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An Analysis of Anonymity in Bitcoin Using P2P Network Traffic

  • Philip Koshy
  • Diana Koshy
  • Patrick McDaniel
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8437)

Abstract

Over the last 4 years, Bitcoin, a decentralized P2P crypto-currency, has gained widespread attention. The ability to create pseudo-anonymous financial transactions using bitcoins has made the currency attractive to users who value their privacy. Although previous work has analyzed the degree of anonymity Bitcoin offers using clustering and flow analysis, none have demonstrated the ability to map Bitcoin addresses directly to IP data. We propose a novel approach to creating and evaluating such mappings solely using real-time transaction traffic collected over 5 months. We developed heuristics for identifying ownership relationships between Bitcoin addresses and IP addresses. We discuss the circumstances under which these relationships become apparent and demonstrate how nearly 1,000 Bitcoin addresses can be mapped to their likely owner IPs by leveraging anomalous relaying behavior.

Keywords

Bitcoin Anonymity CoinSeer 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Grants No. CNS-1228700 and CNS-0905447. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Copyright information

© International Financial Cryptography Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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