A Guide To Expert Bitcoin Privacy (2023)

Athena Alpha

When you have serious Bitcoin investments you need Expert Bitcoin Privacy. Without it, you leave yourself, your family and your bitcoin open to an untold number of criminals both online and in real life.

It’s no secret that Bitcoin, as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, has gained significant attention from criminals as well as governments. From hackers running endless Bitcoin Scams to try and take your coins to governments pushing harder and harder to pry into your financial transactions there’s never been a greater need for privacy than now.

But walking the path of increasing your privacy is long and like Bitcoin, requires work. While many dismiss privacy as something that “doesn’t bother them” because they’re too lazy, the truth is that it goes much deeper than just an invasion of your life.

Not protecting your privacy provides valuable information to criminals that puts you, your family and your bitcoins at risk regardless of the security measures you take to protect them.

Whether you’re a seasoned Bitcoin user or just a Beginner, this guide will cover an exhaustive list of privacy enhancing measures you can take to ensure you’re no where near the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to Bitcoin Privacy.

Note: This Privacy guide is for “Expert Levels” which are people with “Serious Investment” amounts of funds. If you’re securing smaller amounts, please see our Beginner Bitcoin Privacy and Advanced Bitcoin Privacy level guides

Key Expert Bitcoin Privacy Points

  • Beginner Privacy: Ensure you do everything in our Beginners Guide To Bitcoin Privacy
  • Advanced Privacy: Ensure you do everything in our Advanced Guide To Bitcoin Privacy
  • Fade Away: Progressively remove and scrub away any mention of Bitcoin in your life
  • Chain Analysis: Be aware of and progressively learn more about how chain analysis works
  • Expert General Computer Privacy: Clean and harden your network, computers and phones
  • Encrypt Everything: From chats to HDDs to phone calls, make sure everything is encrypted
  • Self Host Everything: Stop relying on other peoples computers and host your own data
  • IRL Privacy Best Practices: Stay anon, don’t use Public WiFi, wipe your devices before you go travelling and ditch all the paper bills

Expert Bitcoin Privacy

Firstly, you can get a full run down on what each of our levels entail and where you might fit into them by looking at our Understanding Bitcoin piece or this overview table below. For this Expert Bitcoin privacy guide we are only targeting people that have serious investment funds. For most people, this is an amount that represents either a significant portion of, or their entire life savings and is unacceptable to loose, so privacy precautions get pushed to the extreme.

Funds AmountPocket MoneySavings AccountSerious Investments
Exchange TypeNon-KYCNon-KYCNon-KYC
Wallet TypeSoftware (Hot) /
Hardware (Cold)
Hardware (Cold)Hardware (Cold)
Signature TypeSingle SignatureSingle SignatureMultisig
Key CustodySelf CustodySelf CustodySelf Custody
Key BackupLaminated PaperLaminated PaperMetal Seed Plate
Key Locations1+2+2+
Key SecurityNoneFire Proof SafeMultiple Methods
Own Full NodeNoYesYes
Electrum ServerPublic Electrum
Private Electrum
Private Electrum

Our top priorities for this site is to help everyone learn how to safely and privately buy, use, invest and grow wealthy with Bitcoin, so know that this piece is just the start of our privacy information.

As Expert level privacy is quite a bit more nuanced and complicated, this guide isn’t so much focused on telling you exactly how to use all the various possibilities, but more about beginning the conversation on them. We’ll be adding and expanding on each of the below points in much more detail as time goes on with their own separate pieces and how to guides where needed.

If you haven’t already, please also make sure you’ve already read and done the security steps outlined in our Advanced Bitcoin Privacy guide which broadly include:

  • Use A Hardware Crypto Wallet: Don’t buy it with your real world identity
  • Use Your Own Full Bitcoin Node: Build or buy your own node and connect all wallets to it
  • Use Tor: Ensure your node and all wallets only connect over Tor or a private VPN
  • Use The Lightning Network: Use a separate wallet over Lightning to purchase daily goods
  • Use Coin Control & Labelling: Label and be selective about which sats you spend

Fade Away

Although it isn’t strictly related to Bitcoin, the very first and most important privacy advice we can give is to simply fade away. Scrub your entire life (both online and in meatspace) of anything related to crypto or Bitcoin.

Remove stickers, coffee cups, plushies and anything else that signals you know anything about Bitcoin. Delete Facebook posts, Tweets, pictures of your laptop with stickers on it, change that Bitcoin themed wallpaper on your phone etc.

You want a random person to Google Stalk you and have zero clue that you’ve even heard of Bitcoin before. That means either removing all the Bitcoin related accounts from Facebook etc or creating a separate account that’s anonymous just for that side of the Internet.

This should also extend to talking to friends and family. No starting conversations that start to hint of just how much you know and have invested. Nothing good ever comes from sharing the fact that you’re a rich baller, especially when it comes to Bitcoin! Most people will just resent you or worse, forever ask you for favours or jobs because “it means nothing to you” you know?

Be Aware Of Chain Analysis

Chainalysis Reactor App example

Chain Analysis is the application of various heuristics to try and give a best guess as to who likely owns what bitcoins. This is possible because the Bitcoin Blockchain is open and free for anyone to view. We mentioned this in our Beginners Guide To Bitcoin Privacy, but now that you more thoroughly understand how Bitcoin works it’s time to revisit it in more detail.

When seeking an expert level in privacy you’ll want to be fully aware of how chain analysis firms work, what we’re up against and what you can do to ensure their job is as impossible as it can be.

These firms interact with the highest levels of Crypto Exchanges and international government departments to track funds across every blockchain, cryptocurrency, DeFi protocol, continent and more.

You should at the very least understand how they work, what they can and can’t do and how to protect yourself from their prying eyes. We go much deeper into this with our dedicated article: What Is Chain Analysis And How To Protect Yourself From It, but some things you can do now to protect yourself include:

  • Don’t Reuse Addresses: Each time you receive funds it should go into a brand new address
  • Self-Custody Your Coins: Hold your own Private Keys and keep them safe
  • Don’t Use KYC Exchanges: Always trade bitcoins using non-KYC Crypto Exchanges
  • Use Your Own Full Bitcoin Node: Build or buy your own node and connect all wallets to it
  • Use Tor: Ensure your node and all wallets only connect over Tor or a private VPN
  • Separate Funds: Use separate wallets for KYC and non-KYC funds
  • Use The Lightning Network: Use a separate wallet over Lightning to purchase daily goods
  • Use Coin Control & Labelling: Label and be selective about which sats you spend
  • Don’t Dox Yourself: Never associate your real world identity with any of your addresses
  • Fade Away: Progressively remove and scrub away any mention of Bitcoin in your life
  • Encrypt Everything: From chats to HDDs to phone calls, make sure everything is encrypted
  • Self Host Everything: Stop relying on other peoples computers and host your own data

Expert General Computer Privacy

As noted above, you essentially want to be as invisible as possible. Ideally there should be no information about you at all anywhere. While this isn’t 100% possible, we approach this goal in two main ways:

  • Eliminate: Remove existing data and remove as many sources that are spewing new information about you out into the world
  • Isolate: For the sources that cannot be stopped, we should at least isolate them so they’re only giving away the most limited amounts of information as possible

Below we will go through all the ways to help accomplish these two steps.

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How to do all of these things and maintain your privacy!