Elliptic, a bitcoin analytics and security firm based in London has created the ‘Bitcoin Big Bang’ service, a product that could wipe out illegal cryptocurrency marketplaces.
Over the past year, Elliptic’s team of PhD data scientists and engineers has worked to map the full 35 GB transaction history of the bitcoin blockchain, a ledger that was created in 2009.
This map is now known as the Bitcoin Big Bang, a visualisation system that can now uncover individual transaction addresses of bitcoin users. The addresses have remained largely anonymous until now, allowing illegal bitcoin marketplaces such as Silk Road to operate, disrupting legal use of the currency by the financial service industry.
‘‘If digital currency is to take its legitimate place in the enterprise it inevitably must step out of the shadows of the dark web,’’ said Dr James Smith, CEO, Elliptic. ‘‘Our technology allows us to trace historic and real-time flow, and represents the tipping point for enterprise adoption of bitcoin.’’
Bitcoin Big Bang will identify the 250 largest bitcoin entities and provide detail on their transactions. The API will also clamp down on future illegal trades, as it will alert recipients of bitcoin payments linked to known thefts, illicit marketplaces and other criminal activity.
‘‘We have developed this technology not to incriminate nor to pry; but to support businesses’ anti-money laundering obligations. Compliance officers can finally have peace of mind, knowing that they have performed real, defensible diligence to ascertain that their bitcoin holdings are not derived from the proceeds of crime,’’ continued Smith.
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