Assume that person wanting to be anonymous has reason to do so. Powerful enemies will see what is bought with bitcoins, perhaps web blog on server and domain name. Even in nations with rule of law, United States applies strong pressure and registrars and server hosts give up bitcoin address used to pay for things.

They trace address to address until find person who sold bitcoins for cash or credit card or wire fee.

If cash, famous exchanges know which city and bank address cash was deposited. Modern law enforcement technique is excellent for figuring identity once given such a clue. If not famous and idiot from Craigslit or similar, roll over in hurry when threatened with prison. Will try very hard to remember. And credit card or wire more even more trivial to figure.

I run tests, bitcoin mining take 22 million million years to give pocket change. Computer not so fancy after all.

Forgive poverty english please, translated to many languages and back before posting.

  • 1
    Buy with cash: localbitcoins.com
    – ripper234
    Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 14:59
  • 1
    Below are some other questions on the same topic. I think that we could probably close this as a duplicate, what do others think? How to broadcast a transaction anonymously - How can one remain relatively anonymous while using Bitcoin? - Bitcoin and anonymity concerns (tracking)
    – D.H.
    Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 18:04
  • @JohnO - You can enter a generic / pseudo zip code of a nearby location. This really isn't enough information for anyone to identify you. Usage is simple: Use TOR, enter some general zipcode that does't identify your house, meet seller in a public place ... wuala, you are safe.
    – ripper234
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:53
  • @JohnO - if you're paranoid (rightfully or not) about this, meet him in a dark pub, and wear a trench-coat and a ski mask ... or are you claiming that it is impossible to anonymously meet anyone today? The seller should not have any useful information to link back to you, if you're careful. If you trust the seller and want to go the extra mile, privacy wise, you can even use a Dead Drop - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_drop
    – ripper234
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 5:05
  • @JohnO - I just noticed your last last name. I had assumed we were talking about a modern, western country. If this is Russia, or a country with worse concern for individual privacy and rights, your paranoia might be justified.
    – ripper234
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


Once you have bitcoins, there are tools such as mixing services to help increase your privacy.

For true anonymity in acquiring bitcoins, cash-in-the-mail provides a method that can be anonymous. You send an envelope with cash and a bitcoin address. Voila, bitcoins are acquired anonymously.

Cash-in-the-mail methods:

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