Don’t Mix Public and Dark Web Use of A Bitcoin Address

Bitcoin payments used to unmask dark web users by John E Dunn.

From the post:

Researchers have discovered a way of identifying those who bought or sold goods on the dark web, by forensically connecting them to Bitcoin transactions.

It sounds counter-intuitive. The dark web comprises thousands of hidden services accessed through an anonymity-protecting system, usually Tor.

Bitcoin transactions, meanwhile, are supposed to be pseudonymous, which is to say visible to everyone but not in a way that can easily be connected to someone’s identity.

If you believe that putting these two technologies together should result in perfect anonymity, you might want to read When A Small Leak Sinks A Great Ship to hear some bad news:

Researchers matched Bitcoin addresses found on the dark web with those found on the public web. Depending on the amount of information on the public web, identified named individuals.

Black Letter Rule: Maintain separate Bitcoin accounts for each online persona.

Black Letter Rule: Never use a public persona on the dark web or a dark web persona on the public web.

Black Letter Rule: Never make Bitcoin transactions between public versus dark web personas.

Remind yourself of basic OpSec rules every day.

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