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Author Topic: Mixers to be banned  (Read 22073 times)
theymos (OP)
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December 01, 2023, 11:15:25 AM
Last edit: December 21, 2023, 07:33:07 PM by theymos
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 #1

Bitcointalk.org aims to allow about as much freedom as is reasonably possible. But this is not a darknet forum, and with mixers looking "grayer and grayer", it's no longer reasonably possible to allow linking to mixers. Even though "a cryptocurrency mixing service is not necessarily illegal," a clear pattern has emerged where mixers pop up, last for a little while, and then get taken down by law enforcement once they get too big. Allowing mixers to be posted on bitcointalk.org before they seemingly-inevitably get declared illegal and seized is not sustainable. Therefore, promoting mixers will no longer be allowed, similarly to how darknet sites are already disallowed.

To avoid disruption, there will be a grace period: Nothing will change until Jan 1, 2024.

Starting Jan 1, 2024:
 - Forum accounts that are obviously run by mixers are not allowed. *
 - Mixer announcement threads are not allowed. †
 - Promoting mixers in signatures, avatars, and profile-bios are not allowed.
 - It's not allowed for mixers to do giveaways, sponsorships, bounties, paid posts, or paid ads in posts. If a thread is for paying people to do something for a mixer, then that's also not allowed. †
 - Mixer URLs will be automatically wordfiltered out, but you can still discuss mixers otherwise. Using link-shorteners or other obfuscation techniques in order to post URLs which would otherwise be wordfiltered is not allowed.
 
* Existing accounts will be banned from posting, but will be allowed to continue sending/receiving PMs for at least a few months so they can settle any business.
 † Existing threads will be locked and archived.


You do not need to go edit/delete your past posts. Links will be automatically wordfiltered-out as of Jan 1, and nobody should be banned for old mixer-related posts. You should remove any mixer signatures/avatars/etc. soon after Jan 1, though.

Definition of a mixer

For clarity, here is a detailed definition of what we mean by a "mixer". Most people know intuitively what a mixer is and don't have to read this.

Something is considered a mixer if it meets all of these requirements:
 1. It has a feature advertised for taking property, improving its privacy somehow, and then returning roughly the same type of property.
     a. Even though you can sometimes use non-mixers to mix coins by depositing and then withdrawing, this doesn't make it a mixer because this is an incidental use of the service; the service isn't advertised as privacy-enhancing.
     b. If a site is not primarily a mixer but has a mixer function, such as a mixer function on a gambling website, then the whole site is considered a mixer.
     c. If the site takes coins, gives you a possibly-transferrable IOU, and will convert this IOU back into mixed coins much later, then the temporary conversion into a different type of property does not prevent it from being considered a mixer.
     d. If the site internally converts your deposit into other things as part of its mixing, but ultimately the point of the product is to get your original type of property back, then that's a mixer, not an exchanger.
 2. It is possible for the mixer to steal property passing through it. Assume that the sender does everything as correctly as possible. Also assume that no miners/verifiers on the base-layer cryptocurrency are evil. But assume that every other actor involved is evil (everyone able to vote in a DAO, every coordination server, every counterparty, every member of a multisig, etc.). Ignore short-term software bugs which are expected to be quickly fixed.
 3. The service does not collect KYC-type info from all users. (This is not an endorsement of KYC generally, or a condemnation of non-KYC services generally. Non-KYC services of other types are still allowed, and in many cases they are a good idea.)

Examples of things that are not banned mixers include exchangers (unless they have a mixing function), CoinJoin-supporting non-custodial wallets, and Monero.

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Each block is stacked on top of the previous one. Adding another block to the top makes all lower blocks more difficult to remove: there is more "weight" above each block. A transaction in a block 6 blocks deep (6 confirmations) will be very difficult to remove.
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December 01, 2023, 11:29:00 AM
 #2

Thanks theymos for this decision.

I know it is a hard decision but it will help the forum operates more sustainable. Mixers are not necessarily illegal but it is only matter of time when they will be sanctioned like illegal mixers.

Should the forum stop advertising mixers? (now I think the question should be "allowing mixers" to be more accurate with the forum operations because it does not advertise mixers, forum users do it) I really thought about it when I asked community in that thread. Finally you decided to do something hard, but for the best of forum generally.

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December 01, 2023, 11:33:59 AM
 #3

...

Examples of things that are not banned mixers include exchangers (unless they have a mixing function), CoinJoin-supporting non-custodial wallets, and Monero.

Hi Theymos, I know it's hard for you to provide notifications like this, the mixer platform has received attention from the government several times (such as chipmixer and sinbad), but with the notification you provided, hopefully, mixer owners can consider adding more features like the one above. you require here, this forum has long been the best place to market platforms related to Bitcoin and altcoins, well for the sake of this forum, I support all decisions that arise.


