When asked about ways to get bitcoins anonymously, many users would likely already know about services like LocalBitcoins. Similarly, the site Wall of Coins offers sellers (though not buyers) similar privacy for their transactions.
There are more than two ways to skin the anonymity cat, however.
Throw goods and services into the mix, and you can find at least four additional ways to privately get your hands on Bitcoin (provided you create your accounts with a “burner” email address or one simply unassociated with you):
This escrow service cropped up in early 2014 to connect people who wanted to spend bitcoins on Amazon products to buyers who wanted to purchase those bitcoins. At its core, it's a simple Bitcoin exchange, but one that incorporates Amazon Wish Lists as their vehicle. The Wish List protects the shopper's shipping address from view of the bidders.
Because bidders are willing to pay a premium to maintain their privacy, shoppers on Purse get a minimum of 8 % off their first Amazon order. After each purchase is completed, Purse allows shoppers to ask for higher and higher discount rates – up to 50 %.
Roger Ver recently raved that he got 29 % off a new iPad using Purse's service.
Hong Kong-based Brawker (pronounced “broker”) offers a similar service to Purse, but they don't limit purchases to Amazon's offerings. If it's available to buy anywhere online, Brawker will facilitate the order. The shopper once again gets to set his or her own discount rate (most frequently 10 %).
Brawker also sets an additional step for shoppers – whereas Purse automatically selects the first bidder to take the deal, Brawker lets multiple bidders make offers. The shopper then selects from among them.
Brawker's site makes note that though any product can be purchased through their service, the best way to protect the shopper's shipping address is to use an Amazon Wish List.
3. Gliph Marketplace
This encrypted messaging service recently launched an internal marketplace, where users can buy and sell products from one another for Bitcoin or fiat currencies. Users can connect either a Blockchain.info or Coinbase wallet to their pseudonymous account.
Once you've claimed a permanent username, you can upload your products to the Marketplace and set your accepted payment methods.
Setting out to be an ad-free YouTube, WatchMyBit is a video platform that allows content creators to set a Bitcoin micropayment per view for their videos.
Videos can be marked as “free,” or charge pay-per-view amounts like 9, 16, or 20 US cents. Content creators get to keep 75 % of all bitcoins earned by their videos.
Payments can be sent to multiple Bitcoin addresses, removing the need for one person to act as trusted payroll manager for content created by multiple individuals.
Closing the Loop
Many look forward to the day when the “crypto loop” will be closed – that is, the day when people no longer need to convert fiat to crypto and vice versa – the day that those who use bitcoins get paid in them and spend them directly.
The above services certainly offer a step towards closing the loop for good.
Do you know of any other ways to buy bitcoins anonymously that aren't mentioned here?
Did you enjoy this article? You may also be interested in reading these ones:
- Brawker, the BTC Store for Everything, Implements Multisig
- The Digital Currency Dilemma: Anonymity vs. Privacy (Op-Ed)
- Report ‘Proves’ User IDs Can Be Traced from Anonymous BTC Transactions