I, like many people, have a Coinbase account that had to be approved by a human proving my social security number, driver's license/valid US passport, first + last name, address, phone number, etc. all match
Then, I linked it to my bank account, which is very obviously monitored by the federal government through all sorts of mechanisms related to the IRS, etc.
I just don't see how me using an exchange to convert fiat (USD) into BTC, and then moving those coins off exchange onto some kind of other wallet… gains me any level of anonymity at all.
For example, Mullvad VPN accepts BTC as a payment method.
But to me, it's a facade that most users will benefit from any layer of anonymity, when the blockchain can clearly show the chain of transactions from
my fiat from my linked bank account -> my Coinbase account linked to my first + last name, social security number, etc. -> the Mullvad payment…
Is the only option for anonymous BTC to go to a sketchy ATM that could totally have a camera or something on it?
I'm not looking to do anything illegal, I just don't see the train of though on "true" anonymity (or decentralization)…
Would love to learn more.