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December 01, 2023, 11:36:01 AM
Merited by JayJuanGee (1), FinneysTrueVision (1), Sandra_hakeem (1)
 #4

Six months before Sinbad was seized, I created a thread After Chipmixer, Is Sinbad.io Next To Be Shutdown? clearly posting to a link on Wired stating $22 million of laundered money from Blender was used to start Sinbad.

I think short-sighted members did not foresee such an outcome but after what happened when the Sinbad mixer was seized recently, this was something highly likely to happen. If not after Sinbad, then maybe after the next but mixers were eventually going to be banned in the forum if they kept getting seized by law enforcement agencies.

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December 01, 2023, 11:41:11 AM
 #5

Strategic mistake. But we are not law enforcement to say having them here could be better to keep an eye on them all in one place instead of having them go elsewhere scattered.

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December 01, 2023, 11:43:20 AM
Merited by pooya87 (4), JayJuanGee (1), ABCbits (1)
 #6

Hi Theymos, can you talk if you received some request about Mixers, I mean a Request from law enforcement requesting something like this?

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December 01, 2023, 11:43:35 AM
 #7

It is better to take action before everything gets out of hand. Mixers are not illegal but when the criminals find an opportunity, they will surely take it and make the service illegal for their benefit. Good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. We can not stop it but we can at least prevent ourselves from getting involved. This is a good step for the forum. Those existing mixer platforms won't be out of jobs if they are not allowed here, but we don't want them here as we are not sure what to come in the future.

Hi Theymos, can you talk if you received some request about Mixers, I mean a Request from law enforcement requesting something like this?
I think this is a personal decision. It has happened before, it has happened recently and it will happen again. It is better to avoid it I think.
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December 01, 2023, 11:45:18 AM
Merited by JayJuanGee (1)
 #8

Hi Theymos, can you talk if you received some request about Mixers, I mean a Request from law enforcement requesting something like this?
You can see the flow that started months ago.

theymos requested forum admins, global moderators, moderators no longer wear signature of mixers. I believe it is his natural decision, not with any pressure from law enforcement authorities. If there is such, this change will be applied immediately.

staff were asked to stop advertising mixing services
We (staff) were asked to stop advertising mixing services.

Strategic mistake. But we are not law enforcement to say having them here could be better to keep an eye on them all in one place instead of having them go elsewhere scattered.
The bottom line is they will not find any bigger Bitcoin forum than Bitcointalk.org. They can advertise their mixers somewhere, on other forums, darknet but they will miss this forum a lot.

Will it come to a time of KYC-mixers?

It sounds weird now but maybe in future, it will happen and with KYC, mixers will be allowed by laws. The point is to avoid criminals to use mixers, not good people who want privacy to use mixers.

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December 01, 2023, 11:52:30 AM
 #9

Weldone Theymos.

Though this didn't come as a shock to me with all what hàs been happening between mixers and the government  I believe this is the only pathway to exonerate the forum from the issues with mixers both now and in the future.

Sure If there were other ways to go about it you would have done but for now this decision is one in a right direction for the bitcointalk community it's been one too many, and it's a pity that big mixers like Sinbad and chipmixer has to be meet such fate in the hands of the government.

We just have to adjust to the rules, as rules are always rules.

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December 01, 2023, 11:57:24 AM
Merited by pooya87 (4), The Sceptical Chymist (3), LeGaulois (3), Dump3er (3), Abiky (2), JayJuanGee (1), suchmoon (1), witcher_sense (1), DdmrDdmr (1), Sandra_hakeem (1)
 #10

So, to sum up. If a service:

- is taking property and returning roughly the same property,
- advertises itself as providing privacy,
- requires user to forfeit custody of coins,
- and does not collect KYC

is illegal in this forum.

Really sad turn of events for the Bitcoin forum.

Examples of things that are not banned mixers include exchangers (unless they have a mixing function), CoinJoin-supporting non-custodial wallets, and Monero.
If a non-KYC exchanger converts your BTC to XMR, is that considered legal or illegal in-forum? I'm confused.

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December 01, 2023, 12:01:44 PM
 #11

I believe this is a wise decision, as governments could shut down the forum because of such services.

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December 01, 2023, 12:03:45 PM
 #12

Regulatory pressure from governments is ramping up worldwide. The US especially seems motivated to crush exchanges & I think they would take an even stronger attitude towards mixers. It’s sad because mixing is not illegal but I understand why theymos has taken this action. He can not & should not need to risk the very existence of this forum, just to allow mixers to advertise here. Nobody wants cease & desist notifications from law enforcement so theymos, I salute you.

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December 01, 2023, 12:05:04 PM
 #13

Bitcointalk.org aims to allow about as much freedom as is reasonably possible. But this is not a darknet forum, and with mixers looking "grayer and grayer"
For clarity, are mixers "looking" grayer or is the government placing the spotlight on them highlighting the illegal transactions that went through them and then amplifying that using the media?

