A man apprehended for selling two pounds of meth to an undercover agent pleaded guilty to running a $25 million money laundering scheme using Bitcoin.
Despite the widespread belief that Bitcoin is anonymous and private, Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies’ privacy isn’t always good enough by default. Bitcoin’s balances are public, and addresses cannot offer more than pseudonymity. There are some services that can help with masking transactions, but they are not popular and easy enough to gain a large user-base and they also often have fees. Some news about Bitcoin privacy is promising: the implementation of SegWit and the use of the Lightning Network might be first steps in improving privacy. Some developers are focusing on the privacy of cryptocurrencies and developing protocols suitable for private transactions. Today, there are more and more cryptocurrencies that uses different privacy technologies but have their focus on anonymous transactions. Still, popular cryptocurrencies are trying to have the feature of public transactions as they may be used in business banking.
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