When I read that the FBI had seized $2.3 million in Bitcoin paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers earlier this week, my first thought was:  This proves that Bitcoin can't be free from the powers that be, because it rides on rails that they control. Because as it happens, that's the title of a post I wrote back in 2011, citing the observations of Bill Maurer, who's now Director at the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at UC Irvine, and one of the world's foremost experts on alternative/experimental forms of money and finance. "Indeed," Bill tells me now, "the Colonial Pipeline case demonstrates that the much-touted anonymity of the Bitcoin blockchain is illusory: given the right analytics and determination, an algorithm can deduce the addresses associated with specific transactions--especially big, highly publicized ones where the amounts transacted, and in what chunks, are known (since presumably Colonial Pipeline told the federal authorities in what pieces they transferred the ransom)."

For the full story, please visit https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2021/06/bitcoin-fbi-cryptocurrency-bill-maurer.html.  

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