Use Bitcoin Privately
For some users, today's invasive tracking is overwhelming. For others, it is a risk to their life. Find total confidentiality on the Bitcoin Blockchain with these simple steps
Multiple ways to maintain your privacy on-chain
There has been a lot of attention paid to Bitcoin recently and one of the major issues that has been discussed is on-chain privacy. Privacy is a major concern when people use the internet and when people are using the internet to deal with issues related to money, the stakes are even higher.
On this page, we explore the different options available to you today to optimize your privacy on the Bitcoin network. Indeed, several solutions already exist to date to maximize your confidentiality on the Bitcoin chain. That being said, your online hygiene is your responsibility, so you will need to behave strictly, using the right tools to do it right.
Bitcoin Privacy is a spectrum, nothing is white or black
There are several ways and several tools to preserve your privacy. As a first step, it is imperative to analyze your threat level. Depending on your situation, the level of discretion will vary. For most people, the most important thing is to break mass surveillance while still tolerating targeted surveillance. Normally, you will only be targeted if you commit a crime, which will justify more effort and resources to find you. In most cases, severing the ties between your Bitcoin acquisition and subsequent purchases will suffice. The technologies that will help you achieve this privacy are CoinJoins for breaking the ties of your acquisitions and hiding your total balance from criminals, using the Lightning Network, which is a layer built on top of Bitcoin with fewer usage traces and PayJoin for on-chain spending.
Network Security for Bitcoin Miners
Most ISPs don’t care about what the user is doing when accessing HTTPS. But the ISPs still know you’re online, and that isn’t private. So you may be wondering how that applies to Bitcoin. Here is how a person can create a Bitcoin transaction:
Just enter the user’s address, amount being sent, and message, and click “Send”. This is an extremely easy way to create a Bitcoin transaction. However, the user’s transaction will be broadcast to the entire network, and thus, anyone who wishes can see the user’s address, the amount being sent, and the message. As a result, anyone with a computer can see a user’s Bitcoin address and the amount of Bitcoins that he or she is sending. This is something that a person would want to keep private. In addition to that, it is also possible to see exactly where the user is sending the Bitcoins, and the IP address that the user is using to send the Bitcoins.
The problem for internet users is that the ISP is still able to see what sites you’re visiting, albeit in a less clear manner. Now imagine that there was a solution for cryptocurrencies that would allow wallets to be sent anonymously. Further, what if there was a solution which would allow users to have ultra-secure wallets, where the strongest encryption technology was used to encrypt each and every wallet address, and the only way to decrypt the wallet address was with a private password? This solution is now available, it’s known as the Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID), and it’s being pioneered by a company called Blocknet.
The Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID)
The Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID) is what developers call an ” identifier system “. An identifier system is a way to assign a unique identity to each node on a blockchain network. The use of an identifier system is crucial in the development of a truly decentralized marketplace.
HTTPS and ISPs
The problem is that this only protects the connection between you and the website you are visiting. It does not protect the contents of the website. Now that a lot of people are using Bitcoin, a lot of the internet service providers are starting to implement ways to block non-HTTPS sites. This is worrisome to a lot of people because a lot of websites that accept Bitcoin use HTTPS, such as Bitpay , Coinbase, and LocalBitcoins. So, if you are an internet service provider (ISP) that is implementing these blocks, you wouldn’t be able to fill out forms or send money to exchanges. What’s worse is that once the ISP is able to use their deep packet inspection (DPI) to see the contents of websites, it’s potentially not far off from them using that information or selling it to the highest bidder. What if mining was done on port 443, the same port that HTTPS runs on? These are some of the questions that the crypto community is asking and answering, in order to create a more decentralized, open market.
Why we need Bitcoin Privacy
All Bitcoin transactions are public, traceable, and permanently stored in the Bitcoin network. Most Bitcoin users are law-abiding people, but that doesn’t mean that you should not have any privacy concerns. For example, suppose you buy 10 bitcoins. A little later, you visit the D-Central website and buy machines worth 3 bitcoins. D-Central can see in some cases that you actually have a total balance of 10 bitcoins. Conversely, your bitcoin seller can now see that you have made a purchase for 3 bitcoins. If we go one step further and add other third parties to the game, including dishonest third parties, this privacy leak could cost you dearly as you could report your total balance to an organized crime player, who could then attempt to extort you.
