The association between Bitcoin and criminal activity cannot be ignored. Criminals favor cryptocurrency due to its wrongfully perceived anonymity. Thankfully, numerous services try to address that situation. BitcoinAbuse is a very intriguing and noteworthy service in this regard. Although it largely depends on community participation, no stone should be left unturned.
BitcoinAbuse in a Nutshell
As the name somewhat suggests, this service aims to prevent abuse of Bitcoin transfers. More specifically, the service positions itself as a public database of Bitcoin addresses associated with nefarious activities. Ranging from scams to theft to dubious wallet addresses, they will all be found on this platform sooner or later. Tracking these Bitcoin addresses in crucial in terms of preventing the illegally obtained funds from leaving the ecosystem and end up in criminals’ hands.
Although there is a heavy reliance on the Bitcoin community, it is a very prolific effort regardless. Once people actively start reporting suspicious Bitcoin wallet addresses, the job also becomes a lot easier for firms active in the world of blockchain analysis. Once they know where to look exactly, it becomes a lot more straightforward to trace funds back to its origin. Community members can file reports by sharing the Bitcoin address, the abuse type, an email address or other identifier associated with the scam/theft, and so forth.
Very Successful so Far
Given the rise of hacks, theft, and malware activity, BitcoinAbuse will undoubtedly become quite popular. According to the website, there have been over 5,400 reports filed in the last month alone. That in itself shows people are keeping a very close eye on anything that could be considered suspicious. Although this number is quite significant, one has to wonder how much of a portion of all Bitcoin-related crime it truly represents.
No one will be surprised to learn that most of the reports to date are associated with ransomware attacks. Criminals distributing this type of malware tend to ask for a Bitcoin payment in exchange for giving users access to their files once again. Paying this ransom should never be a viable option, thus reporting the Bitcoin addresses in question might be the best course of action. So far, numerous addresses are listed in the database already. Combined with the lookup function on the BitcoinAbuse site, it becomes a lot easier to determine if a specific address is associated with potential criminal activity.
Report Management and Privacy
While services like these are beneficial to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole, no service ever comes without caveats or drawbacks. Any Bitcoin address reported to the database will remain listed there forever. None of the reports will be removed nor edited, which might raise some unwanted attention sooner or later. Even so, one can understand why the team doesn’t want to remove those reports.
Some users might be concerned regarding the privacy of their Bitcoin address. After all, any Bitcoin address on the planet can be reported to this service without any repercussions. Services like BitcoinAbuse can affect the perceived privacy of Bitcoin transactions. Then again, anyone who seeks privacy in the cryptocurrency industry should look well beyond Bitcoin, to begin with. The world’s leading cryptocurrency lacks privacy and anonymity by default. That is not a bad thing, but certainly something to keep in mind.
Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.