Security

Best Anonymous Payment Methods to Keep People Out of Your Business

By Sydney Butler / June 5, 2019

Money makes the world go round, but it can also be a real pain to keep your business dealings private sometimes. While no one really cares if you know they spent money at the grocery store, there are some transactions that are really none of anyone’s business. The Dark Web in particular plays host to plenty of things that people want to pay for, but don’t want to be traced back to them. Whether there really is something like a truly anonymous payment method, there are some ways you can send or receive money that is very unlikely to be traceable.

Prepaid Gift Cards

Gift cards are, ironically, one of the worst gifts you can actually give someone. You’re basically giving them money that can only be spent at one particular shop instead of simply giving them cash. While that sucks, they actually represent a pretty interesting way to move money around anonymously.

As long as the person you want to pay is happy to receive a particular gift card to resell or use at their discretion, there’s actually very little regulation if any surrounding these products. You can buy them using cash at many retail outlets and then physically send the card or just send the actual number. For example, iTunes gift card numbers are all you need to redeem them. As long as you never have to give your real details for the gift card, it becomes a viable way to move money around.

Disposable Credit Cards and Prepaid Debit Cards

credit_card

Credit cards are still the mainstay of online transactions, but they are anything but anonymous. Heck, your actual name is written on the front of the card! Luckily there are now virtual credit card services that let you create a credit card, load it up with money from another source, use it to pay for something and then delete it.

This is a good way to hide your identity from the person you’re paying, but of course, the company who runs the virtual credit card company knows who you are and where the money you loaded onto the card came from.

Another alternative is the humble prepaid debit card. Just like gift cards, you can buy these in many countries at pharmacies, grocery stores, and other similar outlets. The laws around these differ from country to country, but usually, if the card’s value is less than a thousand USD, you won’t have to show any ID and the store selling the card to you won’t capture any information. If you purchase the card with cash, you’re leaving very little to be traced.

It’s now often possible to use prepaid debit cards online in the same way you can use credit card numbers. So if you buy one of these cards anonymously, you can also pay with them anonymously. You don’t even have to use the card directly. You simply have to send the card details to the person you want to have the money.

Anonymity-focused Cryptocurrencies

The Pirate Bay Monero Miner Anonymous Payment

Image Courtesy of Medium

BitCoin made big headlines for supposedly being an anonymous way to move money across the internet. Unfortunately, it turns out that the original cryptocurrency is not as anonymous as people have thought. The main problem is the core technology behind Bitcoin. That is the blockchain that acts as a shared public ledger. In some cases, it’s possible for the records of the blockchain to be cross-referenced with other information (such as times and amounts) which can lead to your identity being revealed.

The good news is that newer cryptocurrencies such as Monero have been designed from the ground up to deal with these privacy issues in Bitcoin. Of course, new exploits could be developed in the future that make these new measures obsolete and since the blockchain never forgets, it’s still a significant risk.

Cash

Case Full of Cash

Finally, we get to the oldie, but a goodie. Cash. We are all familiar with these valuable pieces of paper and there are few ways of tracing cash payments. Of course, the big problem is that you have to physically move cash in order to complete a transaction. Still, you always have the option of cash on delivery. With a faked name as the recipient at a neutral address. You can leave money at an agreed drop for someone and as a last resort physically send the cash as a package. However, that last one might be a bad idea since in some countries mailing cash is illegal or subject to regulation. Still, if you can find a safe way to pay with cash, it’s still one of the best anonymous payment methods.

Degrees of Anonymity

It’s easy to think of anonymity as being an absolute concept. The truth is that how anonymous something is really it comes down to effort and resources. If there’s enough incentive, powerful institutions will go to incredible lengths to uncover someone’s identity. So, if you just want to hide the fact that you’re buying adult material or care about your general financial privacy, it’s unlikely anyone will ever link your name to those transactions. If you’re planning on doing something illegal, however, you may bring the might of governments down on you. That’s a whole other ball game. So, you have been fairly warned!

Have you discovered a good way to make payments while protecting your identity? Let us know in the comments. Lastly, we’d like to ask you to share this article online. And don’t forget that you can follow TechNadu on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!



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