Almost all crypto exchanges require confirmation of your personality through ID. Some people prefer to hide their identity to protect themselves from unreliable firms and marketplaces. However, there are only a few options to use cryptocurrency exchanges without ID, and we will describe them in this article. If you want to buy bitcoin anonymously in the US or in some other world countries, this review will be practical for you.
Buying bitcoins is not so anonymous a process as you may know because all the transactions are recorded on the ledger Blockchain. The main reason for crypto exchanges to know your identity is to transfer crypto correctly. It means that ID is required to make the process of transactions as accurate as possible.
There are several platforms where you can buy bitcoin anonymously with cash or a card. For instance, Bitcoin ATMs and Paxful make it possible to purchase cryptocurrency with cash without confirmation of your identity. Sometimes you can confirm your identity by using fake data. It is possible to do this with the BitQuick system. Nevertheless, usage of these services does not guarantee total protection of personal info.
If you want to hide all your financial transactions completely, you can buy bitcoins with TAILS, Tor, VPN services, coin mixers, and some other systems.
Remember that additional protection costs extra money over market price because anonymous systems use complex approaches to keep your data safe. So, you should decide whether you want to save some money buying cryptocurrency or to save your anonymity.
I will clarify features and ways to use for every possible service in this article. If you are still interested in this topic, continue reading because you will get valuable advice about the anonymous purchase of bitcoin.
Content of the report:
- Anonymity of bitcoin
- Easiest ways to buy bitcoin anonymously
- Services to use if you want to hide your ID
- Reasons to maintain anonymity
- Anonymity while using bitcoin
Anonymity of Bitcoin
We can imagine a scale of anonymity and locate different payment methods on it according to their degree of privacy. Cash is the most anonymous method because no one can check your payments at most places. On the opposite, credit or debit cards have a high degree of publicity because almost every store and cafe gets data about us after our charge by credit or debit card. Regarding bitcoin, its transfers from one bitcoin wallet to another are recorded, but you can try to hide data about you. That is why bitcoin as a payment method is in the middle between cash and credit card by the degree of their anonymity.
The blockchain is the system that has records of all transactions and transfers of cryptocurrencies. They save these records from knowing the addresses of buyer’s and seller’s wallets and the transaction amount. It makes operations with cryptocurrency more precise and allows users to confirm transactions.
The main point about coins is that usually, you can find transaction history for every bitcoin wallet address, but it can not be connected to the name of people. Almost everyone can find records about operations with coins on the Internet, but personal data about traders will be hidden. That is why there is an opinion about the high privacy and pseudonyms of bitcoin on the market.
However, it will not take much time for experienced people to find your name and other personal info having only a bitcoin wallet address. There are plenty of ways of searching for personal data based on transaction history because popular platforms and marketplaces usually do not try to keep it in secret.
Such openness and lack of anonymity can be damageable for those who do not want to share information about their capital and funds buying bitcoin. The Internet allows everyone to see the amount of bitcoin you have sent or bought and your current budget on crypto wallets.
Once you want to save your anonymity, you should know special rules for all operations connected with coins on the Internet. Let’s have a look at practical platforms where you can hide your identity to buy bitcoins.
Easiest ways to buy bitcoin anonymously
In this section, we will tell you about the three most common and useful platforms where you can purchase bitcoin without verification of your identity and using payment in cash for buying bitcoins.
1 — Bitcoin ATMs
This approach is familiar to everyone because we use ATMs often even for simple financial operations with credit or debit cards. You can use Bitcoin ATMs to buy bitcoins in cash, and you will get a paper ticket with the number of created bitcoin wallets. Besides, you can enter your bitcoin wallet number at the beginning of the operation and add bitcoin to an already existing wallet with an ATM. Still, it will reduce the level of privacy.
The main issue is that Bitcoin ATMs are not widespread nowadays, and sometimes people have no opportunity to use them. Try to find a Bitcoin ATM close to your location, and you will not need to disguise your name, IP address, and other data buying bitcoin. After adding funds to your account, you will receive a private key from your wallet printed by ATM, and you will be able to do anything you want with bitcoin.
