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Author Topic: Is this a good way to make coins anonymous, or perhaps overkill?  (Read 1466 times)
rclimpson
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September 17, 2014, 10:13:34 PM
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Am I able to use multiple mixer services to make my bitcoins anonymous?
So for example, can I:
Buy legitimate coins from something like Coinbase.
Send them from Coinbase into bitcoinfog.
Send them from bitcoinfog to a wallet on blockchains.info
Send them from blockchains.info to another mixing service (Grams Helix perhaps)
Then purchase whatever from Helix

To much or a good process?
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acoindr
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September 17, 2014, 10:54:19 PM
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Am I able to use multiple mixer services to make my bitcoins anonymous?

That doesn't make them anonymous, but linking multiple mixing steps together definitely provides better obfuscation.

So for example, can I:
Buy legitimate coins from something like Coinbase.
Send them from Coinbase into bitcoinfog.
Send them from bitcoinfog to a wallet on blockchains.info
Send them from blockchains.info to another mixing service (Grams Helix perhaps)
Then purchase whatever from Helix

To much or a good process?

There is no such thing as too much, except in the case of becoming so burdensome and inconvenient it's not done.

Mixing services don't necessarily unlink you from any coin trail. If, for example, you send properly mixed coins back to a wallet you control, which are mixed with other coins that might be linked back to you the mixing in the earlier step may be irrelevant.

The degree to which you need worry about anonymity depends on the level of scrutiny the activity with the coins is likely to draw. If you're purchasing some legal, but potentially embarrassing product somewhere then you're fine using maybe one obfuscation technique or none at all since by default coins are not explicitly linked to identities the way personal checks or credit cards are.

OTOH if you're looking to sell goods deemed illegal by big powerful governments you should be very aware of ways coins might be linked to you, of which there are many. In such cases, at a minimum, I'd recommend using two completely separate devices (say laptops) to keep anonymous and real life profiles separate. This makes it's easier to keep track of when to use network connections, such as Tor or various websites, in ways which might unlink a real world identity. That's obviously a more advanced way to use bitcoin for high anonymity, which definitely isn't there automatically.
rclimpson
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September 18, 2014, 12:57:31 AM
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Mixing services don't necessarily unlink you from any coin trail. If, for example, you send properly mixed coins back to a wallet you control, which are mixed with other coins that might be linked back to you the mixing in the earlier step may be irrelevant.


The chances of that would be pretty slim wouldn't it?

Thanks for the advice
Verse
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September 18, 2014, 01:14:22 AM
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The government goes after the lowest hanging fruit. Keep your IP Address, shipping information, and obvious payment information (credit card => awful idea) away from any third parties and you're good to go. At the very least this means using a VPN/Tor/combination with a separate browser that won't supply tracking information. Watch those cookies and temporary files.

Less obvious information to keep away: Shared user names. Silk Road tag the same as your blog tag? That's how you get doxed. The government doesn't need probable cause to follow up on a lead.

Paying with Bitcoin through a mixing service is unlikely to do you in.
rclimpson
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September 18, 2014, 01:17:33 AM
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The government goes after the lowest hanging fruit. Keep your IP Address, shipping information, and obvious payment information (credit card => awful idea) away from any third parties and you're good to go. At the very least this means using a VPN/Tor/combination with a separate browser that won't supply tracking information. Watch those cookies and temporary files.

Less obvious information to keep away: Shared user names. Silk Road tag the same as your blog tag? That's how you get doxed. The government doesn't need probable cause to follow up on a lead.

Paying with Bitcoin through a mixing service is unlikely to do you in.


Yeah I'm all good with keeping anonymous on the internet.  Was specifically interested in keeping bitcoins as hard to track as possible
acoindr
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September 18, 2014, 02:17:15 AM
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Yeah I'm all good with keeping anonymous on the internet.  

Are you sure? It's not good enough to feel like you know how to be anonymous on the Internet. To have good confidence you need to know why you remain anonymous. In other words you need to understand all the ways your anonymity might be compromised.

Was specifically interested in keeping bitcoins as hard to track as possible

Bitcoins are easy to track by their very nature. What you're really interested in is remaining anonymous despite this.

Mixing services don't necessarily unlink you from any coin trail. If, for example, you send properly mixed coins back to a wallet you control, which are mixed with other coins that might be linked back to you the mixing in the earlier step may be irrelevant.

The chances of that would be pretty slim wouldn't it?

No the chances are pretty good, because you often need to combine unspent outputs from multiple origins to reach a desired amount for a transaction.

The reason people say bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous is links back to identity are not obvious. However, that doesn't mean links are not there, and because transacting bitcoins on the blockchain is literally publicizing all transfer links, the smallest slip up anywhere going back to any point can be enough to establish a link to you.

There are two things which can alleviate that concern. The first is expecting low level of scrutiny of transactions. It's not worth it for an investigator to perform deep analysis on a bunch of data to find someone who committed some minor infraction, especially if the trail has been muddled by various obfuscation techniques, such as coin mixing. Alternatively one may expect a high level of scrutiny, but understand and practice, correctly and consistently, effective obfuscation techniques. The level to which that's necessary all depends on the activity.

Anonymity exists in a range from none or some to nearly perfect, but never perfect. Activity performed with coins therefore should fit the user's ability and practices when considering transaction scrutiny.
rclimpson
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September 18, 2014, 03:35:11 AM
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Are you sure? It's not good enough to feel like you know how to be anonymous on the Internet. To have good confidence you need to know why you remain anonymous. In other words you need to understand all the ways your anonymity might be compromised.

very sure.  I work as a network engineer, so the Internet is my back yard :-)


Mixing services don't necessarily unlink you from any coin trail. If, for example, you send properly mixed coins back to a wallet you control, which are mixed with other coins that might be linked back to you the mixing in the earlier step may be irrelevant.

No the chances are pretty good, because you often need to combine unspent outputs from multiple origins to reach a desired amount for a transaction.

The reason people say bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous is links back to identity are not obvious. However, that doesn't mean links are not there, and because transacting bitcoins on the blockchain is literally publicizing all transfer links, the smallest slip up anywhere going back to any point can be enough to establish a link to you.

There are two things which can alleviate that concern. The first is expecting low level of scrutiny of transactions. It's not worth it for an investigator to perform deep analysis on a bunch of data to find someone who committed some minor infraction, especially if the trail has been muddled by various obfuscation techniques, such as coin mixing. Alternatively one may expect a high level of scrutiny, but understand and practice, correctly and consistently, effective obfuscation techniques. The level to which that's necessary all depends on the activity.

Anonymity exists in a range from none or some to nearly perfect, but never perfect. Activity performed with coins therefore should fit the user's ability and practices when considering transaction scrutiny.

Thanks the the input
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