Bitcoin and VPN

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by david banner, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. david banner

    david banner Registered Member

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    Is it possible to pay for a vpn with bitcoin and be anonymous. How do you pay for the bitcoin, with a credit card. There are no throwaway cards here like in the US
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Yes it is very possible. First you have to be crystal clear that your coins are clean. Clean being defined as not tracing back to you or your btc wallet in anyway. For small amounts like an annual vpn subscription it is peanuts to tumble coins and break any trail to you. So, start with clean coins before attending to the other stuff. Google around about tumbling/mixing coins. I use darknet tumblers so I don't know if you have access to the deep web? Example only: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/helix/light

    Now consider the obvious. If you go to great lengths to pay anonymously but then connect to that vpn using your real ISP you have totally compromised some degree of anonymity. Why --- because the ISP already knows exactly who you are. Frankly even in this scenario I would use BTC because its a few seconds to send coins to an address. Remember I am already setup, clean, and good to go before even starting the process.

    What you are wanting to do makes a little more sense if you are using a coffee shop with vpn, OR a middle hop vpn where your ISP never sees the actual vpn connection. Hope I didn't confuse you. Your question could result in a multi page response and still all the angles would not be covered. Very broad question.
     
  3. david banner

    david banner Registered Member

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    so what to do. Connect to a different vpn first? Speed will suffer?
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yes, speed will suffer. I use nested VPN chains and Tor. See my guides on iVPN. But what I use for any particular task depends on what level of anonymity and speed I need. For some stuff, such as casual torrenting or streaming, speed is more important than anonymity.
     
  5. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    As Mirimir suggested it really depends upon the threat model you are facing. Most folks just want a vpn for maintaining some online privacy against "tracking" by ads, websites,etc... ----- > or maybe to hide their IP so they can download a movie/song and not face a DMCA notice in the mail. Those simple things don't require major surveillance blockades and major multi-hopping all over the internet. Hobbyists like me do that stuff even when I am merely checking weather sometimes, but its not necessary.

    David banner, we are just trying to be helpful. Mostly didn't want to see you jump through a ton of hoops and then direct connect to a vpn using your ISP thinking you are totally anonymous at that point. On the other hand, if you pick one of the top 5 or so vpn providers that come recommended here and you are only doing what I mentioned at the start of this post you should be fine and SAFE. If you need more than this and feel safe doing so please describe what you need to do while using the vpn and maybe we can configure something way more hardball!! I know Mirimir and I and several others here have some very "funky" setups. Almost insanely so. LOL!!
     
  6. david banner

    david banner Registered Member

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    Thanks mirmir and Palancar

    @Palancar. i want to avoid profiling/ get around geoblck to watch online US content example http://www.investigationdiscovery.c...guilty-video/steven-avery-innocent-or-guilty/ and torrent

    I thought if you connect to VPN your ISP cannot see where you go so . I do not get ads except spam which goes to my spam folder. I do not have facebook twitter


     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  7. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Your ISP cannot see where you go AFTER the vpn. They do however know the vpn server you connect to - exactly. From what you describe as your use needs you are probably just fine. When you mentioned Bitcoin and expressed concerns about anonymity I just wanted you to be aware that your ISP already knows your are using vpn X.

    The last thing to note is that activities POST vpn should not be "real name" stuff unless you really don't mind your ISP knowing at least partly where you go. It would take an adversarial role to connect facebook, twitter, etc... to the vpn IP but that is easy to do. I did note you don't use those services, it was an example only.
     
  8. david banner

    david banner Registered Member

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    OK thanks for your help
     
  9. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    @david banner
    no need to hassle with bitcoins. just put your greens in an envelope and on your way post it to mullvad with your account number. no name, no address, no cell phone number, no nothing.
     
  10. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Old school :)

    I've used gold coins too ;)
     
  11. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Then unless you use gloves; we interdict and search for fingerprints on the envelope or dna from where you licked the seal. My prints are in every data base from carrying of firearms for a living.

    Joking, but you see where all this can lead. Always some loose ends to any method.
     
  12. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Ha ha :) But maybe not really jokes, depending on adversaries.

    Safeguards for mailing cash:
    • collect dust from public places for obfuscating DNA
    • use cash obtained as change
    • have hands full, have change dropped in shopping bag
    • shower beforehand
    • wear freshly laundered clothes, with maximal skin coverage
    • work outside, not somewhere you normally go
    • wear hair net and hat
    • wear two layers of disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves
    • use freshly purchased envelope, from sealed package
    • use address labels printed on inkjet printer in black
    • use valid return address, near point of mailing (homeless shelter etc)
    • put public dust inside envelope with money, shake and tap out
    • don't lick seal
    • wipe outside of envelope with public dust
    • use public mail drop, at least 300 km from home
    • walk to it, after sightseeing etc, and check for cameras
     
  13. JDawg

    JDawg Registered Member

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    wow mirimir you go hard but hey big props for you for knowing you stuff.
     
