Bitcoin is often mistakenly described as a "fully anonymous" cryptocurrency. In fact, while global superpowers can't prevent you from spending your bitcoins, that doesn't mean they can't figure out what you bought. More than 100 Silk Road users have gotten into trouble with law enforcement since 2012, and the Snowden leaks revealed that the National Security Agency has worked to uncover the identities of other bitcoin users as well.
There's no such thing as perfect anonymity, but a handful of best practices can go a long way toward shielding your transactions from government spies and other malevolents, writes Jim Epstein in his guide to buying Bitcoin.
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