Linking Bitcoin transactions with particular wallet addresses is nothing new under the sun. Due to the transparent nature of open blockchain standards, anyone can see every transaction on the Bitcoin network in real time. But there is a new darknet analytics toolkit that may shake things up a bit, as it can link bitcoin wallet addresses to online user profiles.
New Darknet Bitcoin Analytics Toolkit Can Be Quite Powerful
Although most of the specifics pertaining this darknet analytics tool have yet to be revealed, security researchers claim they can link Bitcoin wallet addresses to online profiles. During the upcoming Black Hat Europe 2016 conference, the research will be officially presented. By employing this toolkit, it becomes easier to notice illegal activity on the deep web.
It is not the first time researchers aim to try and identify darknet users based on their method of communication. While it seems evident people fall into distinct patterns when conducting their online business, the process remains somewhat untested up until now. Stating that it can lead to identifying users, and effectively doing so, are two very different things in the end.
It is a big leap to go from monitoring for specific types of communication and linking Bitcoin wallets to user profiles. Even though Bitcoin is the most popular currency on the darknet, that does not mean every single transaction is related to something illegal. Then again, very few business transactions on the deep web are legitimate.
At times, it is best to remain critical and skeptical about these findings by experts. It is true the bad apples need to be weeded out, and looking at their form of communication is a great way to keep tabs on individual users. But that does not mean they are using Bitcoin in a nefarious manner. After all, this research seems more intent on giving Bitcoin an even worse reputation, rather than focusing on the actual problem.
The vast majority of criminal activity occurs through traditional financial means, including cash, wire transfers, and remittance services. Although the darknet is seen as the “boogeyman” lately, it only represents a very small portion of all illegal activity taking place in the world. Researchers would be better off spending their time figuring out how criminals continue to use banks to launder money, rather than go after a currency that has been far more transparent about all transactions since day one.
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