Of course, the usage of bitcoin ATMs is not free of charge. As the common marketplace, Bitcoin ATMs take an additional fee for transactions, and usually, it is equal to 7-10%. Moreover, you may overlook the commission because it is summed to the exchange rate of bitcoin by ATM. So, be careful when buying bitcoin anonymously with bitcoin ATM and check all the extra fees and exchange rates before operation.
2 — Paxful
Paxful is one more system that you can use to buy bitcoin in cash, but the process is not similar to the purchase of coins with bitcoin ATMs. While you can use various payment methods when buying bitcoin with Paxful, you can even find sellers who want to exchange crypto and get cash. Paxful can help you to find such people and arrange a physical meeting for trade.
You do not need to verify your ID or use real email for registration on Paxful to stay anonymous. Keep it in mind during the creation of the account and execution of the transaction. Cash helps you to keep privacy as well as the Paxful itself. However, not every bitcoin seller will agree with such conditions because anonymous users are usually distrustful ones. Also, if you use credit cards, bank deposits, or PayPal to buy bitcoin with Paxful, your privacy will be violated.
3 — Prepaid Card
There is an option to buy a credit card in stores and do not provide data about you to the bank or financial organizations. You can easily use such a card for the purchase of bitcoin without ID verification with Paxful or LocalBitcoins.
Services to use if you want to hide your ID
As the major part of stock markets does not accept cash as a payment method, we created a list of systems that do not require any documents and confirmations from users even if you pay by card.
1 — BitQuick
BitQuick is an app where you can buy or sell bitcoins without ID but with a telephone number. Nowadays, it is not a huge challenge to find a fake telephone number and use it for one time. If you want to keep your privacy explore the ways you can use fake phone numbers.
BitQuick helps buyers and sellers to coordinate transactions through escrow. It means that the app regulates the order of transactions from buyers to sellers and makes transfers only when both parties send their money. Service is safe enough because of this deposit system, but you still need to enter your phone number during registration and have access to it.
2 — Bisq
Bisq is an app that helps traders to find each other for buying bitcoin anonymously with fiat currencies of any country. The thing is that Bisq does not keep the money in fiat currency — it works as a P2P network coordinating communication between sellers and buyers and checks the correctness of the transaction.
If you buy bitcoin with Bisq, you will not need to add money to your Bisq account but only send them directly to the seller. As regards the storage of crypto, they keep it on multisignature wallets and do not take any action with them.
The main advantage of the Bisq is that users do not need to have an account and provide any personal data on this website. You can stay anonymous and buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies without ID verification.
3 — HodlHodl
This app is widespread all over the world because it is a convenient and safe P2P cryptocurrency exchange for the purchase of bitcoin without ID verification. So, you can find sellers or buyers of crypto on the HodlHodl site and make trades without ID and KYC.
Similar to the previous platform, HodlHodl does not store data about you on their website — they use multisignature escrow to keep your funds private and protected. By the way, this way of data storage makes transactions faster than others.
4 — CoinCorner
CoinCorner is a tested marketplace that has had a positive reputation since 2014. The company was founded in the Isle of Man, but it is widespread throughout the world now. However, CoinCorner is not available in the US now in any format.
If your country is on the list of available ones, you can use CoinCorner with both the website and mobile app. Please pay attention to the limits of the exchange of bitcoin without registration because it does not allow users who make transactions often and in big amounts to use the service without ID verification. So, if you do not want to go through ID verification, you can buy or sell coins for not more than 1,000 Euros. Besides, transaction fees are not high in CoinCorner — it is one of the best options to buy bitcoin anonymously.
Reasons to maintain anonymity
To take some actions in the protection of your privacy, you should have the motivation to do this. There are several reasons to exchange bitcoin anonymously, and one of them is just hiding your data from hackers. As it is not a complicated task to know info about you and your funds for people on the Internet, there is the probability of fraud and theft. That is why we all want to keep anonymity and save our funds from possible risks.
As we already described the work of ledger, it is a technology that can save all transactions from fraud because of the reliable cryptography structure. However, there is always the possibility of human mistakes that can cause losses of a huge amount of cryptocurrency or money.
