Why We Need to Take Back Bitcoin Privacy (inc $250 Giveaway!)

in steem •  5 days ago

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Bitcoin was designed to allow users to gain full control over their personal finances, helping to avoid censorship and unwanted surveillance, while ensuring users cannot have their funds confiscated or restricted.

However, the number of attempts to subvert this goal is increasing by the day, and the censorship resistance of Bitcoin and freedoms it offers to users gradually being eroded.

The Importance of Privacy


You have probably heard the popular trope, “if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide.” In the case of Bitcoin, this is the equivalent of saying, if you haven’t committed any crimes, then you won’t mind everybody having your entire financial record at the tips of their fingers.

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In its current form, Bitcoin is less private than a normal bank account. Using your public key, practically anybody can access a complete public record of all your transactions, and can quickly check whom you transacted with, and exactly how much money you have to your name.

It isn’t just governments and criminals that might use your blockchain transaction history to track your financial history. Even your family, employers and even your acquaintances can also check your public keys, and find out exactly how much money you have been spending, and potentially who you have been sending it to.

Likewise, thanks to the introduction of know-your-customer (KYC) checks at practically every major exchange and merchant, as well as the advent of a horde of blockchain analysis agencies like Elliptic and Chainalysis, an increasing number of Bitcoin users are having their identities linked with their public keys.

This, in combination with the rapidly growing number of spy nodes on the Bitcoin blockchain, has eroded Bitcoin privacy to such a degree, that it is now practically non- existent, forcing users to adopt third-party protocols to ensure they remain protected in more ways than you might think.

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Image credits: BTCManager


Bitcoin Isn’t as Fungible as We Thought


Fungibility is the term used to describe how equivalent each unit of a cryptocurrency is. In the case of Bitcoin, it describes whether each satoshi is worth as much as another satoshi, regardless when it was minted, whom it was used by, how many times it has been spent, etc.

At first glance, you might be tempted to think that Bitcoin is fully fungible, e.g. that your Bitcoin is just as good as anybody else's, and can be sold and/or used without any issues because of this fact. However, as it turns out, this is certainly not the case.

In the last several years, we have seen several cases where exchange platforms and merchants have refused funds that have previously been associated with criminal activity, even when the current owner has no relationship to that activity and unknowingly received illicit funds. Likewise, funds previously associated with unsavory activity can often only be sold for a discount, demonstrating a lack of fungibility for Bitcoin.

Although several solutions have emerged to address Bitcoin’s fungibility issue, including CoinJoin and a few variations of this technique, this has not been sufficient to address the fungibility issue, since some exchanges now reportedly block CoinJoined transactions or transactions linked with private wallets, including both Coinbase and Binance Singapore.

Because of this, If someone uses funds related to your transactions for unwanted purposes, it could render your funds worthless or inferior to other Bitcoin. Your coins could be blacklisted from exchanges and your payments could be refused even if you did nothing wrong. Likewise, accepting payments through Bitcoin could result in you unknowingly handling illicit funds, which you could then have trouble liquidating.

With that in mind, one of the best ways to ensure both the privacy and fungibility of your funds is to use a Bitcoin mixer known as SmartMixer.

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The SmartMixer Solution


In essence, SmartMixer acts to break the link between sending and receiving addresses, making it practically impossible to determine who paid who. To do this, SmartMixer allows users to choose between three different pools of funds which will be mixed with yours to ensure inputs cannot be easily associated with transaction outputs.

To help bolster privacy further, SmartMixer employs a strict absolutely no logs of any kind policy, which means nobody—not even SmartMixer itself—can link you to the website. Likewise, the platform doesn’t require an account to use, instead of providing users with a smart code that can be entered when using the platform in the future to benefit from loyalty rewards.

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Reclaiming Bitcoin privacy takes just three simple steps, and a fee as low as 1%.


The service also supports Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), while Ethereum is due to be added in the coming months. Moreover, for those looking for an additional layer of privacy, the platform can be accessed via the Official Tor mirror through an onion link.

Overall, SmartMixer ensures that any coins entered into its mixing system come out completely untainted, ensuring governments, criminals, your acquaintances and anywhere else is unable to determine their source. As such, the tool helps Bitcoin users reclaim their fundamental right to privacy.

Help Your Friends, Earn a Cut

SmartMixer makes it easy to tell help your friends improve their Bitcoin privacy thanks to its generous multi-level affiliate scheme, which rewards up to 70% of mixer fees to three levels of referrals.

Through the SmartMixer referral scheme, you will earn 55% of any fees your referred users generate, in addition to an extra 10% on 2nd level referrals, and 5% on third level referrals.

