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Definition: crypto tumbler


(CRYPTOcurrency tumbler) A service that mixes a cryptocurrency transaction with other transactions to eliminate the possibility of someone discovering the party that originated them. The blockchain is a public record, and with the proper analysis tools, a sender's wallet can be uncovered and ultimately reveal the owner's name. If a sender is afraid of being identified when sending Bitcoins or some other crypto token, a tumbler service can be used.

Like a VPN
Also called "cryptocurrency mixing," the tumbler service functions like a virtual private network (VPN), which hides the sending address from the receiving party. The coins are sent to the tumbler service, and the service relays the transaction hiding the sender's address. The amount of coins may also be split up to further randomize the transaction, and the tumbler organization takes a fee like a foreign currency exchange.

Under Scrutiny by Governments
Countries around the world are scrambling to figure out how to deal with crypto; for example, in 2021, El Salvador made it entirely legal while China made it a crime. One area under the spotlight is the tumbler business. Although the parties in a crypto transaction are inherently pseudonymous, tumblers allow crooks to be even more secretive. See cryptocurrency and VPN.