Some people think that they can protect their privacy by providing fake names (pseudonyms), but it does not work like this. Hackers can collect data about you knowing the location of your computer, and controlling your internet connection. That is why sometimes you should care more about your internet connection and the security of your IP address.
Your bitcoin address is often connected with IP and physical address. This data includes information about four aspects that you probably want to hide from strangers:
- Date of transaction
- Seller bitcoin address
- Buyer bitcoin address
- Transferred amount of bitcoin
There is an option to determine the address (UTXO) of your bitcoin wallet by yourself through coin control. However, lack of control over addresses can lead to putting all your addresses at risk because they can be related to each other based on the one bitcoin wallet.
Anonymity while using bitcoin
The reasons listed above justify that sometimes it is a crucial thing to secure your data from hackers and strangers. Now we will discuss possible ways to exchange bitcoin secretly for both beginners and experts.
Guide for beginners
You should understand the structure of the bitcoin ledger before you get to learn ways to protect your wallet. All wallets have their addresses that are recorded by the ledger. If you provide personal data or confirm identity while registering the wallet, it will be an easy task to find you using only the internet. You should be precise and accurate in hiding your identity when you buy crypto because only one fault can share your data. You should follow several steps to avoid data disclosure using bitcoin.
1 — Security of online connection
The most common mistake among bitcoin buyers is to use one Internet connection for entertainment and financial purposes. Improving the security of Internet connection, you will save your computer and bitcoin wallet from external machinations.
Get more information about the privacy of your internet connection on the website of Prism-Break. They explain the importance of connection protection and provide useful tips for users of various operating systems.
The basic rule is to check cookies in your browser and get rid of useless ones. Also, you should download and apply Java script blockers that will save your computer from undesired hacks. Pay attention to HTTPS Everywhere because this service is popular among experienced users and has a good reputation on the Internet.
Make sure you use a reliable system to protect your Internet privacy to avoid extra problems with suspicious programs.
2 — Anonymity of bitcoin wallets
Once you decide to care about your safety during the exchange of bitcoin, you should control the addresses you use for it. It means that the best solution will be to create new addresses for every operation because some of them can be connected with your identity.
Of course, it will take more time to control all addresses you have, but there are some moments where you can use the same crypto wallet several times. For instance, the Bitcoin tip address does not require you to change it every time you need it because there is a low probability of fraud for your cryptocurrencies.
We recommend you make transactions of crypto with an HD wallet that allows creating new addresses without any limitations. You will still have one security key for all of them, but transactions will not be connected inside the system.
3 — Do not use Hosted and SPV wallets
SPV light wallets store your data about coins on shared servers but not local ones. The main reason to avoid them is that info about all your financial operations will go to the server where thousands of users can see it. People still use SPV wallets because they provide a higher speed of transactions and easier application for crypto purchases.
If you want to protect your data and cryptocurrencies, you should not use SPV servers because of their low level of safety. Besides, you can improve your privacy even with SPV addresses if you use bloom filters. Bloom filters help to hide data about you and delete connections between your transactions on the server. It will prevent the distribution of information about your funds and all finances you have.
As regards the examples of poor-quality SPV wallets without bloom filters, Electrum is one of them. It can share info bout your coins and identity with any internet user because all your transfers are recorded. So, your privacy depends on your knowledge about the structure of systems you use. Make sure you get acquainted with an app and its terms before you start buying crypto with it.
Hosted wallets have even worse conditions for anonymity because third parties will always have access to your addresses and personal data if you use them. For example, Coinbase is an app based on hosted wallets, and it means that managers of Coinbase will store all the history of financial operations and your data.
The main thing you may want to hide is your IP address because it is easy to associate the IP address with your name and contacts. Even if a company promises you not to share data with other parties, no one is protected from leakages. Moreover, they can meet situations when law and government will make them share data about transactions. So, they will have to provide all data to the court if they receive NLS. If you are not ready to reveal information about the usage of cryptocurrency exchanges, pay attention to this point.
Make sure that no third parties are included in the process of crypto exchanges to avoid problems with the law or violation of your safety. Make your choice in favor of marketplaces with local servers for data storage, for example, Armory or Bitcoin-Qt.
