Best Solutions to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously
The issue of how to acquire cryptocurrencies in full anonymity becomes quite essential these days. The reasons are manifold: privacy concerns, desire to save time or simple lack of identification documents at call. Although, most crypto exchange platforms continue to operate via Know-Your-Client (KYC) policy and may divulge users' personal information to government supervisory bodies, there are still a number of fairly reliable options providing the opportunity to purchase cryptos, in particular Bitcoin, in an anonymous way.
1. Bitcoin for Cash
While those who trade Bitcoin on a regular basis might consider this method to be somewhat futile, it's definitely one of the alternatives for newcomers to start with. For simplicity, this may be described as “you know some people who know some people who deal with crypto (traders, miners etc.)”. In fact, the idea to find someone who mines Bitcoin is, probably, the best one in this case, since newly mined cryptotokens are largely deemed to be premium and most valuable among specialists on the market given that they have no transaction history and no paper record traces. And as long as miners exchange their crytocurrency for fiat money now and then just to pay their running costs or do some home-shopping, buying Bitcoins directly from them (if you happen to be familiar with) is by far a lucky bargain.
But if you don't feel inclined to rush up in search for local crypto holders on your own, peer-to-peer (or P2P) exchange platforms may be very helpful. These give you the possibility to get in contact with people who trade Bitcoins and arrange for the purchase. LocalBitcoins.com is a vivid example of such services, which accepts face-to-face deals between two interested parties.
As for anonymity issues, the risks are mostly related to your counterpart's reliability, the presence of any surveillance or monitoring at the moment of your meetup exchange and the type of cash-out you opt for (bank transfer, cash deposit or ready cash upon meeting). So, in case doubts about the safety of Bitcoin-for-cash transactions arise, going online is often an optimal way out.
2. Bitcoin ATMs
Automated teller machines (ATMs) trading Bitcoin have recently come into common practice mainly in larger US cities and start to spread in Western Europe (for the record, there even exists a special mobile application allowing you to locate an ATM near you.
The person who wants to use such devices will need cash money or a bankcard and an effective crypto-wallet to buy Bitcoin. Nonetheless, if we speak about anonymousness, a prepaid debit card appears to be the sensible solution in this context to leave no trail of transaction.
Despite their apparent attractiveness, Bitcoin ATMs have a number of shortcomings such as transaction limits (usually $750 and an ID verification if you exceed this amount), 5-10% higher prices (we suggest you check the exchange rate beforehand), sometimes palm print scanning or cameras installed at some devices, and naturally, placement in public places like stores or supermarkets. All these factors affect your privacy in a negative manner, though purchasing cryptocurrency at such buy-and-go terminals may often be a swift and handy option for those who want to avoid identity verification.
3. Prepaid Bankcards
This seems to be quite logical in relation to anonymity that gift or prepaid cards (called often “stored-value cards) can efficiently solve the problem. Being massively and officially spread across the US, Canada and some European countries, these cards are easily found in different stores, shopping malls and other retail. Usually, producing identification documents is not required at the moment of purchasing. The next use depends on the owner's choice: you can go shopping online or apply them to buy some Bicoins on various exchange platforms allowing for anonymous transactions.
It is worth mentioning here that, according to their physical form factor, there exist two main types of prepaid bankcards: plastic and virtual ones, each having their pluses and minuses.
4. Payment Gateway Services
Payment gateways represent a technology that enables digital payments for consumers and businesses. They process, authorize and route banking card transactions between customers and the acquiring banks or other payment services of the merchants. In brief, this is a sort of electronic intermediary between them which ensures that their payments are made properly and fast.
Besides the most well-known payment gateway providers including PayPal, WebMoney or Skrill, there are also services that offer anonymous dealings with cryptocurrencies and do not necessitate ID verification (eg., PaxFul.com (see conditions), Magnatus.com or formerly mentioned LocalBitcoins).
You can also anonymously purchase Bitcoins using a Skrill money transfer on such platforms as Paybis.com, EXMO.com, SpectroCoin.com or CEX.io.
5. Decentralized Exchanges
Despite the fact that this recently trending kind of crypto exchange platforms mostly operate with account verification requirements or impose withdrawal restrictions and do not guarantee your anonymousness in any way, a few of them (Bisq, BitFinex, Coinbase (Level 1), BitShares), however, may omit identity checks or only ask you for a valid mobile phone number and thus, provide a certain degree of secrecy at BTC trading with minor sums involved.
We, nonetheless, recommend you study their terms and conditions in each particular case or read independent reviews available on the web to protect yourself against personal data leak.
This P2P marketplace linking Bitcoin sellers and buyers in thousands of cities worldwide deserves, probably, particular attention due to its high popularity, good public reputation and the number of daily deals.
The only information required at registration is a user name and an email address. In addition, users of this exchange platform are rated, so you can always decide upon the trustworthiness of your counterpart after checking their rating. The presence of an escrow service is another perk for those who want to sell crypto.
Actually, LocalBicoins.com accept quite a lot of payment options, but if anonymity is what you prefer, we suggest you consider a more anonymous method to be used when trading (cash at meetups, WebMoney).
7. Bitcoin Mixers and Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange
It may sound strange, but purchasing another cryptocurrencies, which appear to be practically anonymous, and then converting them to Bitcoins may be a certain way out.
What are these cryptos you can use for this purpose? Most of those who carry out such transactions mainly appraise Dash, Monero, Bitecoin or Zcash. The developers of these open source altcoins declare their impersonal character and total protection of the owner's personal data against tracking.
Some of these cryptocurrencies (Monero, Bitecoin) use CryptoNote ring signatures for the privacy of transactions and allow for numerous mixing. On the other hand, Dash uses its own PrivateSent mixing service incorporated into client's interface to anonymize their blockchain activity and hide the connection between the buyer and the seller similar to other mixers.
Zcash is proclaimed to be “the most anonymous altcoin” by its creators, since both the amount of crypto paid and its origin are concealed by an encrypted protocol. The transaction time is the only thing you can find on the blockchain.
Bitcoin mixing can be utilized as an alternative approach, when Bitcoin address links are destroyed by newly generated temporary addresses or by interchanging coins of the same value but with different addresses. In such a case no tracing of a transaction is possible. Samurai, JoinMarket and BitBlender seem to be the most popular BTC mixers, so far.
A Few Tips to Keep Anonymity When Buying Bitcoin
Evaluate the counterparts you want to deal with. Consider all information available about them, look at the ratings, read reviews etc.
Avoid video surveillance at meetup exchanges
Gauge the online services you plan to use in terms of their reliability, privacy and requirements
Do not use the same address for all your Bitcoin transactions, since hacking risks rise in this case
Do not use the same browser all the time. Consider utilizing such secure browsers as TOR or Brave
Try to avoid transactions involving large sums of money and do not store them in the same place, for such operations are easily traceable.
Create a strong password with a specific and complicated paradigm
Avoid hosted wallets or SPV wallets (“thin clients”) if possible. They may leak information which could be harmful to your cryptoassets and be attractive to hackers due to a huge number of addresses on their servers.
Use Bitcoin mixing services to hide your transactions' data.
In conclusion, we would like to emphasize that it is really hard to give a lot of up-to-date recommendations in relation to Bitcoin trade, actually. This field of finance is subject to constant changes and we can see new options appear and new challenges grow day in day out.