Bitcoin - DNM Buyer Bible

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a payment system. To get some basic information please take 5 minutes of your time and read the texts on these two sites:

F.A.Q.

If the price of bitcoin increases/decreases, does that mean the listing on the DNM become more expensive/cheaper?

Not at all. The price will still be the same. Say if a vendor has a listing for $20, and the price of bitcoin drops, the item will still be $20, but the bitcoin equivalent will change. the vendor will only loose money after someone has made a purchase and the price of bitcoin drops.

Do both Bitcoin wallets have to be online at the same time?

No, to make transactions it is not necessary to have both Bitcoin wallets (the sending and receiving one) to be online. The transaction will be processed automatically, just make sure you follow the tips in the following chapters.

What is a satoshi?

The satoshi is currently the smallest unit of the bitcoin currency recorded on the block chain. It is a one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). More details here.

Important tips regarding Bitcoin

  • SAVE YOUR ELECTRUM SEED. Write it down on a sheet of paper, in a text file and/or remember it. Just make sure that you still have access to it if you loose your Tails USB stick. Then you will always be able to recover all your bitcoins.
  • Do I have to do something in order to receive bitcoins? No, you just need to send the bitcoins to one of the addresses under the "Addresses" tab. It is not necessary to fill out the form under the "Receive" tab.
  • Use a new Bitcoin address for every transaction. You have many different ones to choose from under the "Addresses" tab and you should use them because it does not cost anything to use or create new addresses. It further strengthens your OpSec, so do not use one Bitcoin address twice.
  • Make sure you have enough to order and pay for shipping. A little extra left over is ok.

How to buy bitcoins

There are two ways you can obtain Bitcoin. You can mine it, however this requires investment in the appropriate hardware, so most people who use the DNM will purchase their Bitcoin one way or another.

Fortunately there are many different ways how to buy Bitcoin. Some are can be easier and more convenient and some can take a bit longer but do not require you to reveal your identity. Since you are going to buy some not-so-legal items with them it is desirable to not have your identity linked to the bitcoin you bought in the first place, so you do not have to go through the hassle of attempting to obfuscate it later on.

The following are descriptions of several ways to buy bitcoins. The general rule is to not visit these websites with the TorBrowser or a proxy that is not in your country. The reason behind that is that you do not want to raise suspicion because buying bitcoins is not illegal so why would a user need to log in using the Tor browser? However you can use the WiFi of a cafe (or another network that is not tied to your identity) or a VPN (choose a server that is in your country) to log into these websites.

That way you do not raise suspicion but still are anonymous, as long your purchase methods do not reveal your identity to the website. It is your choice to pick what path you want to go in order to obtain bitcoins. If you are just a personal buyer, it will be still fine if you use a non-anonymous method, like a bank wire transfer, as long as you follow the instructions in the Sending bitcoins chapter too.

Can I use fake names/email addresses/. . .?

Sometimes you have to give a real name or other identifying data to create an account on the bitcoin exchange. While buying BTC is not illegal, you do not want to make it too easy for law enforcement in case they investigate you. So the general rule of thumb is to use fake/throwaway data as long as you do not break the law with that.

For example it is better to create a new email address than using your existing one to create an account on the exchange. But do not, for example, buy a fake ID to avoid showing your real ID. Keep in mind to not use obvious fake data, i.e. avoid using names like "John Smith."

Methods - How & Where to Buy Bitcoins

LocalBitcoins (LBC)

LocalBitcoins.com is one of the most popular methods of buying bitcoins. On this site, you will find lots of sellers and the price per bitcoin they offer. You can get some great deals on bitcoins, but make sure you check the rate before you buy, do not get ripped off!. It is best to choose sellers that already have some positive feedback to reduce the risk of you getting scammed.

There are many methods which you can use to buy bitcoins: the easy and fast ones (e.g. wire transfer) are pretty common and the rates are lower. However that often comes with the disadvantage of losing your anonymity. Other methods, that are a bit more time consuming and slower (e.g. meeting face to face with a seller), can be more anonymous though.

You normally get your bitcoins within a short space of time. You can then move your bitcoins from your LBC wallet to any wallet of your choice. More on that in the following chapters.