4 — Strengthen password security
A major part of the Internet users applies similar passwords to several social media sites and marketplaces. It is a common thing because we cannot create unique passwords for dozens of websites, and that is why people prefer automatically created passwords.
The main disadvantage of the same passwords is that one of the websites can be hacked, and all data about you, including email, name, the password, will be stolen. Imagine what will happen if someone will know your password from sites of exchange.
You should not have the creative skills to keep yourself safe and enter different passwords for different purposes because there are online generators of them. These systems can generate a combination of digits and letters of any length and strength so that no one will guess it. Do not worry about the abilities of your memory because special programs allow you to save all passwords insecurely on your computer or smartphone.
These easy steps will significantly increase the level of your protection during the process of crypto purchase and will save your funds from fraud.
Guide for advanced users
If the value of your safety is high, you should spend more time on the activities that will enhance your confidentiality. Anonymity is not easy to achieve, but sometimes it is worth it. In this part of the article, I will describe the crucial methods to protect your funds from scams.
1 — Tor for IP address masking
Tor is a platform with various services that helps people from the whole world to stay anonymous while manipulating cryptocurrencies. You do not need to have extra skills to manage this program because we will explain all the steps you need to go through.
Firstly, you need to install this program on your device from the official website. After that, you should activate it and use an already hidden IP address. The program will open the browser by itself with a protected page for your safety.
The work process of the Tor is not suspicious because you can easily understand the way it protects you. While you are using the computer from one location with a particular IP address, Tor will involve other devices in this process. It means that all your online operations will be recorded in the system as activities from another computer located in another state of the US or even country.
Tor is suitable for hiding your IP address and browser protection, but it does not provide you a comprehensive safety for exchanges. If you use Tor for social media sites, it will not anonymize your personality as well as other browsers. Try to enter social media sites with darknet accounts with Tor to keep safety for all online processes. One of the common accounts for this goal is Mail2Tor.
By the way, people use Tor not only for financial operations but also for activities on the darknet. Tor makes your computer hidden from strangers and allows you to disguise your personality.
Be ready that attacks can happen even with Tor because there was a case of data leakages with Tor and fake LocalBitcoins.
2 — Purchase bitcoins through Tor
If you are ready to use Tor, you can proceed with the next step — buying bitcoin anonymously. Firstly, you should create a bitcoin wallet with Tor to make it anonymous from the beginning. By the way, Bitcoin core is a useful tool that will connect to Tor automatically. However, it works only if you have the Bitcoin core of version 0.12 or later ones.
Several wallets can also be connected with Tor, but Bitcoin core has already been tested, and its interface is understandable for everyone. If you want to get a step-by-step guide about Bitcoin core usage, check Bitcoin GitHub or Reddit.
Pay attention to the algorithm of connection because you need to follow it to keep your bitcoin wallet private. You should turn off your Internet connection and create a wallet with Tor. After that, you will be able to use this wallet with your Internet and synchronize it online. Set settings for the wallet to make it work only with Tor.
Also, you can use your full wallet, but you will need to copy data about it from the blocks folder and add it to the Tor. Make sure you select a proper folder and avoid copying the “wallet.dat” one. This approach will increase the speed of operations and synchronization.
Some problems may occur with copying your wallet with money because of the right to ownership. We will introduce more ordered ways of doing this later.
3 — Use VPN connection
The problem with Tor is that your IP address will still be available for some computers in a chain of connections and websites you visit. That is why you should take more actions to prevent the identification of your personality by third parties.
Sometimes, using VPN services is a paid option, but it is worth it if you want to provide full privacy to your wallet. VPN services allow you to establish an internet connection through external servers, which will make your device unnoticeable.
Similar to Tor, VPN uses other IP addresses to connect you to the Internet, and these addresses can be located in any area of the world. Some people implement VPN when they need to get access to restricted location data. Moreover, VPN service provides security for devices from viruses and malicious files using proxies.
Another advantage of VPN services in comparison to Tor is that they have access to many more websites than Tor and speed up internet connection.
The most secure option is to use both Tor and VPN simultaneously to make the path to your IP address more complex.
