Bitcoin Mixer And How They Work
Once upon a time, Bitcoin (BTC) transactions by themselves were assumed to be anonymous. The early days saw the first widespread use of BTC in the now-infamous Silk Road. There are numerous articles and even a documentary on the bust of the site, so we shall not expand too much on the subject here. Suffice to say that in the end, the myth that crypto transactions were private was shattered and now we must content with knowing that our crypto movements can be monitored.
But the blockchain developer community is resourceful if nothing else, so a new kind of service called Mixers was introduced. Mixers help ensure privacy when transacting cryptocurrencies online — but how do they work? And how much they cost?
One of the main things that build trust in a public network is the visibility of all transactions and activities. All cash flows have always been traceable in the blockchain. It was previously thought that a public key could not be linked to the person behind it, but as the demise of Silk Road showed that is not the case.
For a long time, the crypto community assumed that privacy in the public blockchain was gone. This led to the creation of a new class of crypto coins known as privacy coins. Enter the Mixer, also referred to as a tumbler. It is a type of platform that scrambles multiple flows of cryptocurrency transactions vulnerable to the identification. By going through this process the privacy of every transaction in the group is increased. The economic activity of a single public key in a public network like Bitcoin is harder to monitor.
For this to work, the account owner first sends the crypto to the mixing provider, who pools it with other transfers received within a predetermined period. The now scrambled record of crypto transactions is then forwarded to the destination addresses of all the crypto pooled in the registry. This results in there being no connecting thread between the original transactor and its counterpart. The amount of crypto is chosen randomly so that the transaction constitutes numerous tiny payments stretched over a long period of time. The service is not without cost, with fees oscillating between 0.25 and 3% depending on the size of the original quantity.
Of course, as you may have guessed, this is a service popular among criminals and crypto thieves. Many launder their stolen crypto coins using tumblers, with criminal organizations using it to hide their financial transactions. This has led to tumblers or mixers becoming illegal in some jurisdictions.
Of course, just as how using torrents or a private browser like TOR does not guarantee internet privacy, crypto tumbling by itself does not secure anonymity. Along with mixing, not recombining freshly mixed unspent transaction outputs (UTXO) that can be easily traced can also help avoid being traced. It is still true that even with these types of services, economic activity in public blockchains is not 100% secure and there will always be threats to privacy.
5 Best Bitcoin Mixers
Here we have a short overview of a few mixing services out there. The list is by no means exhaustive and there are many more projects in the works.
The wallet provides a mixing service called Whirpool. It is based on CoinJoin, a trustless method for scrambling crypto payments from different accounts into a singular transaction, hiding its origin in the process. The service is non-custodial, so at no moment in time does Samourai Wallet get a hold of the user’s coins.
Bitcoin Mixer is one of the first and oldest around. Despite its name, it not only works with Bitcoins but also Litecoin and Ethereum. The service is of a custodial nature, which means that they hold your coins for a period of time which could be a downside. On the other hand, a custodial service is easier to use in large transactions. The service is simple to use: just send money to the address and then choose a mixing time, which can range from thirty minutes to twenty hours. A longer waiting period ensures greater privacy since more transactions can be pooled and broken down into smaller chunks. The fee can be as low as 2% and as high as 5%.
With the motto “Reclaim Your Privacy Now”, the Wasabi Wallet is clear about its intentions. It is a desktop open-source wallet that focuses on Bitcoin. It implements trustless crypto shuffling by using a version of CoinJoin called Chaumian.
As an added bonus, it works using the TOR network to ensure further security and privacy.
It is a custodial tumbler that focuses exclusively on Ether. The service works by the same principles as the Bitcoin Mixer which pools together transactions in order to obfuscate their origin. Also, a user can actually choose to send himself Ether which has already been mixed. The platform allows for a transaction to have the same origin and destination, so if you want to stock on freshly minted Ether this could be the service for you.
Tornado Cash is a non-custodial Ether mixer. It assures anonymity by cutting the on-chain trace for the sender and destination addresses. It has developed a smart contract that takes ETH which can later be withdrawn with a different address. There is no record that can be tied to the sender’s address and the address which retrieves the ETH from the contract.
As we can see, values such as privacy, security, and censorship resistance are alive and well in the crypto space. The anonymity of a person’s economic activity should be maintained even in an increasingly surveilled society. The projects briefly presented here will help ensure that public blockchains don’t become an extension of the ever-growing surveillance industry and are an important tool for the crypto space as we move forward into the future.> * Do you have any thoughts to share? Check out our mission offer to earn a steady income in USDT by writing and posting short articles on the Remitano Forum. There’s no easier way to earn than this!