Although a lot of people will disagree and still claim Bitcoin is completely anonymous and perfect for criminals, a new article in Science Magazine is proving them all to be wrong. People active in the Bitcoin world have known for a long time there is no such thing as anonymity, and there is plenty of evidence to back up those claims. That doesn’t mean Bitcoin is not privacy-centric, though, as it does that job just fine for the most part.
Anonymity Does Not Exist In Bitcoin
For those people looking for a clear example of how Bitcoin is not providing anonymity, look no further than the whole Ross Ulbricht case. While many people in the Bitcoin community feel the trial was entirely unlawful, the FBI did manage to track his location despite using Bitcoin. Ever since that day, various real internet criminals dealing with Bitcoin have been put behind bars, including Mark Karpeles and Trendon Shavers.
Most of the Bitcoin users in existence today are using digital currency for completely legitimate reasons. Such as privacy protection or just using a form of finance that is not related to banks. However, the difficulty in chasing down users create an artificial appeal for internet criminals, despite all of the transaction details being broadcasted publicly on the blockchain.
But there is more, as Bitcoin’s code is open source, which can also help law enforcement in tracking down suspicious and illegal activities in the Bitcoin world. Various academic researchers have been working on blockchain analysis, which would effectively help them to track down internet criminals if the need ever arises.
Granted, there are still a lot of internet criminals who feel Bitcoin will protect their anonymity, as long as they were careful about how they used digital currency.However, that is no longer the case, as there is no such thing as anonymity in Bitcoin, nor was there ever.
Even Bitcoin mixing services are not providing that much anonymity, according to academic researchers. While it may offer “clean” bitcoins in the owner’s wallet after the mixing process, there are still weaknesses in the system as a whole. Especially when dealing with large amounts of bitcoins, there is no way to clear all of the tracks, not even when using a bitcoin mixer for anonymity.
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