The myth of the anonymity of cryptocurrencies | WIRED

1 year ago

If you have done any internet crimes lately, you probably shouldn’t have paid for them with bitcoin. While many crypto evangelists have long touted digital currency as a way to buy goods (legal and illegal) online while remaining completely anonymous, the fact is that nearly all crypto transactions leave behind a digital footprint that can point to your true identity. . No matter how hard you try to hide, a dedicated detective with the right resources will still be able to find you.

This week on Gadget LabWIRED senior cybersecurity writer and book author Tracers in the dark explores all the ways that investigators, government agents and hackers can track down online criminals by “following the money” exchanged in cryptocurrency transactions.

Show notes

Andy’s book Tracers in the Dark: Global Hunt for Cryptocurrency Crime Bosses. You can read two excerpts from the book on the six-part AlphaBay saga and an article about a website being taken down for spreading child sexual abuse material.


Andy recommends a deliberately disappointing game get over it. Lauren recommends Andy WIRED’s story about animal rights activists whose spy cameras revealed the grim realities of the slaughterhouse. Mike recommends a book Art is life art critic Jerry Saltz.

Andy can be found on Twitter @a_greenberg. Lauren Goode @LaurenGood. Michael Kalore @snack. Bling main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is being produced by Boone Ashworth (@Bunashworth). Our theme music is written solar keys.

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