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Hi and I hope someone here can answer these security questions for me.

I have downloaded the Multibit client onto both a windows laptop and also a separate download onto a laptop running ubuntu linux.

My questions are for both operating systems and they are:

  1. When I am online and start the Multibit client is my IP address broadcast at anytime when I am using it such as when it syncs with the BTC network?

  2. If I create say 10 wallets in the client and issue one receiving address from each wallet to ten different people so they can pay me, is it possible to see that all those addresses and wallets reside within the same Multibit client?

  3. Can those addresses or wallets be traced back to either of my laptops and if so how can I stop this from happening?

  • Something else to consider is what you then do with the money. For example, if you send the money in those 10 wallets to one address, the blockchain will reveal that those 10 wallets have some association (possibly the same owner). If you have a transaction that sends money from more than one of those accounts at once, that makes it clear that there's an even closer association (probably the same owner). – Tim S. May 16 '14 at 14:03
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I think what you are asking is this:

Because Multibit is a lightweight SPV wallet, it uses Bloom filters to request the status of its own wallets from other peers rather than collecting the latest blocks.

Could those other peers, who already know the IP address, conclude that the request for information concerning certain addresses imply that this IP address is looking after these addresses?

The answer would be yes it could conclude this, but it could never say for sure if the private keys were also owned at that IP address it could only assume this.

The matter is further complicated because connection to peers is fairly random according to their availability.

EDIT I am updating my reply, as it appears that some research has been carried out which may contradict what was thought to be the case, but this is not strictly related to Multibit, but all wallets that use internet protocol. The Coindesk article points to the paper:

"Eavesdropping" attack

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  1. No, your IP address is not "broadcast". It is used when communicating to the peers that your Bitcoin client chooses (usually about 8 others).

  2. No, there is no information encoded into addresses that reveals which ones are associated with others. A Bitcoin address can be considered to be a purely random number.

  3. No, there is no evidence that an address is associated with a particular IP address. Your client will send new transactions to its peers, but the receiver won't be able to tell whether your client originated the transaction or whether it was relayed from somewhere else.

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    Whilst not technically wrong, these answers are somewhat misleading. For example: The OP's IP address does become known to the peers his MultiBit client is communicating with, which, whilst technically not broadcasting, likely does constitute what the OP or someone reading his question may be thinking of. Likewise, future use does create stochastic evidence linking the addresses, such that the OP may be merely pseudonymous, not anonymous---and even that only until someone does find a way to link to his IP address, which due to (1.) a malicious network of Bitcoin clients could theoretically do. – pyramids Mar 30 '14 at 9:56

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