Over the past few years, there have been several discussions related to anonymous payment methods. Although people often mention bitcoin in this list, the popular cryptocurrency is pseudonymous and not anonymous. However, there are plenty of easily accessible anonymous payment methods governments and legislators should be concerned about, as those are the tools facilitating illegal activity.
3. PREPAID GIFT CARDS
Everywhere one goes, prepaid gift cards have become all the rage. In most cases, these gift cards represent a specific value to spend on an online service, such as iTunes, Spotify, or even popular online games. However, these cards can be purchased in a completely anonymous manner, and most people pay for them with cash as well.
Redeeming these gift cards is usually linked to an online platform, where a person can sign up with completely fictitious information if they wish to do so. Moreover, these gift cards are completely anonymous and can be used to transfer value all over the world. It is by far a more convenient, anonymous payment solution that can have widespread consequences.
2. PREPAID DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS
In this day and age of digital services, it has become quite a bit easier to request a prepaid credit or debit card in physical form as well. Prepaid credit and debit cards can be registered in any name, as one can easily purchase them with cash. Moreover, the details registered to this card can be completely fictitious as well.
Buying these cards online is not necessarily anonymous, though, especially not when they have to be physically shipped to an address. Some service providers allow for electronic delivery of the card, which, combined with an anonymous email address and an anonymous payment method such as the one below, provide users with a complete privacy-centric experience. Online services such as EntroPay and MaskMe are worth checking out when dealing with virtual prepaid cards.
1. PAYSAFECARD AND CONSORTS
Perhaps the most widely accessible anonymous payment solution – at least in Europe – goes by the name of Paysafecard. These cards come with a preloaded balance and can be used as an effective payment method for any matter of online purchases. Codes can be redeemed online by opening an account with fake information and using a combination of a VPN server and anonymous email address creates an untraceable payment method to send money around the world.
The reason why Paysafecard and other initiatives like it – such as Neosurf vouchers – are not gift cards is because they serve as an actual payment method for regular expenses. Gift cards are linked to a particular service, whereas Paysafecard and others are a globally accepted payment method. It can even be used to fund the balance of third-party payment providers, without creating any trace of who purchased the card in the first place. Politicians and regulators should look at these payment methods first before claiming how bitcoin facilitates illegal behavior.
Brian is an experienced journalist and crypto enthusiast. Founder of CryptoCurry – famed for his insightful input on the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.