$250 Up For Grabs

To thank you for your time, and to help promote cryptocurrency privacy, SmartMixer is giving away a total of $250 in STEEM to 20 lucky winners

To participate, all you need to do is share this article on your Twitter and leave a comment at the bottom of this article describing why you think Bitcoin/Crypto privacy is so important. Don’t forget to leave your Twitter handle in your comment.

We’ll pick the best responses by the end of this week (February 16, 2020). The best response will win $50, 2nd best wins $20, 3rd-10th best wins $10, while 11th-20th best win $5 in STEEM, deposited directly to the STEEM account the comment was made on.

The winners will be announced in the comments on February 16, 2020.

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Learn more about Bitcoin Privacy

SmartMixer: https://smartmixer.io
SmartMixer Telegram: https://t.me/smartmixer
Planned privacy upgrades: https://bitcoinist.com/schnorr-taproot-soft-fork-promises-big-things-for-bitcoin/

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Bitcoin/Crypto privacy is needed because we don't want big brother to know everything.

https://twitter.com/airdrop_job/status/1227642645239025664

I believe bitcoin & crypto privacy is very important for a better world where decentralization should become a habit.

I like bitcoin and some cryptocurrency because they have some great features like decentralization, neutrality, immutability and honestly I feel better to watch my decentralized wallet than my bank account.

Since I discovered cryptocurrency I closed all my banks accounts. For real!

Cheers!

I think the main reason why Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin was for our individual freedom.
Our life has been made easy by the services offered by credit card companies, banks and other centralized financial institutions but everyone should know that these institutions have access to our financial assets which takes away our individual freedom.

Privacy is an important aspect of cryptocurrencies which can not be neglected. We don't want everyone to know how much money we have on our address and to whom we are sending that money and the most important thing is that we don't want governments to know about out holdings, that's where privacy comes into play. While bitcoin gives us enough freedom in that, we can say that it is still semi-private. There is still a lot to be done when it comes to bitcoin privacy but I am sure we will eventually get there.

https://twitter.com/CryptoandSport1/status/1229011972722577408?s=19

In fact, it is known to everyone that cryptocurrencies are not hidden. It turned out that even the privacy coins were not secret. But there is one thing I learned and know that privacy coins mixed with Tor can never be traced or unknown.
All people should have the right to protect their privacy.
After a short information, I would like to end my comment with a proverb. "You never know who has money or who has faith in religion"
https://twitter.com/cebecizade34/status/1227644070970961927?s=19

Friends, check out this ERC 20 token, PROPY. Crypto real estate platform!

If you think it's neat or has potential, please sign up with my code so we can both get $100 worth of it free! :)
https://propy.com/Users/RequestInvite?referrerId=5ab29be08d9bf0241c8fa757

I think that the confidentiality of Bitcoin is perhaps the only value (at least the super-main) - without confidentiality, Bitcoin turns into ordinary electronic currency, (or something like that), but this is not Bitcoin anymore - INFORMATION is the main wealth of the future and Bitcoin should be the custodian of this information.
https://twitter.com/bitinvest_news/status/1228323345395060738

Posted via Steemleo

I have no twitter @kadjar but I'd say If there's no privacy then bitcoin has lost its essence. The very very reason people use bitcoin is for convenience and privacy.

https://twitter.com/mdhanniearanda/status/1227646427188224006?s=20
i'm pretty sure the answer you want to hear isn't the complicated one, because i believe it's so much better for being a BTC wealthy while nobody noticed, you're free to dump the markets whenever the price are going up and nobody can complain! :)
i feel like an evil lol

Awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

https://twitter.com/LostWestSociety/status/1227653547568877568
Just tweeted it.

We need Bitcoin privacy, because nobody has the right to know everything, especially the ****ing government.
Only privacy in the crypto world will ensure the domination of this new adventure. Otherwise, the centralized world will destroy it bit by bit, like they always do.

Because Security is inportantly

Wouldn't sharing this in your Twitter erode your privacy?

Posted using Partiko Android

In principle I would have my doubts in using this service to mask my cryptocurrencies without recommendations from someone trustworthy, although the website has a good volume of traffic and also has an SSL certificate I would have some caution at the beginning of using the smartmixer website .io

https://twitter.com/cyprianzz/status/1227701016948334592?s=19

Long before now, govt and all regulatory agencies never gave a damn about cryptocurrencies until they discovered its potential and the future great benefits it hold for the masses but due to this fact that it was something they have no control over, they find every necessary means to make it tougher and much more difficult for the masses to enjoy their independence in terms of financial freedom.