4 — Encryption of disk
The hard drive is another thing that you should care about to mislead hackers. All the processes you make with the computer are recorded on some disks, for example, a hard drive or another storage. There are special programs and software that defend your storages from attacks with passwords. Using them, you can hide any information on any storage by improved prevention.
Besides, encryption of storages is a recommended option not only for manipulations with bitcoin but also for every action and file that you want to be confidential. Create backup copies with important files and set protection on the storages you need to be confident in their safety.
The list of encryption software is available on Wikipedia. Read it but do not trust every program because some of them are not reliable. For example, Windows BitLocker has received poor reviews and comments because of the low level of protection. Check info about software in several resources to be sure that your files will be stored safely.
However, you should remember passwords from all the storages because you will not be able to recover files if you forget the password.
5 — TAILS
The Amnesic Incognito Live System can become essential software for you if you want to achieve comprehensive protection of your data. We described several ways to exchange bitcoin confidentially, but full security can be accomplished only by combining all the methods. The difficulty is in the software we use because there is no universal software with all these functions included in it.
As we know, Windows is a system that traces its users and collects some data from personal devices. That is why it is not the best software for anonymous crypto purchases. If you want to hide all your operations with bitcoin, care about your software.
TAILS is one of the options for you if you want to complicate the path to your computer for hackers. It is based on the Debian Linux system, but it is not complicated in usage because of the similar to Windows or Mac interface. Using TAILS will not raise doubts among your friends because it can copy the appearance of Windows in a few seconds.
You will be surprised by the huge scope of functions TAILS offers to users because it can be stored even on a small USB drive. Nevertheless, you will have nothing to worry about with this powerful tool because it includes everything you need for protection, from basic privacy to encryption. Moreover, you will have a manager of passwords and crypto wallet Electrum included in the TAILS software.
If you want to apply TAILS for your goals, you should set a portable format to USB-driver for downloading TAILS. Some services will help you to do it: Rufus and Universal USB Installer. After that, you can download and install the software, but you should have two separate drivers for this task.
If the process of installation looks complicated for you, do not hesitate to explore guides on this topic.
The crucial thing about TAILS is that you can use it with any devices you want and keep confidentiality of all the actions and files you make. It is possible because you reconfigure your Bios to work from TAILS and not from a hard drive. So, even public connections from untrustable devices can be protected with TAILS.
However, TAILS does not solve all the issues you may meet while searching for the most private way to buy crypto from exchange markets. Hardware screen capture and keyloggers can still happen with you during operations with cryptocurrency. You can use a keyboard on the screen with your mouse to reduce the probability of attacks, but TAILS cannot prevent some types of virtual assaults.
Also, you should control the process of password entering when you use public internet connections, and the best way to do this is to use spam-text logging countermeasures.
The main purpose of anonymization is to hide all the information about your activities on the Internet, and TAILS manages this task perfectly. It does not record your operations on websites and files you download and use. If you want to save data and keep it private, you can store it on the USB driver with TAILS. All the files, including your passwords, will be stored safely if you use TAILS software.
Anonymization of already linked crypto
No one is protected from identification by third parties, and that is why you should know how to hide a bank transfer or another operation when it is already in public access. In this part, we will tell you how to interrupt the chain of connection between IP addresses and mislead attackers when they have already found you.
1 — Use mixers to manipulate bitcoins
The idea of mixers is simple — you transfer your money to this service, and they give them back to your anonymized address. However, you will pay a fee for the usage of this service, but usually, the price for their work is low.
Mixers break up the connection between your original wallet and the new one, so no one will be able to check the final location of your crypto. This operation is possible because mixers have a huge pool of addresses and the possibility of finding you significantly decreases.
Make sure you trust the mixer you use because everything can happen during the steps of transferring. For instance, you should be confident that mixers will return money to you and will not take extra charges except for the initial fee for the service. Also, there is the meaning to use tumblers only if you are sure that your address will not be identifiable to anyone. That is why you should explore the information about the mixer you use not to face additional problems.
By the way, you will not be able to check whether the tumbler you use interrupts the connection between you and your wallet because they cannot prove it. So, be careful while using this service to provide safety for your bitcoins.
