How to Buy Bitcoins Annoymously in the US… perhaps.

By | April 4, 2013
A libertarian nightmare: Bitcoin meets Big Government
An anonymous member of the Bitcoin community has contributed these wonderful instructions detailing 6 simple steps to buying Bitcoins with near anonymity in the US.

• • •

Step 1.
Download and install TOR from https://www.torproject.org/
I’m now using the Tor Browser Bundle for Windows on one of my computers with Windows 8. When I use it and go to http://whatismyip.com, I confirm that the address identified as mine is one I’ve never seen. I can also click a button to get a new identity, and then I see a different IP address. It is best to disable all plugins and read the other warnings. Super neat.
Step 2. 
While using TOR create a Tormail account at http://jhiwjjlqpyawmpjx.onion
You can confirm the address at http://tormail.org/
Here’s my attempt to set up a Tormail account….
Fatal error: require(): Failed opening required ‘/home/tm/templates/general_error.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/local/share/pear’) in /home/tm/modules/global_http.php on line 11
According to a thread on Reddit, Tormail is superunreliable. Sometimes up, sometimes down. You can write to admin@tormail.org to try to get it going again.
Here’s a bit more about this free and seemingly super private email, which would be great if it worked…

Tor Mail consists of several servers, this hidden service, and an incoming and outgoing internet facing mail servers.
These internet facing mail servers are relays, they relay mail in and out of the Tor network, they are disposable servers purchased anonymously and not traceable to you or us.

No emails or logs or anything important are stored on those servers, thus it doesn’t matter if they are seized or shut down.
We are prepared to quickly replace any relay that is taken offline for any reason.

The Tor Mail hidden service and SMTP/IMAP/POP3 are on a hidden server completely separate from the relays, the relays do not know the IP of the hidden service. Tor Mail does not cooperate with anyone attempting to identify or censor a Tor Mail user.

Tor Mail’s goal is to provide completely anonymous and private communications to anyone who needs it. We are anonymous and cannot be forced to reveal anything about a Tor Mail user.

You can only sign up and access Tor Mail via our Tor Hidden Service, we do not ask for any identifying information such as name or address, and tor hidden services cannot see your IP so we have no way to identify you.

Step 3. 
While using TOR, visit http://www.bitinstant.com
This site is up and running. Cool. I can go to Walmart and… no they have all those cameras.
Step 4.
Choose the Cash deposit to Bitcoin to email option.
Step 5.
Follow the instructions on Bitinstant to make your cash deposit, and have your Bitcoins sent to your new Tormail account.
No ID is needed.
Yeah, sounds cool, but the what if the Tormail account is hacked. The whole thing could have been set up by one person as a way to steal cash via Bitcoins. Like what if you put your cash in at an Albertsons, during Halloween while you are in costume, of course, then you use this system to send the cash to by the bitcoins and pick them up in your email.
Step 6.
Receive your Bitcoins via email.
And voila.  Now you can use your anonymous e-mail account and anonymous bitcoins to buy goods and services online, truly anonymously.
The problem is, this is open to a Man in the Middle attack. A hacker (or owner of Tormail, whoever that is) could get your email with the bitcoins and you get a fake email. By the time you try to figure out why your coins don’t work, your cash is gone, no refund possible with Bitcoins.
Risky, but interesting, nonetheless.

I might try it with $1 first to see if it works… Once Tormail is back up.  Meanwhile, with my new privacy, I can do some interesting searches in Google for … uh … help with hemorrhoids or something similarly embarrassing.

Tor it up!

Leave a Reply