Tracking your bitcoins privately
The magic of bitcoin public addresses allow us to track our bitcoin finances without effecting the security of the coins. Improved privacy…
The magic of bitcoin public addresses allow us to track our bitcoin finances without effecting the security of the coins. Improved privacy is also another key reason people are attracted towards the cryptocurrency. Blockexplorers and other web services that allow user to track bitcoin balances/transactions are hugely popular. One privacy concerned user exclaimed
If I enter my bitcoin addresses on a wallet watcher, it will know my bitcoin worth and identity, I better run a node and monitor my addresses there.
Not at all necessary ! Just the fact that you are monitoring a bunch of addresses doesn’t mean that they belong to you or even belong to a same person. While running a bitcoin node or any SPV wallet would provide a higher levels of privacy, you could remain private even while using a convenient web service
Lets go over simple ways to remain private while using an online wallet/address watcher:
- Hide your IP: Use a proxy, or tor service. Any webservice you access would know your IP and could link it to your identity.
- Use guest login or anonymous emailid: Don’t use your standard emailid, create a special anonymous emailid. When you share same emailid with difference webservices it creates an identity leak. Consider using temporary emailid services like mailinator. Services like blockonomics create a unique guest login (which you can keep on using) without requiring an emailid.
- Introduce entropy: When you are monitoring a bunch of addresses it is important to add addresses that don’t belong to you into the pool. Just catch hold of few addresses from a blockexplorer and add them. This works like a mixer and the webservice has no way of knowing which ones belong to the same user.
- Duplicate Tags: Now that you have added addresses that don’t belong to you in the pool, how do you track your own address ? Basically you tag them. Now, create a new account and tag some of your own addresses together with some random addresses. The webservice doesn’t know which account reflects a real user.
- Be careful with xpubs: By using extended public key the service would know your current addresses, and also the future addresses. So only reveal xpub for which you are comfortable with losing your privacy. You could for example reveal xpub of only a sub account of the HD wallet hierarchy.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://insights.blockonomics.co/tracking-your-bitcoins-privately/