We recommend you use tumblers on the darknet because it will guarantee you a higher level of protection. You can choose one of these mixers because we have already tested them: Gram’s Helix, BitMixer.io. Do not worry if it takes too much time to mix your data with Gram’s Helix because it is a long work. BitMixer.io works a bit faster, but still, you should have enough time if you use them.
JoinMarket implements another method of mixing — a decentralized one. Greg Maxwell was the first person who created this approach of high protection and offered it for manipulations with bitcoin.
JoinMarket is a more advanced system than a simple mixer because of the new technologies implemented in it. However, not every user will manage to work with JoinMarket without prior preparation. We recommend you to use this platform if you have knowledge in the sphere of trading with bitcoins and are ready to obtain new skills.
The crucial advantage of JoinMarket is that the whole process of mixing is transparent for users, and they do not take high fees for their services. Besides, you can even get benefits from JoinMarket if you help other traders to mix their bitcoins.
There is one more mixer that allows you to be confident in the protection of your data — Wasabi. This service is easier to use than the previous one, and it provides mathematically significant proof of their work to clients.
Higher level of mixing
You can manipulate connections and bitcoins on an advanced level if you include altcoins in this process. It means that you will mix up your bitcoins with protected altcoins in addition to tumbling IP addresses.
However, the reliability of this process is lower than for centralized tumbling because of the hidden processes in this service. You can try to do it with altcoin Monero (XMR), and we have already made a guide about trading with Monero on our website.
The algorithm of mixing with Monero is simple — you purchase bitcoins, exchange them for Monero coins, and transfer them back into bitcoins with a protected wallet. By the way, Binance is a practical app for such operations as well as system XMR.to. Make sure you use Tor software when authorizing these platforms. Otherwise, your data will be available for third parties.
You should remember that every level of confidentiality has its price. If you want to buy bitcoin anonymously, you will need to spend more time and money on them than the usual market price of exchange.
This review should help you with the process of saving privacy for your wallet and financial operations by the implementation of various approaches. Try several of them and find the one which will satisfy you with a degree of protection and price.
The easiest way to buy bitcoin anonymously and exchange a small amount of crypto is to use cash and bitcoin ATMs. Bitcoin ATMs do not require ID verification and will not trace your wallet because you will receive a paper wallet instead of a constant one. Also, you can find sellers who will be able to exchange bitcoins in cash but be careful using this way to buy bitcoin. All the exchanges made in special platforms can guarantee you at least minimal protection from fraud, while interpersonal exchanges are not controlled by anyone.
If you want to become an expert in trading with bitcoins anonymously, you should apply more complex methods and use several ways to buy bitcoin without tracking and ID verification.
Can you buy Bitcoin anonymously?
Everyone has a right to stay anonymous while doing financial operations, and buying bitcoin is not an exception. You can try to avoid platforms with the required ID confirmation or try to mislead attackers by mixing IP addresses. There are plenty of ways to achieve the goal of full anonymity buying crypto, and they are introduced in this guide.
How do I pay anonymously with Bitcoin?
You should hide the address of your wallet so that no one can find it and do not provide your ID during registration. It is possible to do with Tor or other software that provides a high level of confidentiality to clients. The main rule is to control Internet connection and services you use to be sure of their safety while making an exchange of coins.
Can you make Bitcoin untraceable?
Yes! There are several ways to make bitcoin untraceable, and the main rule is to avoid ID verification and tracking of your crypto wallets. For example, you can find sellers by yourself or use a bitcoin ATM because it will not record your data. Another way is to use VPNs and avoid wallets where third parties will record information about your transactions. The most proficient way is to use confidential software and tumblers to hide your real IP address and location of bitcoins.
Where can I buy Bitcoin without verification?
If you want to buy bitcoins without confirmation of your personality, you can use two ways: exchange bitcoins in cash in Bitcoin ATM or with sellers, or special marketplaces or use platforms without obligatory verification. In the review, we described both of these approaches and offered you several tested services for the purchase of coins: Bisq, HodlHodl, CoinCorner, BitQuick.