It will help to know if the stand of the forum is that mixers are injurious to the public like darknet and should not be promoted or that due to the intervention of authorities the forum cannot legally allow mixers to be promoted here.

Also if another privacy enhancing service gets the same spotlight is there a chance that will be blacklisted here too?

- Jay -

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December 01, 2023, 12:07:35 PM
 #14

I don't understand why you're only censor the centralized mixer, when any kind of other privacy ways e.g. Coinjoin, Swap, and Monero can be used to achieve privacy.

Just to be clear, will you give permanent banned or temporary banned? it seems to much for permanent banned.

Sadly, this will decrease the forum traffic except there are more other projects want to launch signature campaign.

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December 01, 2023, 12:07:38 PM
 #15

OK, like I knew this was coming, this was exactly what I had in mind this morning after I did a small research on the recently sanctioned mixer, I made started a thread on this here actually https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5476169.0

And I Clearly was typing when theymos posted this thread, anyone can confirm this from the time difference, I knew that mixers may some how get this forum into trouble some day if something was not done about it, and I am very glad that theymos agrees with me on this  Grin.

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December 01, 2023, 12:10:59 PM
 #16

So, to sum up. If a service:

- is taking property and returning roughly the same property,
- advertises itself as providing privacy,
- requires user to forfeit custody of coins,
- and does not collect KYC

is illegal in this forum.

Really sad turn of events for the Bitcoin forum.

Examples of things that are not banned mixers include exchangers (unless they have a mixing function), CoinJoin-supporting non-custodial wallets, and Monero.
If a non-KYC exchanger converts your BTC to XMR, is that considered legal or illegal in-forum? I'm confused.

I would think 1a says that it would be an incidental use of the exchange so it would be fine.
But, I can also see this being a slippery slope and having more exchanges that just do BTC->XMR advertised.

Shrug, it is what it is. We don't have to like it but it's theymos's house so his rules.

-Dave

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December 01, 2023, 12:11:06 PM
 #17

First Chipmixer then the other one (forgot the name) and now Sinbad is going down. I knew they weren't gonna let that shit go. It is official now, you cannot stay anonymous on the internet or anywhere else.

Be glad that you can still own assets, for now.

By 2030, no privacy, no private assets.

having more exchanges that just do BTC->XMR advertised.

XMR's days are also numbered imo

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December 01, 2023, 12:13:27 PM
Merited by LoyceV (4), Mahdirakib (1), NotATether (1), BlackHatCoiner (1)
 #18

I'm curious myself if there were any formal requests or warnings received, regardless, it is the safest move for the forum and its members, so not a bad decision. IIWII.

~At most, I'd guess the forum could get some formal legal request to ban or remove certain things from the site and/or maybe banning any participants that continue to advertise for a particular service which has been deemed illegal by the country the forum is hosted at, but I wouldn't see the forum itself in any big risk, as theymos would probably comply if it is related to advertising. That said, I'm not a lawyer.~

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December 01, 2023, 12:15:16 PM
Merited by BlackHatCoiner (1)
 #19

First Chipmixer then the other one (forgot the name) and now Sinbad is going down. I knew they weren't let that shit go. It is official now, you cannot stay anonymous on the internet or anywhere else.

Whirlwind, you mean.

But yeah, it was fun while it lasted.

It sounds weird now but maybe in future, it will happen and with KYC, mixers will be allowed by laws. The point is to avoid criminals to use mixers, not good people who want privacy to use mixers.

"KYC" and "mixers" in the same sentence makes it sound like an oxymoron.

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December 01, 2023, 12:16:46 PM
 #20

Theymos, I understand this decision had to be taken to save the forum from alot of accusations in aiding fraudulent activity in the future but what next are we going to ban? Will crypto non KYC casinos be next as they too can be used for mixing. The government are winning and there's nothing we can do about it. It's sad that one of the most rewarding service on the forum that pays their participants a decent amount of money is going away. I guess we'll return to the casinos taking over the forum. Mixers were associated with Bitcoin and it was nice seeing them around as it remembered us of privacy. I didn't use a mixer until I say an advert of one on the forum and currently promoting one because of their usefulness. It's just sad that we're killing privacy everyday.

Will it come to a time of KYC-mixers?

It sounds weird now but maybe in future, it will happen and with KYC, mixers will be allowed by laws. The point is to avoid criminals to use mixers, not good people who want privacy to use mixers.

Where's the privacy going to be when you have already submitted your kyc that can be access by hackers or the government whenever they want to. The point is the government wants to monitor everything so services that makes it difficult for them to know what is going on is a threat to them and they're try to eliminate them on time and not give them similar doubts they did to Bitcoin and see where Bitcoin is today (impossible to kill). I also see things heading the way of kyc-mixes as the government is okay with privacy that's under their supervision.

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