I read some sources that say Bitcoin transactions are anonymous, some that say they are semi-anonymous, and some that say they are not anonymous at all. In what ways are the transactions anonymous and in what ways are they not anonymous? Technically the appropriate term is pseudonymous - imagine that your bitcoin address is like an email address or an online alias: how hard it is to trace to your actions depend largely on what you do with it. There is, for example, a bitcoin address in my forum signature that would obviously be VERY traceable back to me. On the other hand if I install the client on a separate system which only connects to the internet through TOR and obtain my bitcoins by mining them from a pool like Eligius (no accounts/email necessary, they only ask for a bitcoin address) then it would be very difficult indeed to trace those funds to me.
And of course there are shades of gray in-between.
As I said, think of it as being an email address and then consider how yourI write about how technology shapes society, and vice versa. In addition to blogging for Forbes, I cover tech policy for Ars Technica. I m an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and have a master s degree in computer science from Princeton. I live in Philadelphia with my wife and our two cats. There s more information about me on my website, including a comprehensive disclosure statement. Please follow me on Twitter. You can email me at [email protected] (I don t really like Google+ but I need to put my profile here to show up in Google search results) Are Bitcoin transactions really private? In an age of ubiquitous government surveillance and corporate information collection, the peer-to-peer currency‘s boosters tout privacy as a major benefit. I’m not convinced. Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer method for clearing payments means that the currency’s “books” are inherently open. Every transaction ever made using the currency is available for inspection using a tool like Bitcoin’s Block— Top nav — News – Companies – – Exchanges – – Merchants – – Wallets – – Investors – – Funding – Technology – – Mining – – Bitcoin Protocol – – Bitcoin ATMs – – Altcoins – – Cryptocurrency 2.0 – Regulation – Events – BitLicense – Prices – Crime – – Silk Road – Features – – Opinion – – Data Analysis – – Reviews Price & Data – Bitcoin Price Index – Bitcoin Venture Capital – Bitcoin Network Statistics – Bitcoin Calculator – About the BPI – Bitcoin ATM Map – CoinDesk API – Bitcoin Price Ticker Widget Guides – What is Bitcoin? – Why Use Bitcoin? – How Can I Buy Bitcoins? – How to Buy Bitcoin in the UK – How to Store Your Bitcoins – What Can You Buy with Bitcoin? – How to Sell Bitcoin – How to Accept Bitcoin Payments – How do Bitcoin Transactions Work? – Is Bitcoin Legal? – Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? – How Bitcoin Mining Works – How to Set Up a Bitcoin Miner – What are Bitcoin Mining Pools? – How Does Cloud Mining Work? – Calculate Mining Profitability – How to Make a Paper Bitcoin WalletNow, if I m right, it is possible to track back the transaction to me, since all transactions are public.
And so everyone knows that part of the money changed by Mt.Gox was used to pay Bob and that he changed them back to dollars. This is true as long as my address and Bob s address is also known. Is there some way to break the transaction history of the bitcoins from Mt.Gox? I mean, for example, would it be possible for Bob to transfer the 50 BTC to Mt.Gox from an unknown address that was never used, so it can t be associated to my address? Or is it possible to send bitcoins only from the reveicer address? Situation when using the same address to receive and send bitcoins: [Mt.Gox] == [Me] == [Bob] == [Mt.Gox ] Situation with new generated addresses: 1. [Mt.Gox] == [Me] 2. [Me] == [Bob] 3. [Bob] == [Mt.Gox ] In short, how to hide where bitcoins came from? I read there is a way to generate new addresses and send through them. Is that true? Thanks :) Bitcoin is not anonymous. Don tI m a technology, privacy, and information security reporter and most recently the author of the book This Machine Kills Secrets, a chronicle of the history and future of information leaks, from the Pentagon Papers to WikiLeaks and beyond. I ve covered the hacker beat for Forbes since 2007, with frequent detours into digital miscellania like switches, servers, supercomputers, search, e-books, online censorship, robots, and China. My favorite stories are the ones where non-fiction resembles science fiction. My favorite sources usually have the word research in their titles.
Since I joined Forbes, this job has taken me from an autonomous car race in the California desert all the way to Beijing, where I wrote the first English-language cover story on the Chinese search billionaire Robin Li for Forbes Asia. Black hats, white hats, cyborgs, cyberspies, idiot savants and even CEOs are welcome to email me at agreenberg (at) forbes.com. My PGP public key can be found here . The gram ofThe digital currency Bitcoin has a reputation for providing privacy. But a new analysis of the public log of all bitcoin transactions suggests it could be surprisingly easy for a law enforcement agency to identify many users of the currency. Popular uses for bitcoins include illicit gambling and making purchases at an online marketplace called Silk Road, where illegal drugs are traded openly. The new research, from a team at University of California, San Diego, comes at a time when investment in the bitcoin economy is booming (see “Bitcoin Hits the Big Time”), and as it is being scrutinized by U.S. authorities. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has seized a total of $5 million from Mt Gox, the largest exchange where people go to convert between bitcoins and conventional currencies. Last month, New York’s financial regulator subpoenaed 22 companies to gather information about their dealings with Bitcoin. “The Bitcoin protocol still has huge potential for anonymity,” saysYes and no. Bitcoin is based on the fact that all wallet balances and transactions are public and part of the blockchain, and neither tor nor any other tool can challenge that. On the other hand, if you want to keep your wallet private you have to make sure it can not be linked to your public identity, and tor can help you with that. If you only connect your wallet to the Bitcoin network through Tor, the transactions themselves will be seen as originating from whatever tor output node you are currently using and not from your own IP. This (rather efficiently) eliminates an obvious way your identity could be leaked, but it will only be really useful if you take every other precaution to make sure your wallet can t be linked toHi all, New user here, just set up the bitcoin software yesterday. I ve been very excited about decentralised cash for some time.
Aside from some architectural issues (the GUI needs to be seperate, needs an exposed API for starting transactions for automatic webshops, make the protocol run on arbitrary ports and look like SSL to prevent filtering, etc), the solution looks good. Needs a bit more technical documentation to satisfy people s concerns though. I have a question though regarding the traceability of the coins. Can each coin be traced back through all intermediaries? I.e., if I generate a coin now, it then passes through 100 people, can the the coin then be traced through the past 99 transactions and back to me? It seems to me that that is the way it works, but I just want to be sure. It seems that if I create many bitcoin addresses, I always see the same balance for them - if I have money on one account and wish to send to someone from a different account, will the bitcoin.