In brief

  • KYC, Not Me is a website that lists the last remaining privacy-preserving Bitcoin exchanges.
  • The list varies from more private options, like Bisq, to less anonymous options like Binance.
  • The new site comes at a time when exchanges are keen to please regulators by implementing strict KYC policies for customers.

Looking for ways to privately purchase Bitcoin? There’s a new site for that.

Playfully dubbed KYC, Not ME, the website compiles a list of verification-free (or verification-lite) exchanges for privacy-minded Bitcoiners. The list includes mainstays like the Euro-facing Hodl Hodl exchange and the globally-serving Bisq and LocalBitcoins exchanges, among others.

It also includes Binance, which has tiered verification (the most lax of which allows you to sign up with only an email). For all intents and purposes, Binance is in a different class than, say, Bisq, which requires its users to download the Bisq software and run a Bisq server to access its order book.

So the list is tailored to fit the privacy needs of the most KYC-averse Bitcoin users, and those who just want a little buffer between their personal lives and the hubs they use to buy magic Internet money. The site also annotates each exchange with badges that tell you more about its operations. 

For example, Binance’s badges tell us that some KYC may be required (like an email address), the exchange is custodial, and you need an account to trade. Contrast this with Bisq and Hodl Hodl, which offer completely peer-to-peer, self-custodied trading. It also designates which exchange allows you to buy Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) with cash (such as Bisq, Hodl Hodl, Binance) and which don’t (Trade Ogre, for example).

In its attempt to promote privacy-preserving tools, the list cuts against the grain in a time when KYC and anti-money laundering requirements have become the focus of most Bitcoin businesses, especially those looking to grow and stay competitive in such a dynamic market. 

Rather than lean into KYC, as so many others have in a year in which Bitcoin has gained more attention than ever, kycnot.me is part of a movement trying to keep Bitcoin private. 

A privacy proposal for a CoinSwap implementation is keeping to this goal, as well. The implementation, designed by Bitcoin developer Chris Belcher, could greatly increase Bitcoin’s anonymity set and provide greater privacy solutions than other designs like CoinJoin.

Belcher recently received a grant from the Human Rights Foundation to work on the protocol. The organization plans to dole out more of these grants, which could total up to $50,000 per developer, in the near future.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.