peoples finances, it is likely they would come to the same conclusion already, however the vast majority of people using these services are doing it with such small amounts that they will probably get ignored. They'll also be ignored, because unless they are moving very large sums around and converting them into fiat, the resources required to piece together such criminal actions will not be worth it to the taxman. It is very likely these sites are already covered by existing anti-money laundering laws, however they can reside in internet grey areas and likely have servers in countries that are a bit more lenient when it comes to finances.

Mixers have legitimate use cases in the mainstream world. People can use them to preserve privacy in order to prevent other third parties from knowing the account's holdings. Businesses will benefit the most from mixers, as they protect their transaction history from being accessed by malicious actors in cyberspace. Of course, governments don't see it this way. They believe mixers will be solely used for money laundering and tax evasion. We cannot blame them since the majority of people use mixers and privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes. Considering that most (if not all) mixers don't comply with KYC/AML, governments could shut down them for good in the not-so-distant future. It'll be a much more difficult task to do this with a non-custodial mixer (aka decentralized mixer) though. I guess that governments will hunt down developers of the non-custodial mixer to held them accountable for their actions. With Bitcoin becoming more popular in the mainstream world, mixing will become illegal faster than you could've ever imagined.

Nonetheless, no one knows what will happen in the future. How governments are willing to deal with mixers in the long run is yet to be seen. They could either approve the use of mixers (by forcing KYC/AML) or shut them down for good. In case everything goes down the drain, there's always a "Plan B". Off-chain transactions, privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies (Monero, Zcash, etc.) and non-custodial mixers will help people preserve their anonymity regardless of government regulations. That's because it's practically impossible to take down decentralized services. It shouldn't be long enough before governments admit defeat, giving the "green light" for the growth of the entire crypto/Blockchain industry. Just my thoughts Grin

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May 12, 2021, 06:52:34 PM
 #84

Yes, this is likely to happen. KYC will become the norm for the crypto industry, licensing (as binance, ownr and others) and other regulatory means.

It's already the norm. Most exchanges require KYC and what about it?

You can still trade in person, you can still do it using trading groups, you can trade stuff on this forum with no KYC involved. KYC only made it more difficult for newcomers, especially those who value privacy. It did nothing to people who really wanted to trade illegal goods or launder money. They were doing it anonymously outside centralized exchanges before KYC became mandatory.



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May 13, 2021, 05:16:29 PM
 #85

It's already the norm. Most exchanges require KYC and what about it?

You can still trade in person, you can still do it using trading groups, you can trade stuff on this forum with no KYC involved. KYC only made it more difficult for newcomers, especially those who value privacy. It did nothing to people who really wanted to trade illegal goods or launder money. They were doing it anonymously outside centralized exchanges before KYC became mandatory.

That's certainly true, mate. Before the rise of crypto exchanges, all trades were conducted in a peer-to-peer manner. Mixing is only necessary when you want to obfuscate your Bitcoin transaction activities on the Blockchain. There are other methods of "anonymizing" your Bitcoin without the need to go through a mixer. The real concern is that once governments declare "mixers" as illegal, they can hunt you down if they suspect you're obfuscating your Bitcoin transactions. It wouldn't be worth "anonymizing" your Bitcoin via other means if you get caught in the long run. This will lead you to face fines or even jail time. Knowing that most people don't care about their privacy, a "mixer ban" will do little to no difference in the pioneer cryptocurrency's mainstream adoption.

Nonetheless, the future of crypto is widely unpredictable. We're going to have to see what happens over time as governments devise new regulations that could either stimulate or stifle the growth of the entire crypto/Blockchain industry. The more Bitcoin becomes popular, the more governments and central banks will see it as a threat to the very existence of the current monetary system. Their excuse will always be that crypto serves as the ideal tool for money laundering and tax evasion. They don't care about the legitimate use cases of crypto since they don't want people to use anything outside of their reach. In order to enforce the use of CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies), governments will need to stifle the growth of crypto as much as possible. Mixers will eventually be declared as "illegal", leading us to wonder what will come up next? Just my opinion Smiley

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May 13, 2021, 05:27:20 PM
 #86

That is the reason as a whole the government cannot legalize Bitcoin, if criminals are able to take advantage of the Bitcoin mixer to launder money then Bitcoin users will automatically become the government's attention and the government will always monitor the entry and exit of funds owned by each user.

A very good reason for the government to regulate Bitcoin from their perspectives, as the main purpose being decentralized government can do anything about it.

But since they'll see that criminals can easily hide their money by means of Bitcoin transactions they'll going to take actions against it.

Countering possible illegal transactions can be done with regulated system, government will requires those exchange business to provide KYC for security reason and countering those criminals and their illegal deeds.

