If you subscribe to the many myths about blockchain and Bitcoin, you possibly believe that all Bitcoin transactions are anonymous. You may also have an image in your mind, of undercover criminals carrying out secret transactions with Bitcoin (BTC) as their currency of choice. Headlines about dark web marketplaces (such as SilkRoute and AlphaBay) using BTC to crack shady deals must have fuelled your imagination even further. However, if you have a more detailed knowledge of the crypto world, you probably know that all these assumptions of BTC anonymity are mostly false. Traceable records of transactions, identifiable by visible public keys, make Bitcoin transactions far from anonymous. However, even people with no criminal intentions frequently have privacy needs for which they need to liquidate their BTC holdings urgently yet anonymously. Here we take a look at a few of the ways in which you can possibly do that.
1. Using a Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATMs are becoming increasingly popular and research says that global Bitcoin ATM market will reach $145 million by 2023. Although there have been increasing concerns over legality, with the first Indian Bitcoin ATM being declared illegal soon after it was opened and migrants in Australia falling prey to a Bitcoin ATM fraud; the popularity of these do not seem to be falling anytime soon. Using a Bitcoin ATM to cash out seems to be the easiest way to go about it because most Bitcoin ATMs have really lax verification procedures for small transactions. Using a Bitcoin ATM does not require you to interact with any system or go through lengthy registration or verification procedures. Hence, by and large, they provide a great deal of privacy and anonymity to the user. The trick is to make sure the transaction is not too large at one go so it doesn’t attract suspicion or increased interest.
2. Use a Local Trading Platform
In our discussion on how to buy Bitcoin using PayPal, we have told you how you can use local trading platforms to get connected to sellers who accept PayPal payments. Those same platforms, such as LocalBitcoins, allows you to sell your BTC in return for cash, provided you can find a buyer willing to pay you the required amount in cash or fiat currency. Of course, you will have to conduct the due diligence yourself and make sure you’re dealing with a trusted individual. LocalBitcoins is the most popular trading platform in this regard and this Finnish company offers services to citizens and residents of over 200 countries in total. You can simply put up an advertisement on the platform or respond to a prospective buyer’s advertisement and work out a deal for yourself. Participation on this site does require you to complete a short registration and verification process. However, you can easily use a secondary email id that cannot identify you or a Tor Browser coupled with a logless VPN to stay anonymous as you conduct your business on the platform.
3. Buying a Product With Bitcoin and Selling it For Cash
A slightly convoluted way of achieving this objective is to purchase a product from one of the vendors such as Gyft (that sells you gift cards in return for Bitcoin) and buy something of equivalent value, for example, a smartphone. Then you can simply sell that product on a platform such as eBay and recover at least a large section of the amount, if not the whole of it.
Now you know exactly how to sell Bitcoin while maintaining your privacy and anonymity. However, if you wish to go for a coin that promises you privacy and anonymity without having to take roundabout ways like the ones mentioned here, you must read our guide to ZCash, a privacy coin built especially for that.