If you bought something on Silk Road with bitcoin, the blockchain will remember it forever and possibly reveal your identity

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/26/if-you-bought-something-on-sil.html

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@doctorow got here first:


I used to think that dupe posts were just accidental results from Boingers not reading their own blog. Now I think they are playing a private game and deliberately do NOT check if something has been posted and points are deducted from the player who posts the dupe. Not sure what the monthly winner/loser gets.


That’s why you use Bitcoin tumblers, silly.

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I’m constantly amazed by how people (who really ought to know better) forget really basic facts. YEARS ago, I went to a Dan Kaminsky talk on Bitcoin at DefCon, in which he (among other stunts) demonstrated how he’d embedded a tribute to a recently-deceased friend in the blockchain - where it would, he informed us, remain legible and public for as long as Bitcoin exists. So why did the Silk Road crowd - and seemingly every other libertarian Bitcoin fan - not know this?
Truly, whoever named them Dunning-Krugerrands was prophetic.


Bitcoin transactions being anonymous is not a common misconception. It is an objective factual truth.

The misconception is thinking that anonymity is the same as unknowable and undiscoverable. On the internet this misconception is not confined solely to petty drug deals with wooden nickels.

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The analogy I like to use is:
A really good mask/disguise can give you anonymity. (Don’t forget to put gravel in your shoes too.) But casinos have CCTV, so - even if you pull your “Ocean’s 25” caper in disguise - there’s gonna be a record of your doing that. And if you change into your disguise right outside the casino, in full view of dozens of other cameras… your anonymity won’t help you at all.

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This is designed into BitCoin and often touted as a feature… every single transaction is recorded. Forever. Not just Silk Road, everyone can see what you’ve ever done if they manage to figure out your wallet number. Which isn’t all that hard, since anonymity is a joke if you make a surprisingly small number of transactions. Only ‘safe’ way is to put some money in a new wallet (not from your main wallet, that transaction will be clear as day - and I hope you’re not putting this cash in from your credit card), do your stuff you don’t want anyone to find out about, and never touch it again. Or you could use it only for the naughty stuff and freaking be careful with never letting your info get tied to it.

You can use a bitcoin tumbler, but then you may end up with stolen coins since the people using them are people who don’t want other people knowing what they’re doing. Like using Tor, it is in and of itself suspicious to law enforcement. And people have been traced through tumblers, they’re not magic.

And now Bitcoin isn’t even convenient to buy anything with, so there went the last reason.

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