Bitcoin Blender Users Ordered to Withdraw Funds in Sudden Shut Down of Crypto Mixing Service
- Bitcoin Blender voluntarily shut down its cryptocurrency mixing services.
- Vitalik Buterin commented that he may launch a similar service for ether.
The bear market of the cryptocurrency industry has proven that no firm is safe from the lack of activity during hard times. Unfortunately, that is the fate that Bitcoin Blender recently reached. Bitcoin Blender, a cryptocurrency mixing service, chose to shut down operations this week, asking that users withdraw their funds.
This development was reported by BleepingComputer on May 30th, saying that the service posted a message on their website, which appeared on both the Tor network and on Clearnet. The message stated:
“We are a hidden service that mixes your bitcoins to remove the link between you and your transactions. This adds an essential layer of anonymity to your online activity to protect against ‘Blockchain Analysis.’”
This Monday, the shut down was announced on the BitcoinTalk Forums, and there were many users left with no ability to actually withdraw their funds, considering the short window.
One user mentioned that they were unable to succeed in accessing the website over the course of two to three hours, and that they had missed the warning from the company to withdraw their funds.
Presently, the Tor mirror cannot be accessed, but the Clearnet website is still available. Authorities in Europe had banned BestMixer, which is one of the three largest cryptocurrency tumblers, due to their connection with money laundering.
This type of criminal activity is always a major concern amongst mixers, depending on the team and which groups can access it. However, it also promotes the anonymity of the market that many consumers prefer.
Vitalik Buterin, the well-known co-founder of Ethereum, made an announcement soon after Bitcoin Blender shut down their service, saying that he may begin a mixing service for one-chain smart contract-based ether. The note by Buterin can be viewed at https://hackmd.io/s/rJj9hEJTN#We-need-a-first-step-toward-more-privacy.