Blockchain Forensics

Blockchain Forensics Can Help Identify the True Identity of the People in the Cryptocurrency Transactions

May 29, 2019 0 Steven Anderson By Steven Anderson

Bitcoin and significant Altcoins are continuing to oscillate in ranges.  On Tuesday, the overall capitalization of crypto assets in circulation increased from $273 billion to $274 billion.  The average trading volume went down to $84 billion, and the market activity was slow.

Cryptocurrency mixers, also known as tumblers were on the news after the news about the European Regulators shutting down of such services.  This was because the platform under question is funneled to clear dirty money through cryptocurrencies.

Those who were stakeholders in the platform stated that it was an overreach by the government. They felt that this move by the government was dangerous, and it might be hazardous to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

When discussing anonymity of the cryptocurrencies, Vitalik Buterin, stated that on-chain mixing service would be a solution for anonymization for those who are willing to keep their transaction anonymous.  This service, however, is intriguing to the government regulators.

However, there is nothing called anonymous; it is pseudonymous.  The transactions with cryptocurrency happen without the interference of a third party.  This feature is often confused with the actual anonymity.

When a third party is involved, the identity of both parties will be well-known to the third party validator.  Law enforcement, tax bodies, and other regulators will be able to gain access to the identities of the people involved. Therefore, there is no real anonymity here.

Blockchain forensics can help identify the true identity of the people involved in the cryptocurrency transactions.  Investors these days are well aware of the major stakeholders and the addresses of the major cryptocurrency exchanges.

There are cryptocurrencies which provide with near-perfect anonymity.  They obscure every detail of the transaction, including amount, address, and almost every aspect of the transaction by making use of transaction mixers.

The transaction mixers are highly anonymous; they make use of high-anonymity consensus protocols like the zero-knowledge proofs (zk-SNARKs) to create complete obfuscation of transaction details.  There are zero-knowledge proof systems, which make it possible for transaction verification without having to authenticate how valid the transactional information had to be.  Most of the cryptocurrency mixing platforms use the same tactics.

Cryptocurrency should be ultimately converted to fiat or conventional currencies by those who accept it or transact using it.  The endpoint will eventually be a bank account somewhere.  Cryptocurrency is something entering into the real world for ultimate spending.

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