Invented in 2008, Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. It has a unique name as a high anonymity platform, and tracing the wallet owners is not the most straightforward job. Still, it is not an impossible task to execute.5 but you will have to think about other sources outside the Blockchain to find out the owners of wallets. On the other hand, if you are an ordinary Bitcoin wallet holder, you should know how to protect your personal info as well. Let’s discuss both sides of the coin.
Can I trace a Bitcoin address?
According to the words of Bitcoin itself, “all the transactions are traceable and public.” So, theoretically, yes, you can trace information of an address. A Bitcoin address consists of series of numbers and letters, and it includes data of wallet balance, sender’s and receiver’s address, date of transaction, amount of the transaction, fees and the number of confirmations. However, the address of the actual wallet owners is not provided.
The owner discovery process is not a cakewalk but as said it is not impossible if you implement certain strategies. Let’s see how to search for an address outside of Blockchain.
How to search for a Bitcoin wallet address outside the Blockchain
As you know, there are no addresses mentioned in the Blockchain registry. and you will have to think about unorthodox ways to trace them.
- Searching online
This is a painstaking job for sure, but it can bring good results as some owners reveal their Bitcoin addresses for various reasons. Some post that information on blogs and forums in order to collect donations. You could trace the person using it without much of a problem even they didn’t reveal their personal identity.
- Tracing through transactions
When paying for purchases via Bitcoin wallets, usually the payment processor requires the owner’s personal info to process the transactions. This means there is a high possibility of these data stored in the database of the retailer and obviously traceable from there.
- Through Bitcoin exchanges
In the Bitcoin marketplace, “makers” sell goods to the “takers”, which is called an exchange. The marketplace works as a platform to exchange currency (crypto), and users have to submit their info to get the services. So, the database does store that information, but retrieving it isn’t going to be easy unless you have the authority to access it.
- Through national currency markets
This is more or less similar to the previous method. The government demands the personal information of the users to do transactions, and they will store the data for various reasons. Again, they never reveal those details to the general public, and it will be quite challenging to obtain them from the government database.
- Via IP Addresses
In this method, you can trace the IP address of the owner’s device that they logged in to the wallet or execute a previous transaction. However, tracing the IP address doesn’t guarantee you access to the personal information of the account holder. But, it’s not a Himalayan task, and you can trace the identity with a bit of digging.
Why people search for Bitcoin addresses?
First of all, it’s not only hackers who are running behind Bitcoin addresses. Even the government institutes are interested in knowing the actual owners of these wallets for valid reasons. The main reason behind this is that criminals nowadays use Bitcoin accounts to store funds in order to keep their black money safe.
That is one side of things. If you are a legitimate Bitcoin wallet owner, you should know how to keep your personal information safe. This is utterly important; as you saw in the top part of this article, tracing an address is not impossible, and if those details land in the wrong hands, consequences can be pretty catastrophic.
How to put a stop to the tracing of a Bitcoin address?
It doesn’t matter what the reason you have to keep your info safe of a Bitcoin wallet is; following the below steps would minimize the risks of being traceable.
- Change the address frequently
This might sound a bit strange, but changing the address for each Bitcoin transaction will make it harder for those who try to trace you.
- Never share these details publically
Yes, as we said, some people share Bitcoin info on various platforms to raise funds which makes you and your account vulnerable. It’s not about the address; do not mention anything about your Bitcoin wallet if you want to stay away from unnecessary circumstances.
- Use VPNs
A sound VPN service ensures the privacy of your server and adds more anonymity to your Bitcoin account and its transactions. Also, avoid using public Wi-Fi connections for Bitcoin-related stuff as it is an invitation for internet spies. Even, the home internet service providers can look over your shoulder and sell your valuable information to various parties. So, it would be quite advantageous to use a VPN service to keep all these potential issues at bay.
- Use privacy coins as much as possible
Using privacy coins such as Monero and Zcash is considered safest in the world of Blockchain. They usually don’t send or receive documents from the addresses, which mean all the important transactions are safe and concealed.
- Anonymous buying of Bitcoin
When you are buying Bitcoins, it is always a safer option to buy them with cash. Doing so will help you stay untraceable, and the simplest method is to use a Bitcoin ATM. Also, you can opt for a service like Paxful to purchase Bitcoins with cash as you have the luxury of skipping the verification procedure.
As you would know by now, tracing an owner of a Bitcoin account is not impossible if you have a proper plan. Similarly, you must understand that your personal data are traceable if not protected in an appropriate way. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, and the same popularity makes enough room for unwanted lapses as well. So be vigilant and enjoy the ride. Cheers!