Three of the most often used and more anonymous payment methods are:

  • In person - you meet with the seller in a public place, you hand them cash and they send you the bitcoins. Make sure you read this post before doing a cash trade. The main thing is to select a seller that has a good history. Message them any questions you have and they will be helpful so you know what to expect. They'll bring a phone or laptop with them and will send the coins on the spot. Once they are sent it's impossible to cancel the transaction. You can also check the transaction on the blockchain using your phone/laptop. You can also use escrow.
  • Bank deposit - open a trade, and the seller gives you their bank and account info. You deposit cash into their bank account, upload a picture of the deposit slip, and they send you bitcoins. Some banks will require ID from you to make the cash deposit into any bank account.
  • Cash in the Mail - you send cash to the seller through the mail, and they send you bitcoins.

Paxful

Paxful.com is a P2P trading platform similar to LocalBitcoins where sellers and buyers exchange directly and Paxful provides escrow. It is possible to buy coins without
providing ID verification, though the rates are usually higher. Here is some more information on Paxful such as ID requirements from /r/DarkNetMarkets users.

BitQuick.co

BitQuick.co is a US-based hybrid P2P exchange where BitQuick provides escrow service between you and the trader, or you can buy directly from BitQuick. BitQuick will sell you bitcoins (up to $400 without ID verification), or you can trade with one of the independent sellers who sells bitcoins on their platform by cash deposit at banks and credit unions, MoneyGram payment, or Western Union transfer. It is like LBC and Paxful but with fewer payment options.

Bisq

Bisq, available from Bisq.network (formerly BitSquare.io) is an open-source desktop application that allows you to buy and sell bitcoins in exchange for national currencies, or alternative cryptocurrencies and supports cash transactions. Quoted from their website:

Unlike traditional online exchanges, Bisq is designed to be:

  • Instantly accessible – no need for registration or approval from a central authority.
  • Decentralized – there is no single point of failure. The system is peer-to-peer and trading can not be stopped or censored.
  • Safe – Bitsquare never holds your funds. Decentralized arbitration system and security deposits protect traders.
  • Private – no one except trading partners exchange personally identifying data. All personal data is stored locally.
  • Secure – end-to-end encrypted communication routed over Tor.
  • Open – every aspect of the project is transparent. The code is open source.
  • Easy – we take usability seriously.

Mycelium Marketplace

Mycelium Marketplace (previously called "Mycelium Local Trader") is the P2P bitcoin trading marketplace within the popular Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet available on Android devices. There is a Mycelium Wallet for iPhones, but the Mycelium Market portion of the app is not allowed by Apple. In the app, go to Buy / Sell Bitcoin and then
hit Mycelium Marketplace, and you will see any local bitcoin traders for a specified area who posted an ad on Mycelium Market and their feedback on previous trades. Trades are handled through the app, but you meet the trader in person at a public place to make the transaction - usually settled in cash, very similar to a LocalBitcoins in-person trade. Mycelium's headquarters are in the EU, but the app is used worldwide.

LibertyX

LibertyX.com operates the largest cash-to-bitcoin onramp network in the US. It allows you to purchase bitcoin in-person up to $1,000 per day at over 13,000 local stores with only a phone number for SMS verification. For more information, please visit their website, LibertyX.com.

Bitcoin ATMs

There are also Bitcoin ATMs in some places which can be a very easy and reliable way to get bitcoins. Simply search for "Bitcoin ATM map" or "Bitcoin ATMs near <your location>" to see if there are some in your area. If that is the case you should also check out what limits there are, what kind of identifications it requires for certain amounts, what the exchange rates are and if there are cameras. Sometimes you have to visit the ATM to get this information. Here is a short list of resources, for your convenience:

https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-atm-map/ • https://CoinATMradar.com • https://BitcoinATMmap.com • https://CoinMap.org

More ways

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Buying_bitcoins

Tumbling

Foreword

Bitcoin tumbling is a highly debated topic and many people have different opinions on different aspects of tumbling. For example what tumbling method is the best, if and when tumbling is necessary, . . . This chapter sticks to neutral viewpoints based on facts and common sense. It avoids taking part in opinionated discussions about tumbling.

