Unfortunately, Bitcoin is not anonymous. The Bitcoin's public ledger, known as the blockchain, stores information about every Bitcoin transaction. Even though the blockchain does not store names, e-mail addresses, or other personal information, every Bitcoin can be traced back to your wallet. And, if the address is ever linked to your real-world identity, all the past Bitcoin transactions could be traced back to you.
To protect your privacy, you should follow these four rules:
We have detailed the first two options in a separate article, so let's take a look at the anonymous Bitcoin wallet in more detail.
Use Bitcoin anonymously
Never re-use the Bitcoin address since it allows other users to see how much funds you have received. Instead, use a new receiving address for each transaction.
When making bitcoin transactions, conceal your IP address. You can use a VPN service or utilize a dedicated privacy operating system Tails, that routes your entire traffic through the Tor network.
Anonymous Bitcoin wallets
Anonymous crypto wallet typically combines both security measures named above:
- no address re-use,
- concealing of an IP address.
Some anonymous Bitcoin wallets go even further with features such as coin mixing, hidden wallets, or an emergency PIN to wipe all user data.
There are dozens of anonymous crypto wallets – both installable and web-based. In this article, we'll mention only the most popular installable ones.
Let's get started.
Electrum on Tails operating system
Electrum is one of the earliest and most trusted Bitcoin wallets, first released in 2011. It is an open-source wallet distributed under the terms of the MIT license.
By itself, Electrum is not an anonymous Bitcoin wallet. However, when used through the Tails, Electrum becomes an entirely private. Tails is a dedicated privacy operating system that routes all of its incoming and outgoing traffic through the anonymous Tor network.
As far as its features go, Electrum is a pretty lightweight Bitcoin wallet. It does not have any special security features other crypto wallets have. However, you don't need these. Electrum on Tails does all you need. It provides you with the seed, takes no personal information, lets you set transaction fees and executes all bitcoin transactions through the Tor network. Electrum supports cold storage, hardware wallets such as Ledger or Trezor, and multi-signature features.
Electrum is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. However, if you want to protect your privacy, use Electrum with Tails OS exclusively.
To learn more about Electrum, go to electrum.org.
Wasabi uses CoinJoin – a mechanism by which multiple participants combine their coins into one large transaction with multiple inputs and outputs. An observer cannot determine which output belongs to which input, and neither can the participants themselves. This makes it difficult to trace where a particular coin originated and where it was sent.
In simple terms, CoinJoin means: "When you want to make a transaction, find someone else who also wants to make a transaction and make a joint transaction together." To increase privacy, the wallet routes all of its transactions through the Tor network by default.
Wasabi is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Unfortunately, there is no Android or iOS version available.
If you want to know more about Wasabi, go to wassabiwallet.io.
Samourai Wallet is an open-source, non-custodial, anonymous Bitcoin wallet released in 2016. As stated on Samourai's website, it keeps your transactions private, your identity masked, and your funds secure.
Samourai makes sure you that never re-use the same Bitcoin address. Additionally, it routes all transactions through the Tor network or an anonymous VPN, concealing your IP address. The wallet uses Stonewall protection that makes it more difficult for outside parties to trace your transactions. A recently released Bitcoin mixing feature based on CoinJoin is also available for beta testing.
When sending funds to a third party exchange or service such as Coinbase, Gemini, ShapeShift, or LocalBitcoins, you can use a handy feature called Ricochet. This feature adds extra hops of history to your transaction, reducing the risk of unjustified account closure by these services. An optional feature lets you remotely wipe or recover your wallet over SMS in case of a lost or stolen device.
The only disadvantage of the Wasabi Wallet is its limited availability for Android devices only.
You can learn more about the wallet at samouraiwallet.com.
Unstoppable is a private, open-source, non-custodial crypto wallet for libertarians. The wallet is decentralized, operating on a peer-to-peer basis. The only centralized aspect is the third-party data used to provide live exchange rates.
Except for Bitcoin, the Unstoppable wallet supports dozens of decentralized public cryptocurrencies and investment tokens running on Ethereum, EOS, and Binance blockchains.
No personal details are required to set up the Unstoppable wallet.
To learn more about the Unstoppable wallet, go to Unstoppable.money.
PINT is an anonymous, decentralized Bitcoin wallet available for Android devices only. Along with the anonymous wallet, it also features a built-in peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace to trade coins with other PINT users.
Except for Bitcoin, PINT currently supports the following altcoins: Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin, and ERC20 token.
The private keys to your wallet are stored locally on your device. If you lose your phone, however, you can use the built-in anti-theft feature to delete the private keys off of your old device and restore it on a new one.
No personal details are required to set up the wallet. However, to use the P2P marketplace, users are required to register.
The P2P marketplace features an encrypted chat that allows buyers and sellers to communicate before making a trade. The built-in on-chain escrow protects the buyer by locking the sellers' assets until the buyer confirms the deal.
To learn more about the PINT wallet, go to Bitfia.io.
Best anonymous Bitcoin wallet
So, what is the best Bitcoin wallet for darknet?
If you're looking for the most anonymous wallet and don't have difficulties to install a new operating system, use Electrum with Tails OS. It's not the most comfortable option, but the most secure one if you want to use it for darknet.
If you're not a tech-savvy person, then you might try either the Wasabi and Samourai. These are easy to install and offer a host of handy features.
Even the most anonymous Bitcoin wallet won't make your coins anonymous. Therefore, if you want to protect your privacy, we advise you to anonymize your coins first. Ideally, mix your Bitcoins, or anonymize them through a dedicated privacy coin, to wipe the transaction history of your coins entirely.