Crypto mixers have often been considered to be the facilitators of online criminal activities that occur via the hidden web. In fact, the now-defunct Alphabay market is reported to have referred its users to a bitcoin mixing service to help them “clean” their crypto before making any transactions on the site.
Should Crypto Mixers Be Trusted?
Considering the promises of crypto anonymity that crypto mixers and tumblers continue to offer, the big question remains – should you trust crypto mixing services?
Mixing services provide a great privacy preservation tool for your cryptocurrency. However, trusting crypto mixers is a terrible idea. It would be very unwise to bet your freedom on the technical workings of a crypto mixer, and foolish to depend on a centrally operated service that may get breached.
In technical terms, in the context of security, crypto mixers have been designed to be as secure as the protocols that host them. Otherwise a host of mixers that can be accessed via the surface web present the most risk when it comes to OPSEC, deep web crypto mixers offer a high degree of protection.
The above difference is brought about by the fact that the server logs of centralized database systems can be accessed by all manner of actors including cybercriminals and law enforcement agencies. In addition, although crypto mixers usually claim that they do not store transaction information for more than a day, the possibility of external intrusion is still a threat, and they include injection attacks, social engineering and cross-site scripting may be used to access the information.
Otherwise, the crypto industry is filled with scam sites, seizures and stolen funds, and of which all stories begin with users trusting the wrong actors in the space. Various platforms continue to provide recommendations for popular crypto mixing service, although most of these platforms cannot be trusted.
A post on a Bitcoin forum documented a list of scam/ clone crypto tumbler or mixer websites that are still operating online where people have been losing funds every other day due to lack of information.
A Case of Crypto Mixing Scam
In recent reports, a Bitcoin enthusiast has intimated about his ordeal with a fake crypto mixer, in which he lost .1111 BTC to a crypto mixing service that turned out to be a scammer disguised as the bitmixer.io, which was shut in 2017.
The user invested some $1,000 worth of crypto in a crypto exchange befpre choosing to move the money to his best preferred bitcoin mixing service known as BitMixer.
Unfortunately, the crypto user would later find out that he had transferred the fund to a fake mixer considering that the purported BitMixer service had closed shop for more than three years. He realized the mistake he had made as soon as he noted that the wallet he sent crypto to had only registered 4 transactions in the last one year.
From this story, it is clear that the victim fell into the trap of fake websites that are posing as legitimate cryptocurrency mixers. In this context, the user did not detect the odd domain name of the fake platform – bitmixer-io.com. In addition, the fake website had provided BitMixer’s real wallet address considering the fact that it has been inactive since the year 2017.
The decision to close down BitMixer, which had grown to become among the most popular Bitcoin mixing services in existence, was heavily advised by the bad reputation that the crypto space had acquired.
According to the platform’s admin who acknowledged that the service had become popular fodder to fraudster schemes, the move to close shop was meant to clean the Bitcoin ecosystem by sending a silent message to other competing mixing service providers to follow suit.