We will see on this page the most effective methods to break mass surveillance and protect you from the extortions that certain groups might exercise against you. All explanations provided on this page are provided on a voluntary basis, for informational purposes and may be invalidated in the future. As we mentioned above, this isn’t about achieving 100% perfect anonymity, but about discouraging malicious actors from collecting public information that you leave behind in the form of metadata.
The idea of a CoinJoin is to make it easier for people to make private transactions using Bitcoin. CoinJoins can be used to scramble multiple Bitcoin outputs into one. The best way to imagine a CoinJoin is to compare Bitcoin’s UTXO’s to several gold bars, each containing a serial number. The CoinJoin consists of melting these gold bars and then remaking new bars, with new serial numbers, making the identification of the latter much more difficult. This makes it easier for people to break their history when they make transactions using the Bitcoin network.
JoinMarket is the first real implementation of CoinJoin technology. It is not necessarily the most widespread on the other hand. This is explained in particular by the difficulty of operating this kind of program. Indeed, JoinMarket is offered strictly in P2P, making a technically superior implementation, but more difficult to use. A huge advantage of JoinMarket is that if you become a “Market Maker”, or make your coins available to others for CoinJoins, you can increase your anonymity set at no cost and even in some cases earn a slight interest.
Wasabi quickly became one of the most widely used implementations for making CoinJoin on just about any PC OS available. Wasabi includes a coordinator, so it’s not P2P CoinJoins. However, its simplicity of use is envied. Wasabi can be used with your most popular hardware wallets such as Coldcard or Ledger. This makes the practice of “Coin Control” fairly straightforward, once again allowing you to minimize the information you share with third parties you do business with. Be careful though, some optimizations are still necessary in order to make Wasabi completely ZeroLink.
Whirlpool didn’t start as early or as strong as its competing implementations, but is now made up of 3 different CoinJoin pools and a mix capacity of over 3,500 BTC. Whirlpool also offers all subsequent remixes for free, giving you and future users extra privacy. Finally, Whirlpool offers a full CoinJoin ZeroLink, based on advanced mathematics. Whirlpool can only run on Android, it is offered de facto linked to Samourai’s servers and can expose your XPUB to them. To maximize your privacy with this implementation, we strongly recommend that you run a RoninDojo instance.
How does the Lightning Network help with privacy?
Since the Bitcoin Blockchain is eternal, its content is indelible and will also stand up to time. It’s a feature, not a bug. That being said, there are some downsides to these features for your privacy. Bitcoin’s 2nd layer, the Lightning Network, is unicast, not boardcast. That is, only participants in a Lightning Channel or route will not see the content of a transaction. It is therefore a perfect way to spend your funds, without worrying about the mass surveillance being carried out on the Bitcoin main-chain. The Lightning Network was originally designed for Bitcoin’s transactional capability, but improving privacy is a more than welcome extension that comes with it and which we believe will make it a global payment network of choice in a world more and more in the throes of data breaches.
PayJoin or P2EP actually improves the security of the Bitcoin network in several ways. First, users don’t need to find another group of people doing a transaction at the same time to merge UTXOs. This means that it is easier for everyone to use P2EP technology effectively. Second, it’s also possible that PayJoins is even more private than existing CoinJoins technology, as there are only two people doing a transaction at the same time. The purpose of a PayJoin is to make it difficult for the chain analysis to determine what really happened in a transaction, who paid who, as both parties will be signing transactions with each other, hiding who receives and how much.
PayJoin (also known as P2EP) is a relatively new way to send private bitcoin transactions and may offer better privacy than current popular alternatives. PayJoin for merchants has the advantage of being able to mask the payment amount, it breaks heuristics in the service of on-chain monitoring and does not appear as a CoinJoin but rather as a fairly ordinary transaction. BTCPay is the easiest way for traders to start accepting Bitcoin with P2EP.
Payjoin requires the sender and recipient coordination to create a Bitcoin transaction. This requires a compatible wallet to be processed. Bluewallet includes support for BIP78, enabling PayJoin. provides a good level of privacy, not only for those who use it, but also for the entire network in the future. PayJoin itself is a regular bitcoin transaction that breaks some assumptions about how transactions are made, specifically that all inputs belong to the sender.
Along with Samourai Wallet, the PayJoin is known as Stowaway. A stowaway looks like an ordinary transaction, but it is far from ordinary. As Samourai puts it, Stowaway is a multi-wallet collaborative transaction that masks the amount you send while shredding assumptions made by blockchain spies. Samourai Wallet also includes several additional methods to protect yourself with forms of collaborative CoinJoin such as Cahoots.