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May 14, 2021, 07:43:07 PM
 #87

Let's look at it like this.

Money laundering will always be illegal, regardless of fiat or crypto. You're trying to hide dirty money, that's always a crime today in the past and in the future.

But mixing Bitcoin does not equal money laundering and the mere activity of going into a business and making your money trail more private? That can't ever be a crime. Otherwise our regular use of fiat is wrong.
The problem with mixing though is that there is no other way for it so it can compromise with authorities, for me I wouldn't risk letting mixers loose knowing that they can be used for crimes like money laundering or tax evasions. Think of it like this, there is a bowl of with 100 M&Ms and around 20 of them are poisonous and will kill you instantly, no way to tell if they are poisonous, I am sure that no one is going to risk taking it unless they are suicidal or have a death wish.

I am not sure if this is perfectly applicable here. What if you have a bag of 100 USD bills under your bed as savings, all of which once were in possession of a drug cartel?
You really should only be confronted with investigation or even prosecution if there is a reason that can be sufficiently substantiated and attributed to you.
Mixing is no crime from your side if you aren't hiding a crime with it.
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May 20, 2021, 03:30:02 PM
 #88

A very good reason for the government to regulate Bitcoin from their perspectives, as the main purpose being decentralized government can do anything about it.

But since they'll see that criminals can easily hide their money by means of Bitcoin transactions they'll going to take actions against it.

Countering possible illegal transactions can be done with regulated system, government will requires those exchange business to provide KYC for security reason and countering those criminals and their illegal deeds.

It's possible to "counterattack" malicious actors on centralized exchanges and centralized wallet providers, because of the single point of failure (in this case, a middleman). However, we cannot say the same about decentralized counterparts. If most people begin using non-custodial mixers and decentralized exchanges, governments will have a hard time trying to enforce the rule of law. That's largely because a decentralized system is not tied to a single jurisdiction. I'd imagine how disastrous everything will be once criminals learn how to efficiently use non-custodial mixers. Governments will have no choice but to declare crypto "illegal" as their efforts become in vain.

Nonetheless, I believe there may be no need to worry about mixers becoming "illegal" in the future. There are many ways to achieve privacy outside the scope of governments and other third parties. This is possible because of the decentralized and open-source nature of crypto/Blockchain. If it were centralized, it would've been easier for governments to enforce the rule of law. I bet non-custodial mixers and privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies will rise like skyrocket once centralized mixing services come to an end. Of course, most people don't care about their privacy since they've got nothing to hide. But for businesses, privacy is crucial to protect sensitive information from prying eyes. Time will tell us the fate of privacy in Bitcoin as it becomes more popular in the mainstream world. Just my thoughts Grin

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DarkDays
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May 20, 2021, 03:43:14 PM
 #89


Do you think there's a possibility this will happen in the future? If not, why? What do you think will happen once mixers (both custodial and non-custodial) are banned by the government? Will this force people to use privacy coins more thoroughly? Or will everything remain the same? Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Smiley
If people want to engage in illegal activity there is nothing that can stop them. Mixers might make things easier for them but even if these regulations where to follow it wouldn't be a full deterrent - there'll always be new ways.

As for mixers there might be some turmoil up ahead but at the same time it would take governments some time & money to follow this through. All of this will not stop people from using crypto as there will be other ways, more innovative projects that will try to provide its customers with full anonymity.

Just another stick in the wheel, but the wheel won't break!
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May 20, 2021, 03:50:08 PM
 #90

Bitcoin will always has its pro and cons. Even for long, bitcoin has been used for illegal things, and also crimes. That's why back in 2017 there are quite many disagreement regarding bitcoin in some countries, since many people thought that btc will be used for bad purposed only. Hence, many countries considered bitcoin as something illegal, and it still happens up until now. However, there are also countries that are supporting and accepting bitcoin. It's just the matter of perspective and interest. We won't know whether it will be illegal or not, since it's all depend on the government, how they want to act and decide.

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butcher_spam
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May 20, 2021, 03:59:29 PM
 #91

It is no secret that most of the use of bitcoin mixers, accounts for money laundering and financing of illicit goods and possibly terrorism. Why would an ordinary person want to use a bitcoin mixer? I have never used it and I do not understand why I need it. Bitcoin mixer is evil!

I live in Russia, and despite the prohibitions that our government uses in relation to bitcoin, I can quite afford to live quietly and withdraw my BTC without any problems. The main bans are only for large sums, many entrepreneurs launder good money through bitcoin, this ban was just for such situations.

