Cryptocurrency (Buying things anonymously)

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A cryptomoney is a type of currency that allows economic exchanges, and which is characterized by being stored electronically and incorporates encryption for security of transactions. Intuitively we can think of cryptomoneys as digital coins, however because of the technology they incorporate and their functioning they are not equivalent. Cryptomoney can serve, like conventional currencies, to buy products or pay for services.

There is no consensual definition, wikipedia tell us the following:

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies. Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency in 2009. Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have been created. These are frequently called altcoins, as a blend of bitcoin alternative. Bitcoin and its derivatives use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money/centralized banking systems. The decentralized control is related to the use of bitcoin's blockchain transaction database in the role of a distributed ledger [2]

There are different types of criptomoneys but they have in common that their value is determined by the supply and the demand and that in principle they are not falsifiable (even tough this does not prevent always fraud exists, see for example the case of OneCoin[3]).

Broadly speaking, we can trace the birth of cryptomonedas as part of the criptopunk movement that appealed to the use of cryptography as a tactic for social change. One of the first electronic coins was Digicash launched in 1990 by David Chaum, this centrally-operated currency already incorporated encryption and allowed electronic transactions[4].

Seven years later Adam Black proposed Hashcash a mining system that uses a proof-of-work algorithm work (POW [5]) originally used to limit spam (unwanted mail) and denial of service (DoS) attacks and which would be later incorporated into cryptomoenys. In 2009, an unknown identity under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto published Bitcoin which is one of the most used cryptomoneys and that we will use to develop this How to.

Bitcoin is characterised by [6]:

-> A decentralized p2p network (the bitcoin protocol)

-> Transactions are public (the block chain)

-> A decentralized deterministic coin and mathematical emission (distributed mining)

-> A decentralized transaction verification system (transaction script)

Currently it has the following fundamental principles [7]:

-> 21 million: the number of units will never exceed 21 million bitcoins.

-> Uncensored: no one can ban or censor valid transactions.

-> Open source: Bitcoin's source code should always be accessible to everyone.

-> Without permission: nobody can prevent participation in the network.

-> Pseudonym: no identification is required to participate in the Bitcoin network.

-> Fungible: each unit is interchangeable.

-> Irreversible payments: Confirmed transactions can not be modified or eliminated. The story is unforgettable.

You can watch the following video to see how a mining farm of bitcoins looks like in China

What do you need?

A USB with TAILS and a some persistence

How can I use bitcoins to buy anonymously?

To be able to make transactions with Bitcoin you need to have an address (with which you can receive or send Bitcoins) and keys, with which your transactions will be signed, the set of keys is known as a Wallet.

Wallets [8]

Bitcoin currently has a large number of wallets that can work as programs, mobile applications and even as devices.

Although Bitcoin incorporates encryption in order to achieve anonymity in purchases, it requires that transactions can not be associated with your legal identity. This is not so simple, you can see more information at: In our case we will use the wallet that comes in TAILS by default: Electrum [9].

Five steps to create a wallet in TAILS

1) In Applications go to Internet and open Electrum Wallet Bitcoin

2) Follow the process by selecting the option to create a new wallet standard

Creando tu cuenta.

3) The wallet creation program generates 13 words and suggests you copy them on paper or use a QRT code. You can choose the one you prefer but for the QRT code you will also need a program that reads this type of code.


4) You will be prompted for a password (use a strong one and do not forget it)


5) The program will ask you if it connects itself or if you prefer to do it manually, you can select the option that better suits you.


6) Your wallet has been created. You now have an address to 'receive' deposits and you can make transactions with others by sending them Bitcoins if you know the shipping addresses.

Adress to receive Bitcoins
Sending Bitcoins
===Adding Bitcoins to your wallet===

There are different ways to get your wallet to receive bitcoins, in our case to do it anonymously we suggest to find some intermediary organization that is dedicated to the transfer of bitcoins and that allows you to make a deposit in a bank that has ATMs that will not force you to associate the deposit with a personal legal identity (eg Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag .


As in other types of electronic transactions, what you need is to be told where to send the bitcoins (shipping address) and places where you accept this type of currency, for example it is possible to pay with bitcoins domains, electronic products, services, medicines, you can have some ideas in:

Final notes

Remember that all transactions are public so to avoid addresses being associated with purchases you can make deposits of smaller quantities of bitcoins and transfer equally smaller amounts.

You should also remember that ATMs have cameras and that now it is becoming easier to use face recognition through images.

Finally, there are countries where it is illegal to use Bitcoins [10] .


  1. ASCII de una moneda del siglo VI a. C. 1/3 de Estátera.