It can be easily misled by the revolutionary blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency that transactions are anonymous.
Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum (ETH) prodigy and co-founder, is one of the high profile crypto personalities who has addressed the growing privacy concerns pertaining to the use of cryptocurrencies. On 23rd May 2019, he proposed an idea on the HackMD post which could be used to upgrade their privacy of the Ethereum network. His idea for Ethereum involves a solution that could obfuscate the user’s address whenever sending a fixed quantity of ETH to a coin mixer within the network, and received an exact quantity of ETH from a mixed pool. This would make the transactions more anonymous than they are at present. This proposal by one of the prominent key opinion leaders in the blockchain and crypto space has further validated the importance of privacy and anonymity, and that mixing services could essentially eradicate anonymity issues. Fortunately, there are mixing services that are already available in the market today. Commonly known as Bitcoin mixers or Bitcoin tumblers, they are the go-to mixing services for privacy-conscious Bitcoin users.
Benefits of using a Bitcoin Mixer
Bitcoin mixing services work on a simple mechanism by splitting up the user’s deposited BTC into multiple portions and mixing them with other split BTC from other users in the mixing pool. With a negligible amount of user-defined service fee, personal information and traces of the user’s transaction record would be erased from this process, making the user’s BTC coins completely anonymous from blockchain analysis tools and bad actors. The only problem about the Bitcoin mixer is that it is not viewed positively by regulators, since there are known cases of criminals using mixing services to remove traces of their illicit activities. But this problem does not pose any risks to users that use the Bitcoin mixer for authentic privacy reasons, using funds from legitimate sources.
Choosing the best mixing service
During the selection process of the best suited bitcoin mixer, the user would have to consider if they are keen to utilise anonymous browsers like TOR, or to stick with clear web services (like Internet Explorer and Safari). Unlike clear web services, sites on TOR are not the usual .com domain names, and may require certain experience to properly access their .onion domain names instead. Unless the user is familiar with TOR, clear web services will suffice as well, depending on the amount of BTC the user would plan on mixing.
Today, as the demand for mixing service grows, there are more mixers available online to privacy-focused Bitcoin users. But users have to be vigilant and ensure that they check the legitimacy of the mixer as there are many mixers that cannot be trusted. These bogus mixers often entice users with an extremely cheap service fee or masked themselves as legitimate mixers. Fortunately in this article, we will be sieving out four of the best and trusted Bitcoin mixers found on the web today, so that you will be able to get started quickly and more confidently to get your BTC mixed for privacy and anonymity reasons.
The next Bitcoin mixer on the list is a relatively new mixing service provider known as Blender.io. Similar to other mixers on the list, it has a ready pool of Bitcoin reserves to ensure sufficient volume of BTC anytime. However, the maximum BTC limit depends on the current amount of coins they have in their reserve and the amount the user previously sent to the mixing service. It has a clean and straightforward interface which allows anyone with varying competency in Bitcoin mixing to make full use of their service. In order to cater to users with different privacy demands, Blender.io is accessible in clear web, mirror and TOR networks. The three official links are neatly placed at the header of the website for easy viewing. As per other mixers, they do charge a nominal transaction fee of 0.0005 BTC for every recipient address. Up to 8 recipient addresses can be added for every mix. Also, each address can be assigned as long as up to 7 days of time delay, before the recipient address receives the allocated mixed BTC.
In addition to the nominal fee, a mandatory service fee is required, ranging from 0.5% to 2.5% dependent on the user’s preference. While the maximum accepted limit of BTC varies depending on the time of the mixing service, there is a minimum of 0.001 BTC imposed for every mixing service. One more important thing to note of a Bitcoin mixer is the user log. Unfortunately, it is not known how long Blender.io will store the log before it is permanently removed from its database.
This mixer is probably the most customer-centric Bitcoin mixer on this top five list, as evidently shown in their suite of supports given to users. Just like the rest of the mixers on this recommended list, no signups are required to utilise their mixing services. They do offer both TOR and clear web services, giving everyone an option to access their mixer. Currently, they accept Bitcoin for their mixing services. But the dedicated team over at MyCryptoMixer are also supporting Ethers, which will be announced at a later date. The service fee ranges from 0.5% to 5% (and 0.00025 BTC per recipient address), making them one of the most affordable mixers on the list. One interesting point to note about contributing service fees to the mixer is that irregular service fee contributions will make it harder to correlate to the BTC coins that you receive at the end of the process. MyCryptoMixer also allows a slightly higher number of recipient Bitcoin addresses, making it potentially harder for blockchain analysis service to track the mixed coins.
Thanks to their amazing customer service (CS) support, they are constantly listening to their users and only store the log for up to 24 hours, before the mix’s personal information is removed from the database. Lastly, the mixer generates an unique code given to users for subsequent mixes, allowing repeat users to ‘inform’ the mixer not to receive any BTC coins from previous mixing pools.
Available on both TOR and clear web, Chipmixer is an interesting mixer that offers a ‘pay-what-you-can’ service fee. Unlike other mixers on this list, users are given a session token which can be used to restore their incomplete session for up to 7 days. The unique BTC amount given by the mixer in every mix is aptly named as Chips, which basically denotes the value of BTC (ranging from 0.01 BTC to 8.192 BTC) the user has to send to the mixer’s generated BTC address. While the remaining features are similar to four other mixers, they have a betting feature which allows the user to randomise the output value and he or she receives, hence further increasing the user’s anonymity.
Finally, the fifth mixer to make it on this list is Bitmix.biz, a multi-crypto mixer which allows the mixing of BTC, DASH and LTC. Available on clear web and TOR browsers, they are currently the only one of the list which is available in multiple languages including Chinese, Indian and Polish. A total of five recipient addresses is allowed for every mix, while the mix information will be removed in 72 hours, slightly longer than some of the top contenders on this list. Bitmix.biz charges a service fee between 0.4% to 4%, and the efficiency of the mix is largely dependent on the user’s selected fee which we can presume a higher percentage means a better mix result. The transaction fee is on the higher end at 0.0003 BTC per address (0.0006 BTC per address if randomised option is enabled). A Randomised option allows the user to receive two or more transactions to a user-assigned recipient address.
Overcoming the regulatory hurdles
Bitcoin, like many other cryptocurrencies, were never set out to become an anonymous cryptocurrency. However, as the likes of Vitalik Buterin and more crypto personalities advocate the mandatory privacy feature for cryptocurrency users, the space may see more enhanced blockchains with a better implementation of privacy and anonymity features for the people, although it will be an uphill battle with government and regulatory bodies before an actual focus of crypto users’ anonymity were accepted by central authorities. Meanwhile, there are still existing solutions that could complement what pseudonymous cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are lacking. Paired with trusted and highly secure Bitcoin mixers like the four recommended Bitcoin mixers as mentioned above, users will have an option to ensure that their transactions are untraceable and anonymous at any time.