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May 20, 2021, 04:22:19 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #92

It's possible to "counterattack" malicious actors on centralized exchanges and centralized wallet providers, because of the single point of failure (in this case, a middleman). However, we cannot say the same about decentralized counterparts. If most people begin using non-custodial mixers and decentralized exchanges, governments will have a hard time trying to enforce the rule of law. That's largely because a decentralized system is not tied to a single jurisdiction. I'd imagine how disastrous everything will be once criminals learn how to efficiently use non-custodial mixers. Governments will have no choice but to declare crypto "illegal" as their efforts become in vain.
CoinJoin? Governments are requesting exchanges and services to blacklist coins that were involved in CoinJoin transactions. CoinJoin mixes your coins by obscurity but it doesn't necessarily break the link between them. Unfortunately, if you want any adoption, you NEED exchanges which are registered. Decentralized exchange unfortunately doesn't always sit well with people; P2P OTC trades are not as secure as it seems. Some would rather give up their privacy than to risk their funds.

Nonetheless, I believe there may be no need to worry about mixers becoming "illegal" in the future. There are many ways to achieve privacy outside the scope of governments and other third parties. This is possible because of the decentralized and open-source nature of crypto/Blockchain. If it were centralized, it would've been easier for governments to enforce the rule of law. I bet non-custodial mixers and privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies will rise like skyrocket once centralized mixing services come to an end. Of course, most people don't care about their privacy since they've got nothing to hide. But for businesses, privacy is crucial to protect sensitive information from prying eyes. Time will tell us the fate of privacy in Bitcoin as it becomes more popular in the mainstream world. Just my thoughts Grin
They don't need to ban mixers to spy on their citizen. There are tons of ways to do so without and if they're smart, they would bring blockchain analysis into the picture and let the mixers continue running. Centralized mixers can survive, they just need to operate in a jurisdiction which respects their privacy or operate off-shore.

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May 20, 2021, 04:32:33 PM
 #93

I don't understand how the governments can outlaw the mixers. Most of the mixers are based outside the United States and operate without any sort of license. Even if the governments try to outlaw them, they will simply move to TOR and other anonymous interfaces. And by some chance the government authorities manages to shut down one mixer, another will take its place in no time. IMO, the authorities should concentrate their resources elsewhere, on more serious issues.
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May 20, 2021, 04:52:23 PM
 #94

Curious how you define " ill gotten gains,"?





The recent popularity of Bitcoin has brought the attention of governments and central banks worldwide. We've seen certain opposition from countries like India, China, and Russia against the pioneer cryptocurrency. Countries that are friendly towards Bitcoin (like the US and UK), are constantly surveilling its citizens for any suspicious activity. I've seen that some countries have taken action against Bitcoin mixing services with the excuse that they're used for money laundering and terrorist financing. Since most (if not all) of these centralized mixers don't comply with KYC/AML regulations, they're subject to being shut down by the government. Imagine if criminals begin using Bitcoin mixers in mass for money laundering purposes. If the trend continues, mixing Bitcoin may turn out to become illegal.

Do you think there's a possibility this will happen in the future? If not, why? What do you think will happen once mixers (both custodial and non-custodial) are banned by the government? Will this force people to use privacy coins more thoroughly? Or will everything remain the same? Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Smiley

Bitcoin mixers have one job: To disguise the original source of Bitcoin funds. While the medium (Bitcoin) is new, this is the very definition of money laundering. I don't know of a single good reason to use a mixing service, other than to try to hide ill gotten gains, although I'm sure someone will come up with an excuse or two. If the government actually cared enough to look that deeply into peoples finances, it is likely they would come to the same conclusion already, however the vast majority of people using these services are doing it with such small amounts that they will probably get ignored. They'll also be ignored, because unless they are moving very large sums around and converting them into fiat, the resources required to piece together such criminal actions will not be worth it to the taxman. It is very likely these sites are already covered by existing anti-money laundering laws, however they can reside in internet grey areas and likely have servers in countries that are a bit more lenient when it comes to finances.
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May 21, 2021, 03:55:13 AM
 #95

But mixing Bitcoin does not equal money laundering and the mere activity of going into a business and making your money trail more private? That can't ever be a crime. Otherwise our regular use of fiat is wrong.
It is even understandable that you don't want anyone else to know with whom you are doing business or with whom you are in touch. If you see a doctor and it would be possible to pay with Bitcoin on day, nobody wants that to be stored in the blockchain available for anyone to see and identify you. Even if you just buy a pack of cigarettes or alcohol, there is no point why anyone should be able to fully identify and analyze your behavior.
Exactly. Privacy and seeking privacy are not crimes. Criminal activity is always criminal activity. People need to stop confusing both as the same thing.

If I am doing a crime, what I do to hide it cannot be also automatically a crime. Wearing a face mask to hide my identity while in a bank could be a crime (to prevent making robbing a bank easier), I agree, but you cannot outlaw wearing face masks.

