What Are Coin Mixers?
Privacy advocates call them a necessary tool for protecting anonymity, while
government officials call view them as a means of money laundering and issue sanctions
against one of the most popular Ethereum coin mixing services, Tornado Cash,
effectively banning Americans from using it, thanks to the Treasury Department. But
what do these coin mixers exactly do that are so controversial? In this article, we will
discuss the technology behind coin mixers and their different uses, both legitimate and
What are coin mixers and what do they do?
Broadly speaking, coin mixing refers to any activity that involves the obfuscation of
funds by substituting them with others. So technically, coin mixers are services that
allow users to make untraceable transactions by hiding the connection between the
sender and the recipient. Now what does all that even mean? In simpler terms, when a
user sends cryptocurrency to a coin mixer, the service mixes it with a large pile of
another coin or token, and then sends the equivalent amount of mixed coins to a
There are many legitimate uses for this type of service. For instance, no one would want
their employer to know the intimate details of every bank or credit card transaction
they have ever made, let alone the details of their cryptocurrency transactions.
Considering the growth in popularity and adoption of crypto and blockchain tools, real-
world identities are becoming increasingly linked to blockchain addresses and this may
after all be an issue to those who value privacy above all else. Thanks to the blockchain
technology, every interaction, purchase and transfer associated with users’ personal
addresses are now laid bare on a public distributed ledger, but with the help of coin
mixers, that is fortunately no longer an issue.
Although many users around the world prefer to rely on the added privacy that coin
mixers provide, it is the very quality that attracts cybercriminals, making them a target
for law enforcement as they see them as a way for criminals to launder money and
obscure where the funds originated.
However, the main purpose of coin mixers, as their advocates argue, is quite the
opposite. There is definitely a solid reason users around the world love services like
Tornado Cash so much. They are simply useful! Especially in cases where the users’
activities involve civil disobedience, protest, and even journalism and can put their
careers and more importantly, lives in danger.
In a world where every single thing you do is monitored, coin mixers help their users
preserve their right to privacy!
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