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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about Bitcoin Privacy
SmartMixer Telegram: https://t.me/smartmixer
Planned privacy upgrades: https://bitcoinist.com/schnorr-taproot-soft-fork-promises-big-things-for-bitcoin/
Post Beneficiaries: 100% @steem.dao
Here are the winners
Rewards will be distributed in 48 hours