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    :)

    I forgot a few:
    • don't tell anyone about it
    • don't carry cellphone
    • avoid license tag cameras, toll roads and bridges, etc
     
  15. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    @Palancar I have a bitcoin wallet but haven't funded it because every resource I've found to do it requires a bank account and ID verification. But are you saying I could fund my wallet the legit way with my personal info, then "scrub" the coins somehow which would make them absolutely untraceable? They'd obviously need to go to a different anonymous wallet afterwards I'm guessing.
     
  16. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Very simple and much easier than obfuscating physical dna, etc..

    Lets assume you have traceable coins sitting in a btc wallet and you want to use some to buy a vpn subscription without trace. (Disclaimer; I prefer to keep my coins stored in an already "clean" of trace btc address.) Back to your scenario.

    You can create wallets all day long with unique addresses. Just transfer/send the appropriate amount of coins to an address in a different wallet (wallet has never been used before) and allow for a 2.5 percent overage to account for the tumbling fee you will experience. Now take those coins and run them through a commercial mixer/tumbler. Its easy to do. You tell the tumbling service what address to send the outcoming coins to. For that you will pick the address (multiple addresses preferable) of another wallet you created and have never used. This means you have coins sitting in an address you control but there is no connection or trail to the original donor wallet address. Make sense?

    A tumbler works like a VPN if it helps you to picture what is going on. e.g. 30 people send coins INTO a tumbler and the outcoming streams are varied and are not instant. You NEVER have the incoming amount and the outgoing amount match to one address. I could send 1.5 btc into a tumbler and over a day varied amounts are sent to 3 or more addresses I designate and they are aware of. At the same time my coin outflows are being masked by the other people participating in the process. They are helping to obfuscate my transaction among all theirs as well. Also, just as with chaining vpns you can utilize multiple tumbling services depending upon the threat model you are faced with. i.e. - you can tumble your already tumbled coins and repeat the process using a different provider.

    This is such an easy process once you have the needed connections and experience. example again: http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion/helix/light
     
  17. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    Intriguing method @Palancar! It's one of those gems search engines just won't pull up!:rolleyes: or anything like it
     
  18. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I have had a few questions asked regarding the tumbling and why the intermediate steps of new wallet addesses. I would rather respond here publicly so others can benefit, or at least see my rationale. Wilder's is a clearnet forum so my description of steps will be made accordingly. First the primary reason to tumble/mix is if you suspect the coins you hold have what we define as "taint", or if you know they have TRACE to you. Here is an example of how you can search for taint: https://blockchainbdgpzk.onion/taint/1YOURBITCOINADDRESS and this is a simple example only.

    Springboarding from the decision to tumble we proceed as follows (many ways to do this, but I like this one): I use Electrum currently (there are many good software clients out there so don't make this about the wallet client but rather think the process through for this thread) and create a new wallet on a designated OFFLINE computer. Now you have virgin btc addresses to which you can send your "tainted/traceable" coins. Send the amount from your current wallet to the new btc address. The needed blockchain confirmations will start showing up and shortly you'll have enough to now send those coins to your tumbler. BEFORE you enlist the tumbler you need to have another set of btc addresses in yet another wallet. Those new addresses will be what you provide to the tumbling service as the "dump out" addresses. I like to use at least three over a span of a few hours so its impossible to associate these new addresses with the pre-tumble addresses. You could argue that three different wallets would be better than three addresses in the same new wallet. That is a discussion outside of the needs of those using clearnet "threat levels".

    Now for those reading this post and being unfamiliar with the process it sounds horrific and cumbersome. Picture this though. I am sitting at my cold storage offline computer and decide to create new Electrum wallets. I can make several new ones in well under a minute with seed backup in place. I sign a transaction (under 10 seconds) to send btc to an address and walk to my online machine. Using a usb containing the signed transaction, I send the transaction, and in a few seconds its done. Wait a few minutes for confirmations in the blockchain and I am ready go. The online computer never sees any private seed so its completely safe and its tunneled connection is a "mile long", LOL!

    Finally, I personally have decided to move the post-tumbled coins again. You may not ever need to.

    I hope this has answered the questions you asked.

    Caution: Bitcoins are as safe as can be with proper study and understanding of the process. A newbie mistake by exposing the seed or private key online will almost always result in your coins going bye bye.

    ps - the reason for setting up a new btc address between YOUR wallet and the tumbler is so that you could say you met someone face to face and sold your coins to him. The intermediate address would be exactly how such a transaction happens. You can't really tell an adversary that you sent YOUR btc to a tumbler because they will then want the outflow addresses. As soon as the tumble process is completed you will delete (forensically) all the wallets involved.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  19. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I do pretty much the same. I mix at least three times, however, whenever I really care about associations. And each of the wallets lives in its own VM. Mostly Whonix instances.
     
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