Crash course in Bitcoin privacy (incl reading materials)

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Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

*Nobody in bitcoin is interested in securing your privacy, except you yourself. Below is an incomplete list of things that an average user can do to increase their privacy on the bitcoin network.*

Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

**DO:**

Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

– run your own full node and connect your wallet to it: this avoids leaking your transactions/your IP to third parties (f.ex your Ledger/Trezor gives your addresses to their servers every time you receive coins)

Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

– try to avoid KYC services, if possible: instead use [Bisq](https://bisq.network), [HodlHodl](https://hodlhodl.com), establish a network for in-person buying/selling, go to meetups, start earning bitcoin etc

Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

– use [Wasabi](https://wasabiwallet.io) to mix your coins (or upcoming coinjoin features of [Samourai](https://samouraiwallet.com) for Android, or the [Joinmarket](https://github.com/JoinMarket-Org/joinmarket-clientserver) project)

Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

– practice [coin control](https://medium.com/@nopara73/coin-control-is-must-learn-if-you-care-about-your-privacy-in-bitcoin-33b9a5f224a2) after mixing

Crash Course In Bitcoin Privacy (incl Reading Materials)

– use [TOR browser](https://www.torproject.org/download/) when dealing with bitcoin services (blockexplorers especially)

– consider using the Lightning network for more privacy

**DON’T:**

– reuse addresses

– reveal your public keys to any software (watch-only wallets, f.ex), as it’s possible to derive all possible future receiving addresses from the pubkey

– look up your own bitcoin transactions on blockexplorers, or at least use the Tor browser

– don’t post your receiving addresses in public unnecessarily

– don’t consolidate UTXOs without need: consider the trade-off between decreasing future fees and potential decrease in privacy

**Reading material:**

very extensive privacy wiki (see “Methods for improving privacy” especially), by u/belcher_: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Privacy

privacy FAQ by u/6102bitcoin: https://github.com/6102bitcoin/FAQ/blob/master/hodl-privacy.md

“Beginner’s Guide to Lightning on a Raspberry Pi” (includes connecting your hardware wallet to the Raspberry node, setting up Tor etc.. feel free to skip the Lightning part and jump to bonus section if only interested in privacy), by u/stadicus: https://stadicus.github.io/RaspiBolt/

very basic introduction to some of the privacy pitfalls in bitcoin: https://bitcoin.org/en/protect-your-privacy

“Bitcoin Anonymity Guide 2019: How to use BTC like a straight up G”: https://www.coincache.net/2019/01/02/bitcoin-anonymity-guide-2019-how-to-use-btc-like-a-straight-up-g/



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Comment (9)

  1. Thanks for the write-up.

    >DO: … Samourai

    Samourai sends unnecessary private user data to their backbend server. This has been criticized by quite a few influential figures in Bitcoin space, including Greg Maxwell.

    If you choose to support them, at least relate to Dojo.

    >DON’T: … reveal your public keys to any software (watch-only wallets, f.ex)

    What do you use to keep an eye on your coins?

    View Comment
  2. A good one is to use VPN. Have mine always connected and I don’t need to remember to do it through Tor.

    I use ExpressVPN and I think has a good track record of providing great anonimity.

    Use also Tor, just in case, I am not saying the opposite. But for the average user, VPN is already a great increase in privacy.

    View Comment
  3. Great write up, thanks!

    Any links about advanced coin storage, like multisig with different HW wallets? It’s what I’m missing…

    View Comment
  4. Excellent post, it should be mandatory reading for all newcomers to Bitcoin. And every KYC exchange should have a pop up each time you log on reminding users that their privacy is not and can not be guaranteed or even expected without further action by the user.

    Make no mistake… Bitcoin is a revolution, and there will be a fight. Regulations and taxes are already here. Prepare now or expect the govt to seize your assets if they aren’t secured. They will do everything in their power to stay in control

    View Comment
  5. Privacy tip from me: Use A P2P Bitcoin buy/sell Marketplace like Fatpurchase.com, not Localbitcoins or Paxful! As Fatpurchase make sure traders aren’t scammers. Send your Bitcoin to your cold storage ledger. Anonymity from the platform you purchase the Bitcoin from to where you keep it safe.

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  6. My only issue with Tor is that in the UK, apparently the very nature of running Tor makes the authorities suspect you of something, which may even include raiding your house?

    Edit: typos

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  7. >look up your own bitcoin transactions on blockexplorers, or at least use the Tor browser

    Is this really a bad thing to do? What if I look up a dark net market bitcoin address? Is the government going to come after me thinking that it’s mine?

    View Comment

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