Please also keep in mind that some tumblers are illegal itself because they are obviously heavily involved in money laundering and operate without any licenses. So, depending on the tumbler, it may be even illegal to use it. Why do people still use tumblers if they break the law by doing it although they want to specifically hide the fact that they break the law? They usually either do not know that the tumbling which they do is illegal or they would rather get convicted of "using a tumbler" instead of buying the illegal goods they bought.

The charges would be like helping a criminal enterprise (by paying the tumbling fee to the tumbler operators) or money laundering. But keep in mind that this does not apply to every tumbler and law enforcement would still have to prove that you used a tumbler which they would only be able to do if they somehow know that bitcoin addresses of that tumbler (e.g. by arresting the operators and analyzing the data they seized).

Furthermore you are not the only one using the tumbler. There are many more criminals with higher profiles that use it too. Therefore the tumbler also becomes a worthwhile target for law enforcement. You may be affected too if the tumbler for example gives you the "hot" bitcoins of a criminal that is already heavily under investigation.

What is tumbling?

If you do not know what tumbling is, please take 4 minutes to read the Wikipedia article about it. It is necessary to understand the following parts.

Please keep in mind that there is not just one method to tumble bitcoins. You can for example use centralized services which you use through a website interface or even tools that you have to install on your computer. Also tumbling is not 100% effective or
secure and it can not guarantee that you are immune to any sort of blockchain analysis. That means adversaries may still be able to follow your money flow despite using a tumbler.

(When) Do I have to tumble?

That is by far the most debated question around tumbling. the general consensus is that you do not need to hide the origin of your bitcoins (which tumbling aims to do), if you identity is not linked to them. That means if you for example bought them in cash in an in-person deal, you identity is usually not tied to them (assuming that you did not show your ID or similar things). If you would have bought them using your bank account, your identity would be tied to the bitcoins you bought since there is a record of you buying them with your name on it.

But just because you do not need to tumble when you identity is not linked to the bitcoins, it does not means you can send them straight to an illegal online drug market. You have to go the path that is described in the Sending bitcoins chapter. Otherwise you are vulnerable to getting your bitcoin exchange account getting closed or even getting prosecuted.

Note: you do not necessarily have to go through every station of the described path if you bought them anonymously, but make sure that there is at least one wallet between your exchange and the DNM. That means a path like Bitcoin exchange -> Electrum on Tails -> DNM would still be okay, if your identity is not tied to the bitcoins. It is obviously better if you exactly follow the path from the Sending bitcoins chapter but you can take a shortcut without compromising your OpSec much here if you think it is worth it.

Regardless of how you bought your bitcoins: be smart and do not send them directly to a DNM.

So what about the cases when my identity is tied to the bitcoins? Do I need to tumble then?

The answer is: it depends. If you are a normal buyer, i.e. do not buy several pounds a month, then you still do not have to worry about adversaries looking at the blockchain and analyzing that data to catch you. It is simply not in your threat model. However what you should worry about, is how to send the bitcoins to the DNM. It is obviously still not okay to send them directly to a DNM, so it is crucial that you follow go the path that is described in the Sending bitcoins chapter.

Since your are buying illegal goods with the bitcoins you bought, the last thing you want is anybody knowing about your purchases. You can prevent that and get plausible deniability (so you can claim that you never bought drugs with the bitcoins you bought), by simply following the Sending bitcoins chapter.

If you still want to tumble for additional peace of mind feel free to do so, but keep in mind that the tumbling itself can be illegal as explained above in teh foreword.

But what if you are a rather big buyer? Then it may be worth tumbling your bitcoins as you deal with larger quantities of illegal goods and you want to make sure that there are absolutely no holes in your OpSec through which law enforcement could fuck you. To learn how to tumble and what you need to watch out for, read the following paragraphs.

How do I tumble?

When you decide to tumble go this path: Bitcoin exchange -> normal wallet (e.g. Electrum on windows) -> Tumbler -> Electrum on Tails -> DNM. That way you do not directly send the bitcoins you bought to a tumbler, which could get you into difficulties as explained in the foreword.

