Interestingly, Satoshi Nakamoto created the Bitcoin Forum in 2009. It migrated to the bitcointalk.org domain registered by Jeff Garzik in 2011 and is currently managed by pseudonymous “theymos” with a few other contributors.
On December 1, 2023, theymos announced “mixers to be banned” on BitcoinTalk.
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“Bitcointalk.org aims to allow about as much freedom as is reasonably possible. But this is not a darknet forum, and with mixers looking “grayer and grayer”, it’s no longer reasonably possible to allow linking to mixers.”— Theymos
Notably, the legendary administrator justified the decision by saying that some of these platforms got “taken down by law enforcement.” Theymos explained the ban will start on January 1, 2024 and provided a “definition of a mixer.”
Definition of a mixer and BitcoinTalk measures
In theymos words, “something is considered a mixer if it meets all of these requirements:”
“ 1. It has a feature advertised for taking property, improving its privacy somehow, and then returning roughly the same type of property. (…)
2. It is possible for the mixer to steal property passing through it. Assume that the sender does everything as correctly as possible. (…)
3. The service does not collect KYC-type info from all users.”— Theymos
Therefore, all existing “mixer announcement topics” will be locked and archived starting on January 1, 2024. Any users that direct people to mixers can get banned, and signatures mentioning these privacy services will be deleted.
Privacy as a fundamental human right
Despite being a tabu and controversial topic on finances, privacy is a well-known fundamental human right. In particular, both the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognize ‘privacy’ as a fundamental human right.
According to the UN:
“The right to privacy is central to the enjoyment and exercise of human rights online and offline. It serves as one of the foundations of a democratic society and plays a key role for the realization of a broad spectrum of human rights, including in the digital sphere, ranging from freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, access and enjoyment of economic and social rights. Interference with the right to privacy can also have a disproportionate impact on certain individuals and/or groups, thus exacerbating inequality and discrimination.”— International standards; OHCHR and privacy in the digital age
The use of privacy-boosting tools in finance, such as mixers, remains an active topic of discussion in many communities. However, these discussions will now be actively suppressed on what used to be one of the most popular open forums related to the topic.