Can Bitcoin Transfers be Traced in 2020?

All Bitcoin (BTC) transfers are public, traceable, and permanently stored in the Bitcoin network. But, by design, they are not linked to any person or identity. Anybody can see the balance and all bitcoin transfers executed by any address. But, no name, physical address, or email is found anywhere in the transaction.

Nonetheless, a person’s identity can still be tracked down using the public address information available and IPs. The Bitcoin addresses cannot remain entirely anonymous since the user needs to reveal their identity to get services or goods. That is the reason why Bitcoin transfers are known as pseudo-anonymous.

When used correctly, the cryptocurrency can offer acceptable levels of privacy. It is the responsibility of the user to adopt good practices to protect their privacy.

Learning About Bitcoin Traceability

Bitcoin transfers operate with an elevated level of transparency that many people are not accustomed to dealing with. The BTC addresses are the sole information used to define where the bitcoins are sent or even allocated. The addresses are normally created privately by every user’s wallets.

Nevertheless, after addresses are used, they are permanently linked to the history of all the transfers that they are involved with. Any interested entity can see the balance and all bitcoin transactions executed by an address.

Since the blockchain is permanent, it is crucial to note that something that is not traceable today may become challenging to trace even in the future. For those reasons, the Bitcoin addresses must only be used once and the users should be careful to avoid disclosing their addresses.

Human hands connecting blocks of data in a blockchain, EPS 8 vector illustration

To enhance privacy, users should always use a new Bitcoin address every time that they want to receive a new payment. Moreover, it is possible to use many wallets for various purposes. Using this strategy enables the user to isolate every single transaction in a way that it becomes impossible to accumulate them all together.

People who send you funds cannot determine what other Bitcoin addresses you have and what you do with them.

Public Spaces

Unless you intend to get public donations or payments that require total transparency, publishing a Bitcoin address on any type of public space like a social network or website is not a great idea when you want to maintain some privacy.

If you share your address in public places, note that if you transfer funds with the address to one of your other BTC addresses, they will be publicly linked to your public address and people can trace your other information from there.

Moreover, you will need to be careful not to publish any information about all your other purchases and transactions that may enable somebody else to determine the identity of your BTC addresses.

Ways Of Making Untraceable Bitcoin Transfers

Hiding your identity in the digital space is tricky since you will unknowingly leave several digital footprints behind. Thus, it is tricky to be completely untraceable when using bitcoin since it is a part of the digital world.

There does not exist any protocol-level procedure that can anonymize bitcoin transfers. But, you can use a Bitcoin mixer to hide your identity. Bitcoin mixing strives to break the linkability or traceability.

Bitcoin Konzept - die neue Weltwährung

The process breaks links between Bitcoin addresses by swapping coins with other addresses with the same value or setting up temporary addresses. Hence, Bitcoin mixing makes it quite hard to follow the trail on the blockchain. It is a paid service.

This process is also known as Bitcoin washing, Bitcoin laundering, or Bitcoin tumbling. Some of the services that offer Bitcoin mixing include Samurai Whirlpool and Wasabi Wallet.

Other ways of remaining untraceable include using Tor- Onion Routers like  Brave browser or any other Tor browser. Always use a new address for every transaction to minimize traceability.

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