Nothing gives a man more joy than seeing that he has full control over his finance. True financial freedom is the ability to do what ever we want with out hard earned money, decide to reveal or not to reveal any information we deem fit or not fit to share with others without fear of intimidation. Because it is our hard earned money.

Financial records of transactions easily makes it easier for hackers to trace ones source of wealth and to me, this is not ideal. Financial institutions and regulatory see cryptos/ bitcoin and its high independency from any governmental regulations as a threat to their dubious ways of sapping ignorant citizens of their money through some heavy taxes, impositions, fines and unwarranted levies. They always want to take dominance over everything.

With the privacy associated with bitcoin and other crypto currency, they found it very difficult to monitor citizens, they find it difficult to impose tax, they find it difficult to place unwarranted fines , in fact it has been hell for them and since they can't take full control, they resort to forcing exchangers to use the KYC.

I believe restoring the privacy will bring back the full autonomy and place the key to financial freedom and right back to the hands of the people. It will further strengthen the autonomy that comes with cryptocurrencies and in the same vein restores the almost lost anonymity and dignity of cryptocurencies. This days, we are forced to provide our KYC and some sensitive information before we can access our funds (the desperate step take by the govt to frustrate crypto prevalence). If privacy is not restored, there is a very high chance and probability that these blockchain intermediaries could sell sensitive and vital information to agencies or fraudsters. Hence the need to restore bitcoin privacy.

I believe restoring the privacy will go a long way in curbing and making financial transactions of people much more secured and free from hackers. High privacy will leave no clue for them to work with.

Privacy remains the ultimate! we must be allowed to choose and decided what we wanna do without been coerced or pressured indirectly.

Twitter @igy6live The privacy that BTC had at the beginning was fantastic. But with having so many accounts online using API keys and coding to save your info, its too easy now for more than your money to vanish. Your identity itself is at stake. Especially on big trading platforms. Wouldn't take much to get in there and BAM.. Your info is all over!

ZEC IS PRIVATE - WE DONT NEED TO FIX IT IF IT AINT BROKE

Tweeted - https://twitter.com/thinkerreborn/status/1227889934096359431

I think that privacy is needed now more than ever as the surveillance state and surveillance capital has become more malicious. We need to take back ownership of our money and our right to privacy

Smartmixer is a smart service!

And so desperately needed.

Great share, thank you :)

Twitter: @HavenStrange

Nice and informative post

https://twitter.com/ayjoevote/status/1227627068403273729?s=19

Needed, crypto privacy is so important, while buy something and seller cant know all we have in our wallet

yes we need crypto currencies very much cause "they see it" and we need privacy for our hard earned money like our personal life. although its also available for sell on dark web.

Amazing solution. I was happy to know about the privacy provided by Smart Mixer but remained a sceptic until I read that they too do not want our personal information for using the service. Now, that is real privacy.

In fact, the smart code to be used as an identifier for the user is a great idea. On the one hand, nobody knows who the user is, but on the other hand, the anonymous user can earn a loyalty bonus if any. Great stuff!

So, I was happy to share it on my twitter. Here it is: https://twitter.com/DawsonSavio/status/1227941279897509889

Very well put together post! Tweeted @ https://twitter.com/bzkrp

Congratulations @kadjar!
Your post was mentioned in the Steem Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 2 with $ 92,54

Crypto is meant to keep the power of financial control to the individual. It is meant to shield us from political (sanctions, laundering, inflation...), natural (disasters, etc.), and circumstantial interference (like banks going down with peoples' savings).

https://twitter.com/martesquire

Thanks for this post.

Some people don't want their things to be known to everyone.But we are under constant control by the state and banks. How much money do we have? everything we buy with this money is followed.I think these people's direct intervention to their private lives.people want to keep their money securely without any intermediary institution. For this, Bitcoin / Crypto Money is of great importance now and in the future.

https://twitter.com/UgurBulut22/status/1228034112277110785?s=20

In current world scenario I think all major countries where people can afford to transact through Cryptos having good technical staff in their centralised chain of finance for having knowledge of the fact that in future they might loose their hold on the finance and thus on the name of regulations they are not letting projects to let their users having transactions with KYC to avoid money laundering but in fact they want to have an eye on the crypto ecosystem so they can assess when its time to ban it.

But many projects and upcoming projects hard for them to assess the transactions are being made just under their seats...

I simply love the way #DeFi of the future is believed to be bright and motive of the Bitcoin will be serve the purpose in nearby future by using it in incognito mode.. and keeping it really private.

As all of us know that privacy is everything in these days but I think in crypto that's not very necessary to private your coins. The more coins you show the more newbies you impress and they will follow you and your guides, lectures etc for being a successful trader

Verry Nice tool! Sadly I have no Twitter.

