The publishing platform, Medium, allegedly jumped on the "ban-wagon" censorship, after suspending an account that published a Bitcoin guide to anonymity. While Medium has not confirmed the reason, different Twitter users have requested suspensions of previous accounts based on cryptographic content.
Storm In A Teacup
So what could have endured so much the wrath of Medium that they thought it necessary to challenge the hammer of the ban? Fortunately, the author has republished the article elsewhere, so we can read it and find out. Actually, thankfully, I'm paraphrasing it, so you do not have to worry about reading it yourself.
The article has the disclaimer that you may not be agreeing with it, so it is welcome to read something else. If only Medium has allowed us the same freedom of choice to read it in the first place, eh?
Privacy is a fundamental human right, even if government agencies are increasingly trying to reduce it in the name of security. Because some people use bitcoins for nefarious reasons, they I want to monitor all uses … but only for your protection, of course.
So, how can we avoid their benevolent intentions and protect our privacy?
Keep your private individuals private
The article recommends that you always use cash for inbound and outbound purchase and never use a service that requires AML / KYC. These rules bind your physical identity to your Bitcoin address and do little to prevent money laundering. Indeed, as confirmed by Bitcoinist on a regular basis, the vast majority of money laundering takes place through banks.
The guide also points out that the same Bitcoin address should never be used more than once.
Reuse [Bitcoin] addresses is the virtual version of an STD
While this is a fun metaphor, it is hardly controversy, and practically a standard piece of advice. Oh, and we're giving good advice; do not use wallets with Bloom filters and use an anonymous network or VPN.
Average jumps on the "Ban-Wagon"?
Let's move on to the methods used to compromise privacy, namely the forensic analysis of Bitcoin and the heuristics. The heuristics are essentially hypotheses that are not perfectly correct, but valid enough to be used, in this case for identification and monitoring.
Since these are just assumptions, there are ways in which we can make them unreliable and minimize risk. One of these in which the article focuses in many details is the mixing of coins. He recommends staying away from centralized mixing services and providing some tips on alternative CoinJoins.
The guide is somewhere between good basic advice and perhaps a slight overcaution for most users. However, there is little in terms of content that could be considered controversial or worthy of a suspension.
With that said, the links in the article all seem to hit pages with endless loading loops. Even typing the address of the website to get to the homepage (or any page other than the published article) suffers the same fate.
It is possible that these "questionable" links may have caused a suspension and it is not advisable to click on any of them. Nevertheless, there seems to be a growing tendency to de-platforming PayPal, Patreon etc. And it would be sad if even Medium took this path.
What other methods can you share to increase Bitcoin privacy? Share them below!
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