In order to anonymize their Bitcoins, people often go through various processes. One of the easiest ways to do so is to use a cryptocurrency mixer. The biggest cryptocurrency mixer right now, Bitmixer.io looks like it will be shutting down soon. It is unknown if this has anything to do with the cryptocurrency mixer’s linking to AlphaBay and its users.
This information was quite a shocker to the cryptocurrency community. The mixer has been around for a while and is one of the few trusted mixing service providers, and the way it was designed was to give all Bitcoin users additional privacy since the popular cryptocurrency doesn’t have much to begin with.
Over the years, mixing services got somewhat of a bad reputation, being linked with criminal activity on the web, mainly darknet. There had been a time when AlphaBay, a well-known darknet marketplace would direct its customers to BitMixer to remove any dirt from their cryptocurrency. It is likely that this connection was what got the attention of the law enforcement officials and made them investigate further into the mixer and people behind it.
The shutdown was announced on Bitcointalk. Despite the company earning a good amount of profit due to the fact the mixer service isn’t free, it will be shut down immediately. No one really knows what frightened its operators and what exactly is going on. BitMixer would be successful without the illegal transaction connected to the darknet, and there are still other mixing services.
In an interview back in 2015, the BitMixer’s owner said that its company had processed over 65,000 BTC in one month. If the information is true, that would mean that all those users will have to move somewhere else, which would mean that other mixers may see their business grow. Another possibility is for users to turn to other cryptocurrencies such as Monero or Dash.
Funnily enough, BitMixer administrator sees how the other currencies are way better for darknet transactions. Dash, as well as ZCash, have such privacy traits that would be very convenient when doing darknet transactions. BitMixer wasn’t made to be used in such a way, but no one can say that darknet hasn’t done much for the popularity of it. It will be intriguing to see if this shutdown will affect the darknet markets.
Thus far, the community within Bitcointalk doesn’t seem pleased with this decision, and that makes sense. With fewer mixers around, the entire business of removing the taint from coins will become more centralized, which could become a big problem in the future.