How to use Casa pseudonymously
Putting the 'private' in private client since 2018
We’ve built Casa from the ground up to provide world-class service while intentionally limiting how much information we require from our clients.
In this post, we’re highlighting some of the ways you can keep the personal information you provide Casa to a bare minimum.
Use a pseudonym or alias
Instead of your legal first name, provide us with an alias. Many Casa clients do this already. A strong alias will have no direct link to your name, profession, location, or interests outside of bitcoin and Casa. We’ve seen some amazing aliases to date, and encourage you to be creative 😎.
Use an email that isn’t tied to your identity
Combine your new pseudonym with a new email address — a string of random characters works great — and keep it separate from your outside identity. Why? Even the best pseudonym will only go so far if your email is FirstName.LastName.YearofBirth@gmail.com. Just remember to check this address regularly for important updates! We also recommend you use an email provider that isn’t running text analysis on your messages. Protonmail or Tutanota are good options.
Use a physical remailer (Platinum + Diamond clients only)
Platinum and Diamond clients receive welcome packages with everything you need to make the most of your Casa membership: hardware wallets, Faraday bags, adaptors, and other goodies. Naturally, we require an address to ship this to! To shield your mailing address, consider a remailing service like Earth Class Mail.
Pay with bitcoin
Paying in bitcoin is a great option with the caveat that the bitcoin network itself has poor privacy. There are steps you should take (outside the scope of this post), to ensure the coins you’re paying with can’t be easily linked to your legal identity.
Use a VPN
This shields your IP when interacting with Casa services. Make sure whichever VPN you choose can be used both on mobile and desktop. ProtonVPN and ExpressVPN are great options.
Don’t buy bitcoin with your pseudonymous account
Buying bitcoin with Casa requires the intake of limited personal information. If you’d like to keep the information you expose to Casa to a bare minimum, we recommend bypassing this feature or — better yet — purchasing through a different Casa account. Note that this information is required by our processing partner to meet legal requirements and is never stored on Casa’s servers.
Consider disabling video during calls (Platinum + Diamond clients only)
At the Platinum and Diamond levels, use of the Casa Recovery Key is always gated by a video verification call to ensure that you — and no one else — is requesting the signature, and that you’re safe and sound. More info about the Casa Recovery Key here:
We offer workaround verification procedures (disabling cameras during calls, etc.), which we discuss with clients during onboarding. While workarounds can optimize privacy, it’s a course we generally advise against. The level of verification video provides is extremely high for now, at least until realtime deepfakes become trivial to pull off. Audio-only verification calls provide fewer safeguards and introduce new risks.
Maintain distance at in-person events
While this is less of an issue in the age of COVID-19, it still bears mentioning: Casa team members are notoriously discreet at in-person events! If we gave clients high-fives or secret members-only handshakes, it would effectively paint a target on their backs. For this reason, we never initiate conversations with clients at events. If you approach us in a group, we’ll politely introduce ourselves and say hi, but never do anything to identify you as a client. This can be difficult(!) because we often have close relationships with clients, but it’s the right thing to do.
Casa’s mix of high-touch client services and privacy-aware customer base creates an interesting dynamic that we expect to become more common as the conversation around privacy continues to evolve. Some of our closest relationships — clients we’ve worked with for years — are with individuals whose (real) names we may never know, and whose faces we may never see.
With all the measures above, it’s important to remember these are designed to keep the information you provide to Casa to a bare minimum, but don’t necessarily guarantee your privacy in the outside world. If you purchased your bitcoin from an exchange that required KYC information, for instance, it’s safe to assume that it’s possible to trace those holdings to your name.
More from us on privacy
- Casa Privacy Model (blog post)
Additional privacy resources
- A Modest Privacy Protection Proposal (blog post)
- Extreme OpSec (presentation)
Ready to get started with Casa?
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