Published On: Fri, Jun 21st, 2019

Can I buy Bitcoin with my credit card anonymously?

To answer this question in one word: No. You cannot buy Bitcoin with credit card anonymously because it is illegal and you need to have proper verification before you are allowed to make any purchase on an exchange.

There are many cryptocurrency exchanges like CoinSwitch that allow you to buy Bitcoin with your credit card. But, there is a verification process so it is not entirely anonymous.

Every transaction is publicly disclosed on the ledger so any purchase you make can be traced back to you. So, are there any other options to maintain anonymity?

Yes. You could go to a Bitcoin ATM or LocalBitcoins and make a purchase with cash. There are also some sites that only require minimal identification which does not have to be your real identity.

If you really want to remain anonymous, you will need Tor, TAILS, a VPN and coin mixers. This is obviously not a convenient solution but can be used by advanced users who really care about staying anonymous.

Is Bitcoin anonymous?

Bitcoin does offer more privacy than credit cards but it isn’t as anonymous as cash. Cash cannot be traced usually but Bitcoin transactions can be. However, the Bitcoin address is not very telling of who owns it so your identity can stay anonymous.

Buying Bitcoins anonymously

The LocalBitcoins option is great if you want to buy BTC anonymously. You have to use LocalBitcoins to find someone who is willing to sell Bitcoins for cash near your geographical location. All you need is an alias email address to sign up on LocalBitcoins.

The Bitcoin ATM is also another option. If you have a Bitcoin ATM near you, you should probably go this route. When asked for your Bitcoin address, say you don’t have one. This will generate a new paper address for you which you can then import for future use.

You could also use a prepaid credit card that you can get at a convenience store and use it on exchanges like CoinSwitch. But the buying limit may be very low.

Why is anonymity important?

Some advanced crypto enthusiasts do not like the idea of being hacked. By going anonymous, there is less likelihood of becoming the next target.

So be very careful when you use an exchange to convert BTC to BCH or Bitcoin Cash to Bitcoin because most exchanges will display your real IP addresses. If someone makes the association between your address and your real identity, they can trace all your transactions on the blockchain and calculate exactly how much you have.

Tips for maintaining privacy

  1. Generate a new address for every transaction that you receive
  2. Don’t use computers over public WiFi or the same computer that you use for your personal activities
  3. Upgrade the computer with the latest anti-virus, install ad-blockers and JavaScript blockers. Always deny and clear your cookies regularly. Make sure the site is always secure.
  4. Remember your password and don’t use the same one across the board.

Using Tor for anonymity

Tor helps you disguise your IP address making it less traceable. You will want to download it by visiting TorProject.org. You will have to use an anonymous email service like Mail2Tor to stay completely anonymous. To make your Bitcoin wallet anonymous, you will have to connect it via Tor. You can use Bitcoin core for this. Consult Reddit for this if you need further help. Remember that Tor does not guarantee a 100% privacy so you may have to think of getting a paid VPN service.

Author: Lena Burket

Paul Krugman hates money, especially the Bitcoin

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