Bitcoin is the most diffused cryptocurrency, attracting public interest more for its rapid price swings and its use in some digital criminal activities (e.g. Silkroad, WannaCry) rather than its innovative characteristics (an international digital currency without any central bank or institution managing and administrating it). The organizational model behind Bitcoin is often under-studied in favor of a purely technical interest in its mechanisms. This article starts to investigate Btc from a combined perspective: to study its technical characteristics and its use-cases to analyze and understand its characteristics and its evolution. The focus of this article is on a specific peculiarity that char-acterizes Btc model: its anonymity. Our aim is to define the degree of anonymi-ty and the level of traceability that characterize Bitcoin transactions. Is a Btc user fully anonymous? Can her/his transactions be traced? What are the tech-nical limitations to a fully anonymous Btc transaction? Can the users do some-thing to increase (or decrease) the level of anonymity or traceability of their transactions? We introduce a Btc taxonomy of privacy limitations: a framework with the technical characteristics and the users’ behaviors limiting the anonymi-ty or increasing the traceability of the Btc transactions. In the discussions, we will also provide some preliminary quantitative measures about how many of those limitations are currently present in the Btc system.

Yes, we can see you! Why Bitcoin transactions are not (fully) anonymous

Francesco Bolici;Nello Augusto Colella
2018

Abstract

Bitcoin is the most diffused cryptocurrency, attracting public interest more for its rapid price swings and its use in some digital criminal activities (e.g. Silkroad, WannaCry) rather than its innovative characteristics (an international digital currency without any central bank or institution managing and administrating it). The organizational model behind Bitcoin is often under-studied in favor of a purely technical interest in its mechanisms. This article starts to investigate Btc from a combined perspective: to study its technical characteristics and its use-cases to analyze and understand its characteristics and its evolution. The focus of this article is on a specific peculiarity that char-acterizes Btc model: its anonymity. Our aim is to define the degree of anonymi-ty and the level of traceability that characterize Bitcoin transactions. Is a Btc user fully anonymous? Can her/his transactions be traced? What are the tech-nical limitations to a fully anonymous Btc transaction? Can the users do some-thing to increase (or decrease) the level of anonymity or traceability of their transactions? We introduce a Btc taxonomy of privacy limitations: a framework with the technical characteristics and the users’ behaviors limiting the anonymi-ty or increasing the traceability of the Btc transactions. In the discussions, we will also provide some preliminary quantitative measures about how many of those limitations are currently present in the Btc system.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/68062
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