Important: if you use a centralized tumbler, visit the tumbler site on tails, store any information it gives you (e.g. some tumbling services give you a PGP signed message with details for your tumbling process) and write down the Bitcoin address where you have to send the bitcoins to. Then boot your normal OS and send the bitcoins to that address (since you have the bitcoins that you want to tumble in your normal wallet (e.g. Electrum on windows)).

If the tumbler offers a random time delay and/or multiple output transactions, use them. It is additional, free OpSec strengthening and only costs you a bit of time. If you do not choose these options it might be trivial to spot your cleaned bitcoins. For example if you send 1 btc to a tumbler, all an adversary has to do is to monitor the Bitcoin transactions over the next few minutes and look out for a transaction that is as big as 1 btc minus the tumbler fee. Now he found the bitcoins you think are "clean". So be smart and use a random time delay and multiple output transactions whenever offered.

What services are there?

The most widely used kind of tumblers are the centralized ones that are operated by anonymous third parties which you have to trust that they clean your bitcoins. You can
find them on the superlist. Make sure to not use links from random other sources, like websites that you found through googling "tumbler onion addresses" since they usually spread phishing links. To cross check the links you find on the superlist, follow the instructions here.

The centralized tumblers are widely adopted since they are easy to use and do not require much user action. However there are also other anonymization methods for bitcoin transactions, like CoinJoin for example. However when using implementations of CoinJoin (which itself is not a service that you can readily use but rather a concept of how you can anonymize bitcoin transactions), or similar tumblers make sure you research them beforehand. If for example one project is abandoned and has not received any updates recently, you should stay away from it since you may not get any benefits when using it or you even compromise your OpSec by doing so.

Cross-Cryptocurrency Tumbling

Cross-Cryptocurrency tumbling is a do-it-yourself tumbling method that involves exchanging cryptocurrencies into others to break the link. An example would be: you buy bitcoins and exchange them through shapeshift to another cryptocurrency. Then you could change that back to Bitcoin again (ideally using another exchange). Alternatively, if you exchanged your btc to Monero, you could also make a Bitcoin payment using xmr.to.

There are many ways to switch between several crpytocurrencies and achieve a somewhat tumbling-like process. The goal is to make tracing your money flow harder by using multiple cryptocurrencies.

While this sounds easy and secure, there are some things you need to pay attention to:

Setting up your wallet

Electrum 2FA

Do not use Electrum wallets with two-factor authentication (2FA). You may think that 2FA for markets is good (which it is) so it must be good for Electrum on Tails too. No. It requires you to bring your smartphone into DNM activities as well as installing google apps on it which is the last thing you want for an anonymous DNM wallet.

Plus your wallet will be secure enough if you keep your seed secure (e.g. written down on a piece of paper in a secret location and stored in a .txt file in your persistence directory, more on that later) and use KeePassX for your wallet password.

Please just create a normal wallet as described in the following steps.

Using Whonix?

If you are using Whonix, you need a couple of minutes to install Eelectrum first. Go to the electrum website and since you set NoScript to disable scripts globally, you should see a page without much content. To fix this, allow scripts temporarily for https://electrum.org by clicking on the NoScript-Symbol and clicking on the entry "Temporarily allow https://electrum.org"..

Now under the headline "Easy Installation", look for the line of the table that begins with "Linux". Copy the first command under the line "Install dependencies:", open the Konsole (using the shortcut on your desktop) and paste the command (right click -> paste) and press ENTER. It will ask you for your password, enter it and press ENTER again. Then some lines will appear in the Konsole window. After the bottom line of the Konsole begins with "user@host:~$" again, copy the second command under "Install Electrum:" and execute that too.

When the second command is also finished you can close the Konsole window and press the Home-button at the bottom left of your task bar. Enter "electrum" into the search field, right click on the appearing entry and select "Add to Desktop". Then go to your Desktop and start Electrum using the new shortcut.

Then you will get an install wizard that will ask you how you want to connect to a server. Select "Auto-Connect" and click next. In the next step you can rename your
wallet. It is recommended to just use the default name "default_wallet". After you clicked next, follow the steps under setting up Electrum.

