Privacy in the bitcoin blockchain industry has become a major factor and we have highlighted 7 ways to improve it in 2022.
Bitcoin prides itself in being decentralized, private and independent. These features are why threats to its privacy will undoubtedly cause unrest among investors, traders, and even ordinary owners.
To improve your privacy, you first need to understand why you need it. Known popularly as a threat model, it is a process where you delve deep into how a bad actor or an ‘unwanted eye’ can spy on you. When you know these, it will be easy to put security measures in place. Otherwise, you will not be able to wholly cover all necessary bases.
For example, you may have to change your usage (behavior) and even platforms. In regard to the bitcoin industry, privacy is even more vital if the industry movers are to achieve a truly free market and for personal safety, read more on bitcoin x app. Also, to ensure that people have their dignity intact, bitcoin needs to be private. This brings us to the question:
How private is the blockchain?
The blockchain technology, on which bitcoin operates, is a publicly accessible platform. Hackers can trace transactions to see what was bought, and they can also uncover user’s real addresses by using methods like wallet clustering. Doing this, they could see what was bought or who sent money to who, and so on.
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Thus, while the blockchain may be safe from people committing fraud, it is not entirely immune to information leakage and manipulations. According to Bitcoin Wiki, here are some other possible dangers to privacy in the bitcoin/blockchain industry:
- Change address detection: If the change address of bitcoin transactions leak, it could link the owner of the used transaction input to new ones,
- Wallet fingerprinting: Analysts can isolate which software created a certain transaction because they have unique ways of doing so that sets them apart.
- Fee bumping: This is a mechanism for replacing an unconfirmed transaction with another transaction that pays a higher fee.
- Sending to a different script type: By doing this, it is easier to tell which output is the change.
- Wallet bugs: Old wallets could be compromised due to a fault or bug and this lapse in security can be exploited.
- Cluster growth: This is another way that bad actors can use to find specific wallets and compromise privacy.
- Mystery shopper payment: Intentionally sending money to a target to get private details.
- Forced address reuse: This is paying bitcoin to used addresses in the hope that the owners would use the payment as part of a larger transaction which will reveal other addresses.
- Input amounts revealing sender wealth: A scenario where a spy guesses a your total wealth based on your input worth.
- Timing correlation: Using time information of transactions to find period time around which they can search for the user.
7 steps to improve privacy of bitcoin transaction on blockchain
- Do not reuse addresses by ensuring that you use a new one each time you receive money from a particular user.
- Avoid AML/KYC checks, even if it means that you will not be able to use a platform that you like, because they require you revealing too much information, including your real email address.
- When you need to broadcast on-chain transactions, do so using Tor because the network makes it near impossible for bad actors to track any specific peer on the network.
- Where possible, use Lightning Network to make secure payments.
- If Lightning Network is not available, you can use CoinJoin, a method that combines many Bitcoin payments from several spenders into a single transaction to make it harder for bad actors to determine who paid who.
- Avoid creating change addresses.
- You may need to also use other security-focused technologies or software if you have other concerns, like if you want to hide from digital forensics.
It is important to note that if your security is still not compromised, it is time to take bitcoin privacy seriously. You do not have to wait until you become a victim before you start purchasing your cryptos anonymously. Also, ironically, using physical cash is a way to stay safe from blockchain spying because only you and the other party exchange data. This also works for the cash–in-person system where you both meet in person.
Likely, no blockchain transaction is more private than the confidential transactions. Armed with a cryptographic protocol, both parties can ensure that the transaction is safe.
Ultimately, the blockchain offers the highest level of financial safety for online transactions. Although, as we have seen, it is not without its own lapses and shortcoming. What you have to keep in mind regarding bitcoin privacy is that you can make it work by starting out early in your digital asset usage journey. You may also like to read, Can I get a Bitcoin loan? – See risks and best crypto lending platforms in 2022.