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Hackernoon logo#NoBrainer: Use Only Cryptocurrency to Buy Controversial Goods by@jessealmeda

#NoBrainer: Use Only Cryptocurrency to Buy Controversial Goods

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@jessealmedaJesse Almeda

Are you buying controversial products with your bank account? If so,
you may want to consider using cryptocurrency instead. Cryptocurrency gives you privacy and anonymity as long as you buy it in a way
that can’t be traced back to you.

Cryptocurrency is great for making anonymous purchases, but that anonymity isn’t always air-tight. Sometimes, transactions can be traced back to you through your email address. Even if you use a burner email address, your IP might show up somewhere in the relay. However, there are more benefits to using cryptocurrency than just anonymity.

Cryptocurrency bypasses the credit card companies

There are a couple of reasons to bypass the credit card companies with
your transactions. Some credit card companies don’t allow customers to use their services to purchase controversial or illegal goods. For
example, some credit card companies prohibit merchants from using their
services to process payments for firearms, ammunition, and tobacco products.

You might be thinking you don’t buy anything illegal, but if you use CBD — a popular, harmless, non-psychoactive extract from industrial hemp — that’s where things get complicated.

The 2018 Farm Bill made industrial hemp legal, which makes CBD extracted from industrial hemp legal. However, the general mindset has not yet shifted, and CBD remains controversial. Credit card companies have backed off of their initial prohibition, but now the banks get to decide whether to process payments for CBD products. In many cases, they won’t, and customers have to pay in cash.

Online merchants have an easier time with CBD. For instance, you can buy high-quality, lab tested CBD products with a credit card from Hemp Bombs. However, an increasing number of companies are starting to offer cryptocurrency payment options.

For instance, Times of CBD lists Bluebird Botanicals as a retailer that accepts most major cryptocurrencies. Vape Crypto CBD is another retailer that accepts Bitcoin for payment.

Some credit card companies cancel accounts over politics

In recent years, credit card companies have made it clear that they won’t support certain controversial people or products. In the last few years, credit card companies have terminated accounts belonging to several popular, yet controversial people and companies simply for expressing their views on social media.

This is known as “cancel culture,” a phenomenon where people silence opposing views by de-platforming people they disagree with. Unfortunately, credit card companies have been canceling dissenting voices by canceling their accounts, making it hard for them to do business.

If you’ve noticed some of your favorite influencers getting canceled by credit card companies, using cryptocurrency for your transactions will reduce the amount of support you’re giving the credit card companies.

Be selective with your cryptocurrency choices

If you’re set on using cryptocurrency for controversial transactions, make sure you choose the right currency. Just because the transactions are stored in blockchain technology doesn’t mean it’s always anonymous, safe, or secure.

There are always people working hard to find ways to track crypto
transactions. For instance, it’s been reported that the intelligence firm called CipherTrace claims to have created a tool to trace Monero cryptocurrency transactions. CiperTrace plans to license this tool exclusively to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If their claims are true, that means the U.S. government will have access to the transaction details of all Monero users, which defeats the purpose of using cryptocurrency in the first place.

Technically, cryptocurrency has never been flawlessly private

Although the general public views cryptocurrency as private, that’s not
the case. Each transaction records the wallet address of the people involved in the transaction and if someone connects their wallet to an account on a cryptocurrency exchange, their email address could reveal their identity.

It’s not impossible for transactions to be traced back to you, even if you’re careful.

Tips for maintaining your anonymity

Although there are no absolute guarantees, the best way to stay anonymous is to buy your cryptocurrency with a prepaid credit card. If you sign up for any cryptocurrency exchanges, make sure to use an email address that exists solely for that purpose.

If you’re serious about maintaining anonymity, get a Protonmail account to keep the contents of your cryptocurrency-related emails encrypted.

When you sign into your dedicated crypto email account, never save your
password in your browser because most browsers save passwords to the cloud, which can become compromised in a data breach.

Last, always use a VPN when conducting cryptocurrency transactions and doing any crypto-related business online. Privacy may not be guaranteed, but at least you can make it significantly harder for anyone to track your transactions.

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