Every Friday, Law Decoded delivers analysis on the week’s critical stories in the realms of policy, regulation and law.
One of the most persistent myths about Bitcoin is its supposed anonymity. More properly termed pseudonymity, BTC wallets are permanently tied to their public keys. Most of you know that. But it took government investigators years of trying to corral Bitcoin transactions on dark web marketplaces like the Silk Road to figure that out.
Now, however, blockchain analysis is a growing industry, catering to a range of clients including many of the most shadowy of government agencies. This was inevitable. At the same time, much of the appeal of effective blockchain programming — beyond cryptocurrency applications — is their ability to protect dispersed data. But as government actors get more sophisticated with blockchain technology and indeed look at onboarding it themselves, they seem determined to short-circuit the whole privacy protection side of things.
This week, we’re looking at