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BitFury Launches Blockchain Investigation Implement to Fight Bitcoin Crime

BitFury Launches Blockchain Investigation Tool to Fight Bitcoin Crime

Bitfury, a well-known industry group which commenced te 2011 spil a Bitcoin mining company and has since grown into a multinational blockchain research group, has moved into the law enforcement space with the release of its fresh instrument Crystal.

The Crystal instrument wasgoed designed with two main use cases ter mind. The very first of which is for law enforcement to track bitcoin transactions related to criminal activity. Bitcoin is commonly used ter Ransomware attacks, which encrypt a user’s gegevens and force the user to pay a certain amount of money to decrypt it. One such attack, the infamous WannaCry, made almost $25 million te bitcoin overheen a period of two years.

The Crystal contraption ter act on the WannaCry ransomware attack

The creators of WannaCry, despite its vastness (about $Four billion ter damages), mistakes (like the infamous killswitch, meant for testing whether or not the ransomware wasgoed sandboxed), and the sheer amount of money lost, no arrests have bot made. The Crystal team claims that this attack could have bot traced te a matter of Three hours and could have lightly permitted authorities to instruct exchanges to halt withdrawals from the suspected wallet addresses te real time.

The 2nd use case for the implement is a compliance measure and risk management implement for financial institutions. Spil a case examine, Crystal uses Bitcoin based venture capital stiff aimed at the healthcare sector. The contraptions aim, ter this case, is proving compliance with rules against violating national sanctions, funding terrorism, and money laundering. By producing semi-transparent reports on the sources of funds and where they are going institutions can prove compliance with national laws. This prevents legal act against the venture capital fund and it’s principals. Crystal has also advertised its capability to audit mining operations te order to ensure they aren’t Ponzi schemes and counteract corruption of elected officials (when bribed through Bitcoin, of course).

Not a Fresh Development

The Crystal device is part of ongoing efforts by the BitFury Group to de-anonymize the blockchain. Earlier this year, the group announced that it had bot making progress on a fresh method for “clustering” related wallets. They published a detailed white-paper on the subject explaining their findings and exposing a probabilistic proefje for determining the relatedness of transactions and then testing it with off-chain gegevens to identify addresses associated with gambling, mining pools, and drug transactions. This very first paper, almost a month old, wasgoed successful ter de-anonymizing about 15% of the blockchain.

A table explaining clustering methods te the whitepaper “Automatic Bitcoin Address Clustering”.

The fresh instrument’s marketing materials demonstrate that Crystal has bot te real-world use for some time and likely has already had an influence on several high profile investigations. The most significant development seems to be Crystal’s risk scoring which are intended to be used te an automated style and could conceivably be implemented by major exchanges ter the near future.

Toward Anonymity?

Bitfury’s developments toward de-anonymizing the Bitcoin blockchain have the potential to increase the appeal of security-focused cryptocurrencies. Wij’ve already seen that malware developers convert their currencies from Bitcoin to a less traceable form of currency upon moving the funds to an exchange (Perpetrators of Wannacry, for example, moved it’s funds overheen to Monero).

Ter order to prevent the real-time exchange level locking, it’s likely wij’ll begin to see more ransomware developers request payment te other forms of cryptocurrency and potentially even come back to the dollar.

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