Blockchain transactions are often said to be anonymous or at least pseudonymous—but are they really? At least for some users, part of the appeal of using cryptocurrency is the perceived anonymity it seemingly offers. But increasingly, judicial decisions and governmental enforcement activity show that this perception is mistaken.
A burgeoning industry of blockchain analysis tools now enables governments and litigants to analyze cryptocurrency transactions on the blockchain and in many cases trace them back to an identifiable, real-world user, even where such users have taken steps to conceal their identity. Recent developments show how courts and enforcers have embraced using this technology.
The Problem of Anonymity
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