Setting up Electrum

Fortunately Tails already comes with a wallet installed. So everything you have to do is to set it up. To do this click on "Applications" on the top task bar and select the category "Internet". Then click on the "Electrum Bitcoin Wallet" entry in the list on the right.

If you get the warning that "Persistence is disabled for Electrum" you either need to set it up first so you do not lose your bitcoins. It should now start an installation wizard, in the following the questions it should ask you and what answers you will have to pick:

What kind of wallet do you want to create? Choose "Standard Wallet" Do you want to create a new seed, or restore a wallet using an existing seed? Choose "Create a new seed"

You now get that new seed. As long as you remember that seed, you can always recover your bitcoins (even if you lose your password or your USB stick with Tails gets lost). So make damn sure that you either remember it or write it down somewhere where nobody else can find it. Confirm Seed Now type in the seed you have remembered or written down. Choose a password to encrypt your wallet keys Do not skip this step. Instead choose a strong password using KeePassX. In case you loose it, you can always restore your wallet with the seed and set a new password.

Almost done!

Now you just have to make a few change in the settings. Go to "Tools" -> "Preferences" and check the checkbox for "Use dynamic fees" and the one for "Enable Replace-By-Fee". Then switch to the "Transactions" tab in the new window and check the option "Use multiple change addresses". Then switch to the "Appearance" tab and switch the "Base unit" to BTC and change the "Online Block Explorer" to blockchainbdgpzk.onion.

After that you should also change the value of "Zeros after decimal point" to something like 5. Now close the dialog by clicking on "Close".

Last but not least, press CTRL + A so you get the "Addresses" tab displayed which shows all your Bitcoin addresses belonging to your wallet.

Do the same steps for your normal wallet (e.g. Electrum on windows, details here) too, but skip changing the "Online Block Explorer" value.

You also do not need to set up the normal electrum wallet to connect over the Tor network because it's goal is not to hide the identity of the owner, unlike the electrum wallet on Tails. So everybody can know that you withdrew the bitcoins from an exchange to your personal electrum wallet (the normal one) but then you send them to the anonymous one (electrum on Tails), as described in the next chapter.

Congratulations, you now have set up your Electrum wallet on Tails!

Important note

Electrum has a list of several servers which it will ask in order to get the balance of the addresses that belong to your wallet. Law enforcement could easily set up such a server to collect information about when what IP address asks for the balance of what Bitcoin addresses. So Electrum is not anonymous.

However if you use Electrum on Tails, law enforcement only knows which addresses belong to that wallet (because the IP address of a Tor exit node suddenly request the balance of for example 20 specific addresses) but not the true IP address of the owner because Tails routes it's entire internet traffic through the Tor network.

Because of this issue it is very important that you exactly follow the steps in the sending bitcoins chapter.

Electrum questions?

Check their FAQ, their documentation and google your question. If that does not help, you can post your question on /r/darknetmarketsnoobs

Electrum not starting any more?

First make sure you still have your seed for that wallet and can access it even if your Tails USB stick would break completely.

Then right click on desktop, open terminal, and type in

electrum 

and press ENTER. See if it loads. If it does not do the following steps:

Make sure that "Bitcoin client" is checked in the list of data that will be preserved between reboots (go Applications -> System Tools -> Configure persistent volume to see the list).

One user also reported that doing a few reboots and in the end leaving it alone made the electrum window pop up eventually.

Several users also reported that the following helped: go Applications -> System Tools -> Configure persistent volume and uncheck the Electrum option. Then reboot and check the option again. To finish it, reboot again and test if electrum opens.

Reboot Tails and try deleting the "electrum" folder in the directory /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/ because it could be that the Electrum files are corrupted. Then restart Tails and see if you can open Electrum again, if yes you will have to restore your old wallet from your seed.

If that does not work go into your /home/amnesia/ directory and press CTRL + h. then rename the folder .electrum to .electrum.bak. After that restart and see if you can start Electum now.

Sending bitcoins

This chapter deals with sending your bitcoins from the source you got them (e.g. a Bitcoin exchange) to the final destination (a DNM). Unfortunately it is not as easy as sending them straight to your market deposit address because exchanges have banned and flagged accounts in the past that did that.

The path

Note: as described earlier, if you use Electrum an attacker can see what addresses belong to what wallet and which IP address regularly checks the balance of these addresses.

In general the path you should send your bitcoins is: Bitcoin exchange -> normal wallet (e.g. Electrum on windows) -> Electrum on Tails -> DNM.

Note: That normal wallet and the Electrum wallet on Tails have to be different wallets. So you have to do the setup process described previously twice: once for your normal wallet and once for your Electrum wallet on Tails.

Bought your BTC completely anonymously?

If you bought your BTC completely anonymously (e.g. on a BTC ATM which has no cameras and requires no phone number), you should go:

Source (e.g. BTC ATM) -> Electrum wallet on Tails -> Market.

Otherwise you would just unnecessarily reveal information with the 'normal wallet' in the default sending BTC path described above. If you want to be extra cautious you can go this path:

Source (e.g. BTC ATM) -> Electrum wallet #1 on Tails -> Electrum wallet #2 on Tails -> Market

To set up your normal wallet (in this case Electrum on windows) just go to the Electrum website, download it and follow the instructions in the previous chapter to set up a new wallet.

This process is to add plausible deniability: you can always say that you withdrew the coins from the exchange to your own wallet (the normal wallet). Then you sold them to an "anonymous stranger" (who owns the Electrum wallet on Tails) who then transferred
them to a market. That way you do not incriminate yourself and have some plausible deniability.

If you would go exchange -> Electrum on Tails -> DNM, it would be pretty obvious that you are the one who sent the bitcoins to the DNM (assuming that the DNM deposit address is known), because nobody would give the DNM deposit address to the Bitcoin seller when buying the bitcoins. That means: if you still claim that you sold the bitcoins to someone else after withdrawing them from the exchange to your Electrum wallet on Tails, that new buyer would have given you his DNM deposit address. This is extremely unlikely because you normally do not give out DNM deposit addresses out when buying bitcoins, but rather one that belongs to one of your wallets. Therefore nobody would believe you that you sold the bitcoins to a stranger. So your plausible deniability would be gone.

With the recommended path (marked in bold above) you can believably claim that someone else sent the bitcoins to a DNM and the exchange will most likely not ban your account because you did not sent them directly to a DNM.

Note: some markets have a minimum amount of bitcoins you have to send for a deposit. Make sure you meet that requirement or you could lose your money!

I did not sent my bitcoins that way before, am I fucked?

You will probably be fine, BUT make sure you go the path described above in the future for every DNM deposit. You do not have to delete your DNM account or Bitcoin exchange account, but step up your OpSec in the future.

Sending bitcoins with Electrum

The process

To send bitcoins from your Electrum wallet to an address just go to the "Send" tab and enter the destination Bitcoin address in the "Pay to". When sending the bitcoins make sure you use the transaction fee that is dynamically created by Electrum (by default it will get confirmed within 5 blocks). That means just let the slider under the amount field be in the middle. If you are sending the bitcoins from the normal wallet you have to get a receiving address from your Electrum wallet on Tails first. To do that go to the
"Addresses" tab in your Electrum wallet on Tails and write down the value of one of the Bitcoin addresses listed under "Receiving".

Note: you can double click on the space on the right of the address to change the label of that address. It is recommended to label it as "used <current date>" for example, so you know that you already used it and do not use it again.

After that boot your normal OS again and start Electrum again. Then you can go to the "Send" tab again and send the bitcoins to the address of your Electrum wallet on Tails. When you received the bitcoins on Electrum wallet on Tails you can repeat the same send-process but this time send them to the deposit address that your market gave you.

Setting the fee manually

You can also set the fee manually to ensure that your transaction (short: tx) does not take too long to confirm. Using the dynamic fee as described above is usually the best way though. If you do want to set the fee manually though, follow these steps:

  1. Go to bitcoinfees.21.co, allow JavaScript for "https://bitcoinfees.21.co" and scroll down to the bottom of the graphs. There you see a sentence like "The fastest and cheapest transaction fee is currently 390 satoshis/byte".
  2. Open Electrum and go Tools -> Preferences and uncheck the "Use dynamic fees" option. Then you can set the transaction fee per kilobyte (kb) in BTC/kB. If it shows mBTC/kB, switch to the "Appearance" tab and select "BTC" as the base unit from the dropdown menu.
  3. Now change the value of the transaction fee per kb like this: If the recommended fee from the website is 390 satoshis/byte, set the fee to 0.0039 BTC/kB. That means, append three zeros to the satoshis/byte value as well as a point after the zero on the far left. If the website would have recommended 280 satoshis/byte instead, you should set the fee to 0.0028 BTC/kB instead in Electrum.
  4. Done! Now click on the close button.