Qualities of a Good Crypto Browser
First and foremost, a good crypto browser should be free and open source. It makes it easier to verify that it does not have any backdoors or security holes. Another important feature is the possibility to sign in automatically by using Google, or a similar service, to store your credentials. This way, you do not have to type your username and password every time you log in to an exchange. It is also good if the crypto browser has an embedded adblocker . It saves you from having to install another extension and thus increases the level of security.
In addition, a library of useful links to crypto resources is useful, including websites and social media. This makes it easier to access useful information.
Multiple Currency Support – Since you are reading this article, chances are you’ve already got some idea about which coins you want to trade. Getting a browser that has built-in support for your preferred coin is a big plus.
If your choices are limited to one cryptocurrency, you may want to find another option. Just like wallets, browsers with built-in support give you complete control over your coins.
Comparing Some Common Crypto Browsers
Firefox, Ice Cat, Ungoogled Chromium, Snowhaze(IOS), Tor, LibreWolf, and Bromite are some popular crypto browsers. With or without root, Ungoogled Chromium, Bromite and Snowhaze provide a file manager, whereas the file manager on Ice Cat is limited; it can only view files. On IOS, no browser provides a file manager. On Android, only Privacy Browser and Ice Cat provide a file manager.
For Ungoogled Chromium, the features are not all that different from the regular Chromium browser, but this version doesn’t use Google’s proprietary code. The new version should provide a more secure and privacy-oriented internet experience, but the browser is not yet fully functional.
LibreWolf also takes advantage of many other privacy-minded add-ons, including uBO, HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, and NoScript to provide a comprehensive suite of privacy and security features.
LibreWolf is built upon the same Mozilla source code as official Firefox releases, so it’s almost completely identical in terms of performance and functionality. The only notable difference is that LibreWolf is stripped of Mozilla’s Tracking Protection feature.
In terms of security and privacy, LibreWolf has a lot to offer. It’s highly customizable and includes a number of important security and privacy-minded add-ons out-of-the-box. These add-ons have been carefully chosen to work in unison with Mozilla’s source code to provide additional privacy and security benefits beyond Mozilla’s defaults. All-in-all, LibreWolf is a great alternative to Mozilla Firefox.
What About Crypto Mining Pools?
A pool is a collection of bitcoin miners working together to solve blocks. When a block is solved, the block reward is distributed among the pool members depending on how much work they each contributed. Bitcoin pools are a way for Bitcoin miners to pool their resources together and share their hashing power while splitting the reward evenly according to the amount of shares they contributed to solving a block.
A Bitcoin mining pool is a collection of miners who work together and are paid according to their hash power. The purpose of a mining pool is to allow small-scale miners to receive some rewards so that they can continue mining.
Bitcoin mining pools are for people who have mining hardware to split profits. Pooled mining is a mining approach where groups of individual miners contribute to the generation of a block, and then split the block reward according to the contributed processing power. Larger mining pools are free to reject block solutions and concentrate the rewards.
Mining pools are centralized, private and anonymous by default.
While mining pools are great for mining, they also happen to be an excellent information disclosure channel. By tracking the movement of coins through a relatively small number of mining pools, we can trace the flow of coins between wallets. This is enough to perform large scale deanonymization of coins, with relatively little work, especially if you are an organization with a lot of users and access to many high value transaction streams. To try to reduce this deanonymization, steps like reducing pool payouts, and eliminating address reuse are fundamental steps to ensuring higher privacy levels.
Stratum V2 is an evolution of the original Stratum protocol and delivers a next generation protocol for pooled mining. It focuses on making data transfers more efficient, reducing physical infrastructure requirements for mining operations, and increasing security. Additionally, Stratum V2 introduces three new sub-protocols that allow miners to select their own transaction sets through a negotiation process with pools, improving decentralization and payload. Reducing the payload size of data transmitted means less latency, less data usage and less load on pool servers and the network.
Remove yourself from financial oversight and from the reselling of your information
Today, there are more people paying attention to Bitcoin than ever before. One of the reasons why Bitcoin hasn’t picked up as much as people thought is that there are a lot of people who are worried that their privacy might be compromised. When this involves money, this is a major hurdle that can be tough for people to overcome. It is nice to see that there are people who are working hard to try to address this issue. If PayJoins becomes more widespread, the sky might be the limit for Bitcoin. The ability of people to protect their privacy on Bitcoin will only help it grow even more.