Are bitcoin mixers legal?
Are bitcoin mixers legal?
Bitcoin

Are bitcoin mixers legal?

By Marco Cavicchioli - 28 Oct 2018

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One of the most debated issues regarding the use of bitcoin is that relating to its use for money laundering purposes.

In fact, several studies have already been carried out in this regard, not showing any greater risk compared to traditional fiat currencies, but it’s important to note that there are actually some tools bitcoin mixers that allow making bitcoin transactions opaque and anonymous.

One of these, are the so-called bitcoin mixers, which allow transferring funds in a truly anonymous way.

Normal bitcoin transactions are not completely anonymous: they are pseudo-anonymous, because they are public and completely traceable. However they do not contain information directly related to the identity of the sender and the receiver.

They only contain clear information on the addresses involved: this way, the address from which the transaction was made, the amount sent and the address to which they were sent can be publicly retrieved. In short, it is enough to know who the owners of the two addresses involved are to completely break down the anonymity.

Everything changes, however, using bitcoin tumbling methods: the funds sent are divided into parts and mixed with other similar parts of other randomly selected users. In this way, it is practically impossible to track all the amounts sent. Hence the name bitcoin mixer.

But are bitcoin mixers legal?

It seems so because there is no law that explicitly prohibits them.

An addition, funds sent using these methods cannot be considered illegal in the absence of specific evidence in this regard.

However, if the use of these techniques and the tools that make them possible are not in themselves illegal, this does not mean that the all the funds sent using this method come from legal activities.

In this case, the offence of money laundering could be committed, but this does not depend on the tools that have been used: it depends on the origin of the funds regardless of the techniques used to send them.

It is, therefore, the origin of the funds that may be illegal, not the use of bitcoin mixers, which may also be used for legal purposes (such as not wanting to make a transaction publicly traceable).

According to some studies, for example, only about 16% of the funds exchanged through bitcoin mixers come from illegal sources, while the remaining 84% come from lawful activities.

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 25 thousand subscribers.

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