The problem with mixing though is that there is no other way for it so it can compromise with authorities, for me I wouldn't risk letting mixers loose knowing that they can be used for crimes like money laundering or tax evasions. Think of it like this, there is a bowl of with 100 M&Ms and around 20 of them are poisonous and will kill you instantly, no way to tell if they are poisonous, I am sure that no one is going to risk taking it unless they are suicidal or have a death wish.
I really can't see the link here. Your Ms are always poisonous, but mixing is not always poisonous. As I said in my example above, if mixing is always poisonous (to use your bad example), then your use of fiat is always poisonous (dollar bills and cocaine, for example).

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May 28, 2021, 05:29:51 PM
 #96

CoinJoin? Governments are requesting exchanges and services to blacklist coins that were involved in CoinJoin transactions. CoinJoin mixes your coins by obscurity but it doesn't necessarily break the link between them. Unfortunately, if you want any adoption, you NEED exchanges which are registered. Decentralized exchange unfortunately doesn't always sit well with people; P2P OTC trades are not as secure as it seems. Some would rather give up their privacy than to risk their funds.

CoinJoin is not the only privacy solution. Monero uses ring signatures + CT to obfuscate transactions, making it the ideal solution for those seeking true privacy. All you have to do is exchange BTC to XMR either in-person or through a decentralized exchange. Governments may successfully ban centralized mixing services, but they'll fail doing so with non-custodial mixers or privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies like Monero and Zcash.

Of course, decentralized solutions are not as easy to use as one would thought they would be. For the non-tech savvy person, it's much easier to go through centralized services than decentralized ones. With a centralized service, you're able to make a dispute or claim if things go in the wrong direction. But with a decentralized service, you're on your own. In a world where people don't value their privacy, banning centralized mixers will do little to no harm towards Bitcoin's mainstream adoption. Only libertarians, tech-savvy people, and anarchists will seek privacy via other means while the rest of the world will carry on as usual. With or without a mixer ban, Bitcoin will be here to stay thanks to its decentralized and censorship-resistant design. Just my thoughts Grin

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May 29, 2021, 12:37:13 AM
 #97

 Mixing will always be under the scrutiny of governments and their regulators, as these services are used by those who do not want to leave traces of their transactions, which means that governments will always have reason to believe that such services are being used for illegal purposes. Therefore, it is they who, first of all, will experience constant restrictions, and possibly a ban on such services. However, it is always interesting to watch the opposition of craftsmen and regulators from governments. It will be a long confrontation.

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May 29, 2021, 02:15:40 AM
 #98

Mixing will always be under the scrutiny of governments and their regulators, as these services are used by those who do not want to leave traces of their transactions, which means that governments will always have reason to believe that such services are being used for illegal purposes. Therefore, it is they who, first of all, will experience constant restrictions, and possibly a ban on such services. However, it is always interesting to watch the opposition of craftsmen and regulators from governments. It will be a long confrontation.


There could be more Bitcoin mixers later if the mining regulation will affect the fungibility of the BTC mined from China or from the regulated pools. Mixers will probably go underground.

I'm not sure if mixers will still be effective if the BTC regulations track the origins of the coins before it could get into the exchanges, it could be scary in the end to send your coins when they could just say the coins we own comes out fro the mixers.

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May 29, 2021, 02:28:20 AM
 #99

The recent popularity of Bitcoin has brought the attention of governments and central banks worldwide. We've seen certain opposition from countries like India, China, and Russia against the pioneer cryptocurrency. Countries that are friendly towards Bitcoin (like the US and UK), are constantly surveilling its citizens for any suspicious activity. I've seen that some countries have taken action against Bitcoin mixing services with the excuse that they're used for money laundering and terrorist financing. Since most (if not all) of these centralized mixers don't comply with KYC/AML regulations, they're subject to being shut down by the government. Imagine if criminals begin using Bitcoin mixers in mass for money laundering purposes. If the trend continues, mixing Bitcoin may turn out to become illegal.

Do you think there's a possibility this will happen in the future? If not, why? What do you think will happen once mixers (both custodial and non-custodial) are banned by the government? Will this force people to use privacy coins more thoroughly? Or will everything remain the same? Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Smiley

I don't think the government are on the wrong with this, since this service helps to ensure anonymity then it is very likely that shady people are using it for such activities to get away with their crimes, even with fiat people who are involve in bad things are using to launder money and other crimes talk less of btc that is anonymous,
Why would someone want to use this service if your btc are genuine? In a way I believe yes, government may soon consider the service illegal.
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May 29, 2021, 03:33:29 AM
 #100

I don't agree with this view, even in some countries that support BTC today, they have been used to do something illegal.

It's not illegal to mix bitcoins, but it's important to see what people who own bitcoins are doing. It's not about now or the future
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