Adventurer, have you returned to hear more of Stormcrow’s ramblings? Very well then, let us continue from where we left off in part 1 and discuss how we might acquire unsurveilled Bitcoin. If you have already forgotten what we talked about previously you may revisit it here.
If you are just beginning your journey to getting off KYC/surveilled Bitcoin, you may be accustomed to purchasing your Bitcoin through a surveilled platform. In that case you may wish to continue purchasing Bitcoin, that is, trading your fiat coins for Bitcoin. There are a few ways to do this.
The simplest way is simply to buy it from a friend. You can pay them in cash or buy a mean for them and have they pay you back in Bitcoin. If you still have payments app like Venmo or Cash App you could even pay them through one of these methods, but don’t put “Bitcoin” or “censorship resistant digital cash” in the memo. Remember, Keep it secret, Keep it safe.
Another way is through a decentralized exchange (DEX) like HodlHodl, Bisq, or RoboSats. These services allow you to make and take orders for exchanging national currencies with Bitcoin. These exchanges are directly peer to peer, through escrow accounts and may be paid by various methods (including money order, bank transfer, Amazon giftcards and more) depending on the platform and availability. Prices will vary, but there is usually a certain markup over surveilled exchange prices. Remember, privacy is worth paying for. Said another way, the spy systems are subsidizing your purchase of surveilled Bitcoin.
The final way is to use a Bitcoin ATM. This works like a regular fiat ATM, but you put cash in and designate an address for the machine to send Bitcoin to. As with using a DEX there will be a privacy markup. Most machines have a limit of how much you can purchase at a time without triggering KYC surveillance requirements. If purchasing below these limits, you may purchase with simply using a phone number. The wise HeadyWook has an excellent guide on how to procure temporary phone numbers for verification services and then to use those for purchasing Bitcoin. At the time of this writing CoinFlip and RockitCoin are generally recommended, and CoinATMRadar is a good site for finding machines in your area.
Mayhaps you would like to sell your wares for coin?
If you prefer to earn your coin rather than purchase it with tainted fiat, that is also an acceptable path to eluding the Enemy’s spies. How you proceed in that will depend on the size of your enterprise. If you are making small, infrequent sales, or odd jobs, a wallet like Samourai or Blue should be sufficient. Simply create a new receive address for each customer or purchase.
If you have recurrent sales, for instance maybe you teach music to students or you have the same customers who buy eggs and milk from you at the market every week, another option is to use a Bip47/Paynyms. This technology allows the generation of a new address for your customer to pay to you each time, but they don’t have to wait for you to send it to them. The experience is akin to the arcane concept of “contacts” that you can pay to. As of right now it does require an initial notification transaction prior to payments which is why it is more prudent for recurrent customers than one time acquaintances. This is available from Samourai and Sparrow Wallets for now, with the hope that more will adopt this in the future.
For larger merchants, BTCPay is a self hosted server that will use your xpub to create new addresses and invoices. It integrates with a number of content management systems and ecommerce platforms as well. The bigger your store becomes the more tax implications you will have to recon with, but being self-hosted and using xpubs, you still have control over how much information is shared.
Mining is debatably the most private way of acquiring Bitcoin. It is pure, unadulterated, fresh from the source corn, and has the benefit of being a passive, consistent form of accumulation once the initial setup has been completed. Mining is the backbone of the blockchain, spending real world energy to secure the chain in exchange for Bitcoin UTXOs with no prior history. While in the days of yore, Bitcoin could be mined on your laptop’s CPU, at present, mining requires specialized machines called ASICs, purpose-built for this task. All Bitcoin first comes from being mined, before being sold off to exchanges or other buyers.
Most miners work in pools, combining their resources and sharing the rewards. Each pool handles these payouts differently but most withhold a certain percentage for coordination, and then pay out based on the amount of hashing power you contribute to the pool. While some pools have given in to the soul-rot that is KYC, most do not require your personal info. In fact, Lincoin Pool now has the ability to pay out to a paynym/bip47 address.
I hear you protesting, “Stormcrow, I was told you must be a large mining operation in order to make money by mining!” My friend, you are like Theoden, with the lies of Saruman poisoning your mind! This misconception is perpetuated by large mining operations so that you won’t compete with them. There is much to be said of the importance of home miners as a check against the corruptibility of larger miners, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Let it suffice that it is a higher upfront cost, and while there is much to consider when you are selecting machines, how you will power them, what your electrical costs will be and how you will manage the heat and sound (for they can be raucous things), breaking even or making profit is still possible in many places. There is also something to the idea of mining “at a loss” as a tradeoff for the benefit of accumulating without the Eye knowing. Remember that there is a privacy markup for other forms of buying unsurveilled Bitcoin.
In any event, if this is something you are interested in, the sorcerers at Home Mining Wizards are friendly to travelers and willing to help you understand the details. Another good resource is the Pleb Miner section from Ungovernable Misfits.
Take the first step
I could go on and on, but I know that the attention spans of Adventurers like yourself can be short! Take what you have learned here and pick a path. Learn how you may begin to acquire unsurveilled coin and go forth. Our journeys will likely cross again, and I should be glad to help, should you stray from the path. Remember we all make mistakes, look to your fellow rogues as helpers in the TSB chat room.