Transactions not getting confirmed

Bitcoin transactions become "confirmed" when miners accept to write them in the Bitcoin blockchain. In general, the speed of confirmation depends on the fee you attach to your transaction; miners prioritize transaction that pay the highest fees.

Another reason could be that the Bitcoin network is overloaded at the moment. Sometimes a lot of unconfirmed transaction rack up (tens of thousands) which you can spot here (onion link). these have to get processed, which will take a while. However for now you have to be patient and wait. It can take several hours or sometimes over a day for a transaction to get confirmed. Making posts about it on /r/DarknetMarketsNoobs is not confirming your transaction faster.

In the meantime you can check if the destination address of the transaction is correct, because if not you can wait forever for the coins to arrive.

Make sure that you use the transaction fee that is dynamically created by Electrum next time (by default it will get confirmed within 5 blocks). That means just let the slider under the amount field be in the middle in the "Send" tab.

There are however two ways which can speed up your transaction:

  • Increase the transaction fee in Electrum. This is only possible for "replaceable" transactions. To create this type of transaction, you must have enabled "Replace by Fee" in your preferences, before sending the transaction. If it takes too long till this transaction gets confirmed you can right click on the transaction and then upgrade the fee to make it get confirmed faster (only works if you did not spend the full amount of bitcoins in your wallet).
  • If you sent the bitcoins to an address you do not control (e.g. a market), the best you can do is try the ViaBTC Transaction Accelerator. It may or may not work.
  • Create a "child pays for parent" transaction, with a generous fee. A CPFP is a new transaction, that compensates for the small fee of the parent transaction. It can be done by the recipient of the funds, or by the sender, if the transaction has a change output. Here is a step-by-step guide, however it is not that easy so you might just wait till your transaction gets confirmed eventually.

Can I cancel a transaction I made?

No, you will have to wait till it get confirmed eventually or rejected by the Bitcoin network.

Will I lose my bitcoins?

No, you will just have to wait some time till it gets confirmed or rejected.

Source (e.g. BTC ATM) -> Electrum wallet #1 on Tails -> Electrum wallet #2 on Tails -> Market

To set up your normal wallet (in this case Electrum on windows) just go to the Electrum website, download it and follow the instructions in the previous chapter to set up a new wallet.

This process is to add plausible deniability: you can always say that you withdrew the coins from the exchange to your own wallet (the normal wallet). Then you sold them to an "anonymous stranger" (who owns the Electrum wallet on Tails) who then transferred
them to a market. That way you do not incriminate yourself and have some plausible deniability.

If you would go exchange -> Electrum on Tails -> DNM, it would be pretty obvious that you are the one who sent the bitcoins to the DNM (assuming that the DNM deposit address is known), because nobody would give the DNM deposit address to the Bitcoin seller when buying the bitcoins. That means: if you still claim that you sold the bitcoins to someone else after withdrawing them from the exchange to your Electrum wallet on Tails, that new buyer would have given you his DNM deposit address. This is extremely unlikely because you normally do not give out DNM deposit addresses out when buying bitcoins, but rather one that belongs to one of your wallets. Therefore nobody would believe you that you sold the bitcoins to a stranger. So your plausible deniability would be gone.

With the recommended path (marked in bold above) you can believably claim that someone else sent the bitcoins to a DNM and the exchange will most likely not ban your account because you did not sent them directly to a DNM.

Note: some markets have a minimum amount of bitcoins you have to send for a deposit. Make sure you meet that requirement or you could lose your money!

I did not sent my bitcoins that way before, am I fucked?

You will probably be fine, BUT make sure you go the path described above in the future for every DNM deposit. You do not have to delete your DNM account or Bitcoin exchange account, but step up your OpSec in the future.

