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‘How to Use Bitcoin Anonymously’ Article Gets Banned on Medium

Publishing platform, Medium, has allegedly jumped on the censorship “ban-wagon”, after suspending an account which posted a Bitcoin anonymity guide. Whilst Medium has not confirmed the reason, several Twitter users have claimed previous account suspensions based on crypto-related content.

Storm In A Teacup

So what can have incurred the wrath of Medium so much that they felt it necessary to wield the ban-hammer? Fortunately, the author reposted the article elsewhere, so we can read it and find out. Even more, fortunately, I’m going to paraphrase it, so you don’t need to bother reading it yourself.

The article has the disclaimer that you may not agree with it, so are welcome to read something else instead. If only Medium allowed us the same freedom of choice to read it in the first place, eh?

Bitcoin Privacy

Let’s begin…

Privacy is a fundamental human right, although government agencies are increasingly trying to curtail this in the name of security. Because some people use bitcoin for nefarious reasons, they want to monitor all use… but only for your own protection, of course.

So how can we eschew their benevolent intentions and secure our own privacy?

Keeping Your Privates Private

The article recommends always using cash for buying in/out and never using a service that requires AML/KYC. These regulations just tie your physical identity to your Bitcoin address and do little to prevent money laundering. In fact, as confirmed by Bitcoinist on a regular basis, the vast majority of money-laundering occurs through banks.

The guide also stresses that the same Bitcoin address should never be used more than once.

Reusing [Bitcoin] addresses is the virtual version of spreading an STD

Whilst this is an amusing metaphor, it’s hardly contentious, and pretty much standard advice. Oh, and as we’re giving good advice; don’t use wallets with Bloom filters, and do use an anonymity network or VPN.

Medium Jumps on the ‘Ban-Wagon’?

We then move on to the methods used to compromise your privacy, namely Bitcoin forensic analysis, and heuristics. Heuristics are essentially assumptions that are not perfectly correct, but good enough to use, in this case for identification and tracking.

As these are just guesses, there are ways that we can make them unreliable, and minimize the risk. One of these that the article goes into in a great deal of detail is coin-mixing. It recommends staying away from centralized mixing services and gives some suggestions as to alternative CoinJoins.

The guide sits somewhere between basic good advice and perhaps slight overcaution for most users. However, there is little in terms of content that could be considered contentious, or worthy of a suspension.

This being said, the links in the article do all seem to hit pages with endless loading loops. Even typing in the website address to get to the homepage (or any page other than the re-posted article) suffers the same fate.

It is possible that these ‘questionable’ links could have caused a suspension, and it is not recommended to click any of them. Nevertheless, there seems to be a growing trend towards de-platforming by PayPal, Patreon etc. and it would be sad if Medium was also taking this path.

What other methods can you share for increasing Bitcoin privacy? Share them below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Trump Luxury Hotel Credit Card Breach Displays Need For Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Trump Hotel Collection

With the Presidential Elections in full effect, the last thing any of the candidates needs is bad press. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, his chain of luxury hotels has fallen victim a security breach which gave hackers access to customer credit card information. It is not the first time major hotel chains are faced with security threats, and stepping up security measures is of the utmost importance.

Also read: Oliver Wyman Principal: Blockchain Exhibiting ‘Kardashian Effect’

Trump Luxury Hotel Chain Breached

Donald Trump, one of the candidates to become the next President of the United States, is not a happy camper when it comes to cybersecurity worries. His chain of luxury hotels – called the Trump Hotel Collection – has fallen victim to a security breach for the second time in less than a year. Similarly to what happened the first, customer credit card details were obtained,

But that is not all, as the hacker collective Anonymous has been able to attack Trump’s websites in the past, and will most likely continue to do so. However, it is doubtful the collective has anything to do with this new payment data breach of the Trump Hotel Collection. Hackers all over the world are looking for security flaws in any platform, preferably the ones storing customer credit card information.

In July of 2015, when the Trump Hotel Collection was targeted the first time, hackers managed to obtain details from multiple customers, which eventually lead to fraudulent credit card charges. After a thorough investigation, it turned out Donald Trump’s luxury hotel chain was responsible for these charges, as their security was breached.

Details regarding this latest breach, however, remain scarce for the time being. An investigation has been launched with the help of federal law enforcement, but there is no indication as to how this hack was performed. What is even more worrying is how it remains unclear as to which hotels were affected.

Stepping up payment system security should be a priority for any hotel chain owner or manager, but the US is lagging behind in this regard. Despite best efforts to introduce EMV chips and tiny microprocessors for one-time credit card payments, data breaches, and fraudulent transactions remain far too common.

Bitcoin is A Favorable Payment Option

Although a lot of people will argue credit cards are inherently insecure, changing consumer behavior will be a struggle. Bitcoin payments, for example, have a lot of merits as they do not disclose sensitive financial information during payment. However, hotel chains such as Trump Hotel Collection are not too keen on accepting digital currency due to its privacy and anonymity aspects.

As more and more of these data breaches take place, consumers will be forced to look for alternative solutions sooner or later. Bitcoin is a viable global solution for hotel chains, but Donald Trump is anything but in favor of a financial solution outside of the control of banks and governments by the look of things.

What are your thoughts on this recent Trump Hotel Collection data breach? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: CNET

Images courtesy of Robbreport, Shutterstock

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Trump Luxury Hotel Credit Card Breach Displays Need For Bitcoin