Is Buying Process of Bitcoin Completely Anonymous?

Despite the global reputation of being a secure and anonymous mode of payment, truth be told – Bitcoin isn’t totally anonymous. While this may come as a shock to the Bitcoin community or crypto fans in general, each and every Bitcoin transaction is publicly disclosed on a ledger, and authentication steps by exchanges make it easy for Bitcoin to be traced back to you.

World’s leading crypto exchanges, like Binance, Coinbase and BitMEX observe to strict KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) rules, making it difficult for Bitcoin payments to be anonymous. When you’re trying to open an account on a crypto exchange, you’ll be asked to provide:

  • A scanned copy of your passport or driver’s license to prove your identification.
  • A portrait image of your face so that the exchange knows who you are.
  • Your registered full name as per your documentation.
  • Your official email address through which you’ll access the account.
  • You’ll have to verify the email address you’ve provided by clicking a link in the email.
  • Add a phone number and verify it through a code sent via the exchange.
  • Add your home address.

With such personal information available to the exchanges, do you really think Bitcoin is anonymous?

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How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously

Like other things, there are workarounds for buying Bitcoin anonymously. You must have heard of the term: cash is king. Believe it or not, cash really is king. The sheer method of unaccountability associated with cash makes it untraceable.

Bitcoin ATM

You can buy Bitcoin anonymously with cash through LocalBitcoins or better yet, Bitcoin ATMs! Ever thought of an ATM dedicated for Bitcoin? Yes, it exists in over 80+ countries with almost 3,000 locations in the United States alone. All you have to do is insert a currency in the ATM and direct it to transfer the coins in your Bitcoin wallet.

While the process of buying Bitcoins through the ATMs make it anonymous as you can have anyone transfer coins to your account by simply providing them your wallet address, the real anonymity lies when your exchange doesn’t have any personal information of you, and that’s unlikely given the regulations.

Person to Person Purchase

Over the years, dealing in Bitcoin in-person has proven to be far more anonymous than other methods. While buying Bitcoin in-person may involve you to meet the buyer or seller physically, it’s no secret that both parties will agree that they’ve never met.

You can use Local Bitcoins to learn about any local buyers or sellers that are willing to make a transaction and then contact them on the platform. Nonetheless, interacting on a platform means that your online privacy is at risk.

You best bet is to facilitate a transaction with a person whom you trust and feel safe to deal with. By dealing with a trustable person, you can protect your anonymity. However, not all person to person transactions can be considered anonymous. If you wish, you can buy Bitcoin instantly online.

Buy Bitcoin Anonymously Online

Some exchanges allow you to purchase bitcoin without you having to go through the verification process or the need for Know Your Customer. Such an example is Bisq. Bisq is an open-source, peer-to-peer application that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for real-world currencies (dollar, euro, etc.) and does not require any registration.

However, h3Bisq does not boast the liquidity and spot prices that you can get from a significant centralized exchange. The platform governs your entire purchase and sale transactions. From your purchase for which you must make a payment using bank transfer or e-wallet to the seller who sends the bitcoin amount to your wallet.

While you shouldn’t solely rely on Bisq, it’s a great substitute to Localbitcoins.com, as you don’t have to meet up with the person. Other modes include Hodl Hodl, where you have the option of giving in your verification details.

Who Should You Trust?

While there are places that require minimal identification to none at all, to really get off the centralized financial system, you’d need a robust mechanism that can ultimately make your Bitcoin payments anonymous and that mechanism is no other than a VPN or a Tor network.

Why Do You Need Anonymity?

Anonymity is the fundamental right of each citizen. Privacy and anonymity go hand in hand. Without privacy, your tracks are visible to others, and that’s an alarming situation for anyone who’s concerned about their online privacy.

While we live in an era of social media platforms and hashtags which entice us to share our very personal moments for some likes, it comes at a cost especially when we fall a victim of a cyberattack or identity theft.

Getting involved in the purchasing or selling of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is a completely personal matter, of which the details shouldn’t be disclosed to anyone, such as whether you bought, where you purchased or when you bought bitcoin.

Governments have a personal vendetta against cryptocurrency related purchases. Also, if you are a huge buyer or notable person in the cryptocurrency world, you might attract unwelcomed attraction from illicit individuals.

In any case, having anonymity can provide you complete peace of mind, giving you the necessary layer of protection when making high-value bitcoin transactions.