Kristov Atlas has published an important e-book “Anonymous Bitcoin: How to Keep Your Bitcoin All to Yourself”.

I first heard of Kristov Atlas when he published a critique entitled Weak Privacy Guarantees for SharedCoin Mixing Service in 2014. At the time SharedCoin was a popular Conjoin mixing service provided by blockchain.info. While still provided by blockchain.info it has lost popularity to other more private mixing services after Mr. Atlas pointed out significant deficiences in the Coinjoin protocol.

Anonymous Bitcoin Book

Mr. Atlas has recently published his ebook to help bitcoin enthusiasts understand the privacy limitations inherent in the bitcoin protocol and provide current best practice on how to buy and use bitcoin anonymously.

Very clear explanations of how bitcoins are mined and added to the blockchain are given along with best techniques for mining anonymously and a very good walk through to using localbitcoins.com as privately as possible.

Many assume that purchasing bitcoin in person using a service like localbitcoins.com provides all the anonymity one needs. The book points out problems to be aware of when buying bitcoin in person or using localbitcoins.com. For example two users in Florida who sold bitcoin to undercover police officers were charged with operating an unlicensed money transmission service. Mr. Atlas feels that buying bitcoin in person is by no means guaranteed anonymous and not a substitute for using mixing services.

At present the author feels that bitcoin can be made provably anonymous by using a proper mixing service and there is no need to buy bitcoin in person. He outlines how to buy bitcoin from a service like Coinbase and then use a chain of mixing services to render the purchased bitcoin untraceable to your identity. He shows the reader how to use the taint analysis tool at blockchain.info to verify anonymity.

Buying bitcoin anonymously is important but maintaining anonymity of your bitcoin after purchase is also vital. Clear explanations on how to store your anonymous bitcoin and prevent accidental taint, along with best practices on how to sell and spend your bitcoin are provided.

The author is a proponent of using Tor whenever your bitcoin wallet is connected to the internet and also of TAILS. Excellent guides to installing and using TAILS are provided and alone are worth the price of the ebook.

Criticism

Newer versions of TAILS now include the Electrum bitcoin wallet which was not mentioned in the book or supplements. Also, many users of TAILS prefer to use persistence which was not explained. Perhaps in the next update these minor omissions can be addressed.

Blockchain.info has also come under criticism which needs to be addressed in the next revision.

Conclusions

Kristov Atlas is to be commended for writing an engaging and understandable book covering some complicated topics. Anyone interested in bitcoin privacy should consider purchasing the ebook which we consider very good value at $19.99.

Enthusiasts should also consider the full package at $49.99 which includes:

  • E-book: Anonymous Bitcoin
  • Addendum: Retrieving Bitcoins from Cold Storage Using Hybrid Web Wallets
  • Video: Retrieving Bitcoins from Cold Storage Using a Hybrid Web Wallet
  • Video: Force-Closing Applications in Tails Linux
  • Video: Using Terminal in Tails Linux
  • Video: Offline Mode, Online Mode, and Anonymous Bitcoin Sessions
  • Video: How to Create a Free, Anonymous Email Address Using Tails Linux

I bought the full package for review and felt the extra money was well spent, and includes semi-monthly updates with walk-throughs and software recommendations. Visit Anonymous Bitcoin for more information or to purchase for yourself. Highly recommended!