Sending bitcoins with Electrum

The process

To send bitcoins from your Electrum wallet to an address just go to the "Send" tab and enter the destination Bitcoin address in the "Pay to". When sending the bitcoins make sure you use the transaction fee that is dynamically created by Electrum (by default it will get confirmed within 5 blocks). That means just let the slider under the amount field be in the middle. If you are sending the bitcoins from the normal wallet you have to get a receiving address from your Electrum wallet on Tails first. To do that go to the
"Addresses" tab in your Electrum wallet on Tails and write down the value of one of the Bitcoin addresses listed under "Receiving".

Note: you can double click on the space on the right of the address to change the label of that address. It is recommended to label it as "used <current date>" for example, so you know that you already used it and do not use it again.

After that boot your normal OS again and start Electrum again. Then you can go to the "Send" tab again and send the bitcoins to the address of your Electrum wallet on Tails. When you received the bitcoins on Electrum wallet on Tails you can repeat the same send-process but this time send them to the deposit address that your market gave you.

Setting the fee manually

You can also set the fee manually to ensure that your transaction (short: tx) does not take too long to confirm. Using the dynamic fee as described above is usually the best way though. If you do want to set the fee manually though, follow these steps:

  1. Go to bitcoinfees.21.co, allow JavaScript for "https://bitcoinfees.21.co" and scroll down to the bottom of the graphs. There you see a sentence like "The fastest and cheapest transaction fee is currently 390 satoshis/byte".
  2. Open Electrum and go Tools -> Preferences and uncheck the "Use dynamic fees" option. Then you can set the transaction fee per kilobyte (kb) in BTC/kB. If it shows mBTC/kB, switch to the "Appearance" tab and select "BTC" as the base unit from the dropdown menu.
  3. Now change the value of the transaction fee per kb like this: If the recommended fee from the website is 390 satoshis/byte, set the fee to 0.0039 BTC/kB. That means, append three zeros to the satoshis/byte value as well as a point after the zero on the far left. If the website would have recommended 280 satoshis/byte instead, you should set the fee to 0.0028 BTC/kB instead in Electrum.
  4. Done! Now click on the close button.

Transactions not getting confirmed

Bitcoin transactions become "confirmed" when miners accept to write them in the Bitcoin blockchain. In general, the speed of confirmation depends on the fee you attach to your transaction; miners prioritize transaction that pay the highest fees.

Another reason could be that the Bitcoin network is overloaded at the moment. Sometimes a lot of unconfirmed transaction rack up (tens of thousands) which you can spot here (onion link). these have to get processed, which will take a while. However for now you have to be patient and wait. It can take several hours or sometimes over a day for a transaction to get confirmed. Making posts about it on /r/DarknetMarketsNoobs is not confirming your transaction faster.

In the meantime you can check if the destination address of the transaction is correct, because if not you can wait forever for the coins to arrive.

Make sure that you use the transaction fee that is dynamically created by Electrum next time (by default it will get confirmed within 5 blocks). That means just let the slider under the amount field be in the middle in the "Send" tab.

There are however two ways which can speed up your transaction:

  • Increase the transaction fee in Electrum. This is only possible for "replaceable" transactions. To create this type of transaction, you must have enabled "Replace by Fee" in your preferences, before sending the transaction. If it takes too long till this transaction gets confirmed you can right click on the transaction and then upgrade the fee to make it get confirmed faster (only works if you did not spend the full amount of bitcoins in your wallet).
  • If you sent the bitcoins to an address you do not control (e.g. a market), the best you can do is try the ViaBTC Transaction Accelerator. It may or may not work.
  • Create a "child pays for parent" transaction, with a generous fee. A CPFP is a new transaction, that compensates for the small fee of the parent transaction. It can be done by the recipient of the funds, or by the sender, if the transaction has a change output. Here is a step-by-step guide, however it is not that easy so you might just wait till your transaction gets confirmed eventually.

Can I cancel a transaction I made?

No, you will have to wait till it get confirmed eventually or rejected by the Bitcoin network.

Will I lose my bitcoins?

No, you will just have to wait some time till it gets confirmed or rejected.