Bitcoin and Anonymity

Bitcoin is intriguing, a digital currency where the entire transaction history of economy is held in common by all participants. I think that this will be a great observatory for research for someone. I read a recent paper that has some of the elements of this, An Analysis of Anonymity in the Bitcoin System by Fergal Reid and Martin Harrigan recently. As the name implies, it is mostly about the anonymity of the system. But it also includes a description of “the alleged theft of Bitcoins, which, at the time of the theft, had a market value of approximately half a million U.S. dollars”. That could be the plot of a good heist movie.

The paper led me to the bitcoin tools repository, which I’ll have to look into in more detail in the future.


Filed under Complex Networks

4 responses to “Bitcoin and Anonymity

  1. I haven’t read Mr Reid’s article yet, but thanks for the link. Many people assume bitcoins are automatically anonymous, but the truth is it takes some effort to do very specific things to make it so.

  2. More material on bitcoin:
    Bitter to Better — How to Make Bitcoin a Better Currency

    Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System –

    Bitcoin: A Technical Introduction –

  3. A new Silk Road/Bitcoin analysis paper on arxiv:

    and a short video to introduce the area: