You’ve probably heard this, “If it’s on the Internet, it isn’t private.” For the most part, the saying is correct. Your social media posts, files, and secret Facebook accounts don’t give you any meaningful privacy. Even proxies, Tor browser, and VPNs, all of which are highly rated for their security and privacy features, have drawbacks.
In 2017, a Massachusetts man named Ryan Lin thought he was secure using a VPN to stalk his neighbor until police caught up with him. How did the cops apprehend him? They got Lin’s VPN provider to release his login details. Lin had done some messed up activities and ended up getting 17 years in prison.
Although Lin’s very poor life choices are what got him into legal trouble, his case shows something clear about privacy over the Internet. You are never really anonymous, not especially when using centralized Internet security solutions such as VPNs.
So, is there a solution to online privacy issues? Blockchain, the decentralized network associated with bitcoin, is touted to solve online anonymity in better ways.
At its core, the blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that is almost impossible to hack. Some blockchains offer pseudonymous security, meaning your identity can be traced at some point. Others like Monero, hide your digital footprints so well that no amount of FBI investigations can trace you.
Below are some of the ways blockchains help people using the Internet anonymously.
Personal Address and Identification not necessary
If you’ve tried trading cryptocurrencies online, you’ve probably been required to produce identification at some point. From the moment you buy bitcoin using your credit card to cashing them out, some of the service providers you meet demand identification.
In truth, it’s not necessary to produce identification to use the blockchain. If you have a friend that sells bitcoin and you have cash, he probably won’t care to ask for your ID. Most security-minded cryptocurrencies can be traded with no form of identification produced.
With an exchange like Blockonix, trading is as simple as linking your crypto wallet and initiating a trade. Your name, address, and bank accounts are not necessary. Localmonero.co also keeps your trading details private although it only facilitates the trading of Monero coins.
Integrates with other Security Tools
Monero, ZCash, Dash and Verge and ZClassic provide enough anonymity in their blockchains. But for more protection, you can use cryptocurrencies in addition to traditional security tools like Tor browser. A good VPN or proxy can also help hide your IP address and maximize your anonymity.
If you use bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies that don’t offer total anonymity, adding VPN and Tor browser protection make sense. Most blockchains don’t hide your IP address from the public. An unauthorized person who gets hold of your bitcoin address can trace it back to your IP address and reveal your identity.
Tor browser anonymizes your online activities by hiding the identities of the websites you visit. VPNs, on the other hand, hide your IP address from the republic. By using cryptocurrencies for online shopping, no one can trace your connections and no one can identify you.
You can visit sites like CasinoPilot and pay using crypto, download files on torrent sites and access educational materials while keeping your identity anonymous. If you conduct online businesses, you can also use pseudonyms for identifications and accept all trades through the blockchain for your personal protection.
Decentralized: Not Controlled by Governments
One of the biggest benefits of the blockchain is its decentralized nature. No one has total authority over its control. Bitcoin’s blockchain, for instance, is managed by hundreds of thousands of nodes. Hacking one percent or even half of the computer nodes wouldn’t give you any authority over bitcoin.
A 51% attack on all blockchain is required to give you authority. According to research, a successful attack would set you back $1.4 billion dollars and months of hard work. In return, you would get temporary authority over the network and nothing to show for it financially since the coins would lose value instantly.
With such a high level of security and no centralized authority, blockchain communities govern themselves. Self-rule was bitcoin’s initial goal after all and the policy was successfully passed down to all blockchain projects that came afterward.
Gives you Power over your Privacy
Thanks to the blockchain being decentralized, you play a big role in keeping your identity secured. Whether it’s bitcoin or Litecoin, Ripple or EOS, you store your cryptocurrencies. Again, there are multiple ways to secure your digital currencies, leaving you with plenty of options to stay secured.
The best way to secure your cryptocurrencies is to use personal wallets and to set strong passwords. There are both online and foreign crypto wallets. Offline wallets come in the form of hardware devices or paper. Online wallets are software that can be installed on your computer or smartphones.
Unfortunately, the fact that you take part in securing your cryptocurrencies means you could mistakenly make yourself vulnerable. Announcing how much bitcoin you have, posting pictures of your addresses and giving access to your wallets can easily lead to the loss of your crypto coins.
Many of the security vulnerabilities related to blockchain technologies can be mitigated by secure blockchain ecosystems. Using bitcoins to buy goods on Amazon, does not give you a lot of privacy. Amazon has your name and address already.
However, blockchain ecosystems that keep user privacy at their cores can eliminate all rooms for vulnerabilities. From product descriptions to buying and selling, blockchains can be turned into secure chains that provide transparent, anonymous activities.
In the e-commerce sector, retailers publish their goods on the blockchain and allow buyers to rate and verify ingredients used in making them. The movement of goods from the stores to delivery can be tracked securely and without releasing any unrequired addressed. Payments are enabled by digital currencies and online reviews ensure customers are able to identify the best shopping platforms easier.
The blockchain is one of the best innovations of this decade. First introduced in 2009, tons of companies have embraced it, built their own versions and came up with numerous ways to use the technology. Its ability to keep users anonymous, its security and decentralized nature are some of the many reasons it’s dubbed the future of online transactions.
If you can play your part of keeping your digital currencies secure and use privacy-oriented currencies like Monero, your anonymity will be better than what any traditional security tools offer.