·

Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article describing why you think Bitcoin/Crypto privacy is so important, I'll count it.

https://twitter.com/mb_johnmary/status/1228370085489913856?s=20

Privacy for digital transactions is so important. The intention of crypto currencies is financial freedom. Independence from banks and middlemen.
For instrance, say:

Danger from criminals

Suppose you have a considerable amount on your Bitcoin address. Let’s say you own 100 BTC. Today it was about $1,025,000. Would you want other people or a different group of people to know that you have $1,025,000? What if criminal instances smelled the roast and will try anything to make you loose $1,025,000 easier? This theory is not so far-fetched. That’s why privacy is important. Nobody needs to know that you have 100 BTC on your address.

So if you have $1,025,000 in crypto currencies, the risk of losing everything is there anyway. But you can reduce the risk by having a privacy.

I don’t believe bitcoin was ever designed to be a privacy coin. The whole concept behind bitcoin was a way to transact with no intermediary with the concept of an open blockchain so any one participant can verify transactions. It’s inherently open by design.

Privacy is a job best suited for coins designed with it in mind. Monero, zcash and pivx just to name a few are great for this task.

Bitcoin, to me at least, is best suited as a store of value. More likely to replace the gold standard than to become an every day transaction method. You don’t buy apples at the store with gold just like I wouldn’t buy gas from the gas station with bitcoin. I see bitcoin as more of a safe haven asset.

This doesn’t really address its fungibility, that is definitely an area of concern but that has more to do with regulation and policy than it does the underlying asset itself. If your problem is other users being able to see how much you have and where you send it use a privacy coin that isn’t susceptible to this. If your problem is exchanges, on/off ramps locking out assets used for illicit reasons that’s merely regulation and policy that needs to be changed.

KYC and AML registrations are unfortunately a necessary evil in order to keep crypto and blockchain as a viable alternative to traditional fiat.

Very nice and informative post smartmixer looks great I resteemed your post butt I am not currently active on Twitter

Is there a difference between SmartMixer and Helix? I ask because the guy who runs the Helix mixer has just been arrested.
https://coingeek.com/doj-uses-larry-harmon-charges-to-warn-other-crypto-criminals/

If there is no privacy, then there is already an existing financial system that no one would prefer to use which can be easily tracked by institutions. It's my money and no one should be able to track it. Without privacy and decentralization, bitcoin would be a loyalty token as many of the stores give.

I would personally go for a privacy-based system rather than a centralized open system.

https://twitter.com/priyabrata404/status/1228746312234885120

https://mobile.twitter.com/MdAlaud46540216

I just twitte it. I think it is important because , we need safety from online hacker and criminal

Unfortunately, I don't have a twitter account, I hope mine will still be accepted.

Will still contribute to this though.

One thing we all crave for is really privacy and ability to decide on what w want to be made public. The world already has means of financial transactions, one off the thing that made bitcoin different and the entire blockchain is that privacy and decentralization. Removing this key features, what other thing will make it unique and different from the normal financial system of the universe. Without privacy, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be just like normal currencies we use.

I personally will be more than happy that no one monitors my account or has a full detail of my financial transactions.

Privacy and decentralization removes financial power and monotony from one central base and it ensures that financial control rests solely on the individuals. Privacy of bitcoin gives you that financial confidence that no one will tamper with your income since they don't have an idea of the source nor have detail of your worth.

When something is different from the norm, it is a natural thing that people tend to find out why that thing is different from the norm, and when they discover the potential the thing has, they clinge onto it, once you remove that let attribute that makes something unique, you automatically render that thing valueless and common. Bitcoin stands out because of the value it has and its unique feature - privacy.

I advocate for privacy restoration it makes bitcoin/cryptocurrencies unique and different. We all need privacy and we don't need people to keep track of our investments...we want to remain anonymous.

We don't need security agencies, hackers and financial regulations giving us unnecessary headache on top of the money we have worked so hard to get. People don't investigate you when you are poor, but once you've made its, they raise eyebrow because they obviously have seen your financial capacity. We need privacy

Bitcoin/crypto privacy has to be restored, thanks to smartmixer, this will definitely be a good one and will receive a warm welcome to the blockchain industry. I can't wait to start using it.

The right to privacy is the fundamental right in almost all democratic nations. Yes, Bitcoin is no way near private and that's what is needed right now to make Bitcoin even stronger and give its holders the right and control over their money.

You mentioned that "if you have earned your money in a good way, you don't need to hide it". Maybe it is true but I still think that most of the people including me would like to keep their wealth private irrespective of the fact whether that was earned in a good or bad way.

PS: I don't have a Twitter account.