Is cryptocurrency anonymous?
Cryptocurrency is often referred to as “anonymous”, and it is often heard that it is impossible to trace who is performing transactions. Among other things, this has led many criminals to use cryptocurrency for money laundering or other crime.
However, whether or not cryptocurrency is anonymous depends on many factors. In this guide, you can find out if cryptocurrency is actually anonymous, and in which cases anonymity can be compromised.
What is meant by anonymous cryptocurrency?
Many people wonder if cryptocurrency is anonymous, in the sense that the authorities or others can not see who the transactions are carried out by.
Of course, people who commit criminal acts such as drug dealing or the like do not want the authorities to be able to trace the transactions back to them.
Anonymity means that the user’s real identity (for example, name and address) is not visible to others.
No bank as an intermediary
The reason why cryptocurrency can give users increased anonymity is that the currency is decentralized. Simply explained, this means that the authorities or banks have no control over the transactions, in contrast to what they have with fiat money (ie traditional currency).
For traditional currency, the bank will see who has transferred money to whom, and when the transfers have taken place. Suspicious transactions are reported so that money laundering and other crimes can be easily identified.
Cryptocurrency uses cryptography to create new currency units and to secure transactions. This control is placed with a central bank when it comes to fiat money. For the latter, the bank acts as an intermediary between sender and receiver.
This is how blockchain technology works
Cryptocurrencies are often based on blockchains, and work quite differently. The block chain consists of a number of blocks that can be linked to each other, and each block contains data on all transactions that have been completed.[mining]
All transmissions are visible on the network, even if the identity is masked using number sequences. You are therefore anonymous, since users receive and send cryptocurrencies from addresses consisting of letters and numbers. No sensitive information is shared.
How can the identity be revealed when using cryptocurrency?
According to Økokrim , most cryptocurrencies will provide total transparency about both transactions and users’ number-based addresses. However, it is not possible to know who is hiding behind the various addresses.
In order to be able to identify the people behind the transactions with cryptocurrency, both technical expertise and investigations of a tactical nature are needed. Digital tracks must be secured, and there is a need for someone who can follow, track and analyze the flow of money.
The EU made cryptocurrency less anonymous in 2018
The European Parliament decided that there should be stricter regulation of cryptocurrencies in 2018, because they want to prevent terrorist financing and money laundering. The measures have made cryptocurrency a little less anonymous.
The measures are mainly based on the fact that the exchange services – which sell, exchange and allow users to store cryptocurrencies – must require customer verification. This verification process is very similar to that of traditional banks.
The cryptocurrency exchanges must also be registered with the authorities.
Cryptocurrency exchangers are now required to report
As part of the work to combat economic crime with cryptocurrency, various security measures have been implemented based on the EU’s new requirements. All cryptocurrency exchangers that are to be able to offer their services to Norwegians must now be registered with Finanstilsynet .[main]
They must then also comply with the money laundering regulations from 15. October 2018. This means that cryptocurrency exchangers are now required to report. They are required to report to Økokrim on transactions that are suspicious.
Cryptocurrency exchangers must also perform various customer measures. If you find a cryptocurrency exchanger that is registered with Finanstilsynet, there is a good chance that you have chosen a safe exchanger that works against financial crime.
Both eToro, Norwegian Block Exchange and Firi are among the cryptocurrency exchanges registered with Finanstilsynet.
What about decentralized cryptocurrency exchangers?
There are also decentralized cryptocurrency exchangers (DEX). These make it possible to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from other users, without the transaction going through a third party. Localbitcoins.com is an example of a DEX.
With a DEX, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from others, and in many cases completely without any form of identity control. This makes a DEX attractive to criminals.
Bitcoin Plastic and prepaid cryptocurrency cards
There are also cards that can be linked to cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Plastic is an example of this, and means that the user is sent a debit card that is prepaid. The user can thus top up the card using cryptocurrency.
A user is then created at a company that issues cards, and the card is then sent to the recipient. The user will then be able to use the card completely anonymously. This can be attractive to those who have black money or have acquired money in other illegal ways.
Are you anonymous when using cryptocurrency?
You are basically anonymous when you use cryptocurrency. Anonymity is ensured since you have an address that is based only on numbers and letters. However, should you reveal that the address is associated with you as a person, the anonymity will disappear.
You are also not anonymous with regard to money laundering attempts via cryptocurrency exchanges that are required to report suspicious activity. This will be reported to Økokrim and then investigated.
As long as you stick to legal activities and do not disclose your key, you are anonymous when using cryptocurrency.
Buy cryptocurrency at a registered exchange
There are a number of registered cryptocurrency exchanges that allow you to trade cryptocurrencies online. Among other things, we can recommend eToro and the Norwegian Block Exchange, both of which can refer to registration with Finanstilsynet.
Make anonymous transfers and look forward to a safe and good user experience. There are many cryptocurrencies to choose from, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. Find your favorite.
Hvem kan se transaksjonene jeg utfører med kryptovaluta?
Alle som er en del av blokkjede-nettverket kan se transaksjonene dine, og du kan se andres transaksjoner. De ser imidlertid bare den tallbaserte adressen din, og ikke navnet ditt.
Hvilken kryptovaluta er mest anonym?
Det er noen kryptovalutaer som oppfattes som mer anonyme enn andre. Monero og Zcash er blant de mest anonyme variantene, mens Bitcoin gir mindre anonymitet.
Blir transaksjoner med kryptovaluta overvåket?
Ikke direkte, men husk at en kryptovalutabørs som er rapporteringspliktig vil melde ifra til myndighetene dersom de oppfatter transaksjonene dine som mistenkelige.