Cypherpunk's Guide To Claiming and Selling Fork Value Anonymously
Fork coins represent a threat to the Bitcoin network and its users by giving people incentive to transact with addresses they otherwise wouldn't. If the users obtained their BTC anonymously, fork coin transactions and sale are events which may be used to de-anonymize them.
Some knowledgable Bitcoin people have given the advice "don't claim your forks" as a response to this problem. However, for many that is not a credible response since the core design principal of Bitcoin is that individuals follow incentives in their rational self-interest. As long as forks have a value on the open market, people will be incentivized to transact according to their investment thesis.
With "Cypherpunks Write Code" being a guiding principle, rather than lecture Bitcoin users, we put together these tools and processes to help close this leak. We began tracking the KYC status of exchanges that trade fork coins and we also put together Forkdrop Suite and a set of guides to allow people to perform their claiming behind the protection of Tor. Tor being one of the top Cypherpunk creations for protecting internet anonymity.
In addition to helping you preserve your anonymity, following this guide also incorporates the tools of our Intermediate's Guide, which can help save you time in organizing your info ahead of claiming.
Does This Apply To Me?
This guide assumes you are already familiar with the fundamentals of the fork coin topic. These are covered and stepped through at a basic level in the Novice's Guide. To keep it simple, the Novice's Guide was written to overlook some concerns, which we will cover here.
We are also assuming you have the requirement of hard anonymity, so we have tailored this guide and process for that. If you don't have that requirement, we still recommend you follow the process using TAILS and other tools to at least keep your physical location hidden in the process. Revealing your physical location may reveal where your value is stored. This is a different, but very much related problem. This is why in the Intermediate's Guide there is a lot of overlap with this guide.
What You Need
At the minimum, you need PC hardware that is capable of running a TAILS live-boot session. Mac hardware may be capable of running TAILS in some circumstances, but PC hardware is recommended. For following best practices, running TAILS off of a read-only DVD ROM drive is preferable than running it off a read/write USB drive. Also, having a SD card or USB drive you can use as encrypted storage is very helpful for safely keeping records between claiming tasks. System requirements and more details are covered in our TAILS setup guide:
For selling coins anonymously on some exchanges, you may need to establish two-factor authentication with a Google Android device not tied to your identity. This may be need to be purchased for this purpose, which is something that we cover.
Know Your Device
TAILS will not protect you from hardware-based attacks and other physical eavesdropping. Ensure you are using a computer that you reasonably trust to be working without hardware exploits and keyloggers. If you have a habit of visiting shady sites, or running shady software, or you have roommates or someone with access to your private space that you might not be able to fully trust, then using that PC could put your Bitcoin at risk. Also, ensuring a safe , secure and private physical location when handling keys is advisable.
Section 1: Conceptual Refresh
The Forkdrop Suite tools and guides that are here assume more familiarity with the claiming task than with the steps in the Novice's guide. If you are not sharply familiar, it is good to refresh on the basics involved for non-automation-assisted fork coin claiming.
Section 2: Setting Up A Secure System
You will need to set up a TAILS live boot, since that is the target platform for Forkdrop Suite.
To be able to store your report and record your claiming activities, it is highly recommended that you set up an encrypted storage drive.
Getting Tools Ready
You will need to use some software tools that don't come installed with TAILS, so you will need to set them up before using them.
Two Factor Authentication
For many exchanges, two-factor authentication is a requirement. For avoiding tying this to your identity, you will need to set up a secure device in preparation.
Section 3: Getting Organized To Claim
Before deciding to go ahead with the task of claiming, using the tools to process your public addresses to get you organized and allow you to scope the task.
Before bringing your cold-storage private keys online and into the picture, Forkdrop Suite will process your public addresses and generate you the reports with detailed claiming instructions tailored to your addresses. This document is essential for getting you oriented and organized. Once this is done, you can pause to read and understand the subsequent steps. The following two guides cover the execution of the tools to get you your custom report:
Finding Out Destination Addresses
Once you are aware of the quantity of coins you own and the keys associated with them, next you must figure out where to send them:
However, for hard anonymity, using exchanges requires extra caution, which we cover in this article:
You will find that some of the coins of lower value are difficult to sell and also trade for an underwhelming amount that may not be worth your effort. It is possible to donate these coins to Forkdrop.io to help support the site, this kind of guide and the backing tools. Have made the case in this article for your consideration:
The donation addresses for each coin are also provided in the generated report.
Accessing your Private Keys
Once you have your plan organized for your public addresses you have given the tool and are ready to proceed with the task of claiming, you need to access your private keys. We have guides for utilizing some popular tools for accessing private keys on tails.
Since the BIP39 tool is fairly complex, we also have a primer on how to use it to get at the required WIF private keys from your seed phrase:
Forkdrop Suite and Tor Browser are able to do a good job protecting your web footprint when querying by routing through Tor and using busy services like blockchain.info to mix your queries with others. However, these fork coin networks aren't nearly as robust - a lot of the time, basically nobody is using them other than the miners. Hence, your specific activity and transaction submission is more likely to get noticed. Using Proxychains to wrap the bitcoin_fork_claimer's queries is a requirement to submit your transaction to these network via Tor, which uses the best methods available to hide your IP from the node operators and anyone who might be listening.
Once you have prepared, you can actually start transacting with the bitcoin_fork_claimer tools: