Bitcoin mixers take money from one account, break it into many transactions then send it to another account (which sounds quite a lot like potential money laundering to me.) The biggest bitcoin mixer, bitmixer.io, just shut down saying the bitcoin blockchain, which is public and inherent to bitcoin, can now easily be analyzed by governments, etc. and thus transactions are not longer anonymous. Given enough time and effort, money can be tracked coming into bitcoin and then out again. Further, Bitmixer believes bitmixing will become illegal so they are shutting down before the arrests happen. Smart move.
New, supposedly more secure cryptocurrencies are moving into this void, and they have bit mixing services too, however, many of them are scams. They simply take the money. And there is no recourse. And I doubt if they are genuinely secure either, especially against attacks and probes by governments with huge resources.
“Blockchain is a great open book. I believe that Bitcoin will have a great future without dark market transactions. You may use Dash or Zerocoin if you want to buy some weed. Not Bitcoin,” the BitMixer team wrote.
“I hope our decision will help to make Bitcoin ecosystem more clean and transparent. I hope our competitors will hear our message and will close their services too. Very soon this kind of activity will be considered as illegal in most countries,” the team also wrote, issuing a warning for fellow Bitcoin mixers.