More Governments Are Following Crypto, Yet Anonymity Remains
Many claims have been made about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being impossible to track. According to its detractors, Bitcoin provides financial privacy comparable to that of a Swiss bank account.
However, maintaining confidentiality through a Swiss bank account is no longer possible. Bitcoin has been chastised by politicians, experts, and the media for providing anonymity and privacy.
Because of its anonymity, it has been accused of being a haven for criminals such as hackers, and drug dealers. Authorities have increased their scrutiny of Bitcoin due to its association with illegal activities.
For several years, governments have worked hard to track the movement of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. It’s not surprising given their growing popularity and use.
Most people believe that cryptocurrencies are anonymous. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are pseudonymous rather than anonymous. This means that transactions can be linked to specific people.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin keep a public ledger of all transactions, which are associated with specific wallet addresses. This enables national governments to precisely track our financial activities.
The transparency of cryptocurrency transactions raises privacy concerns.
A few governments have already taken advantage of cryptocurrency transaction transparency to create databases that combine transactions and private information.
However, many countries are still in the early stages of implementing this strategy. Governments are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to track financial transactions.
Privacy coins such as Monero exist to address cryptocurrency privacy concerns. These coins do not link transactions to wallets, allowing for greater anonymity.
Non-private coin transactions can also be concealed using mixing tools.
So, despite the best efforts of governments in the United States, Russia, Japan, and elsewhere. Crypto users who want to conceal their identities can still do so.
The US has a top-secret method for obtaining raw internet data from fiber-optic connections. This allows them to discover Bitcoin senders’ and receivers’ IP addresses and names.
OAKSTAR is an NSA programme. Edward Snowden leaked this information in 2013 and The Intercept published it in March 2018. The NSA developed OAKSTAR.
According to The Intercept, malware resembling a virtual private network (VPN) component was downloaded by approximately 16,000 users in China and Iran.
Data is stolen from a foreign fiber cable facility by the malware. The target facility’s specifics are not provided.
The NSA could use this data to collect sensitive information from Bitcoin users, such as passwords, internet activities, and MAC addresses.
OAKSTAR can collect more information than is required to identify a person and associate it with specific Bitcoin addresses and transactions. It can do so without the use of cryptocurrency exchanges.
The program can collect more information than just linking a person to Bitcoin transactions.
The Japanese National Police Agency (NPA) has announced plans to develop a system to “track” cryptocurrency transactions in Japan.
A country’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is developing a crypto surveillance program. The private company that is developing the program has not been identified.
In the coming year, the NPA will spend approximately $315,000 to run the program.
The cryptocurrency surveillance program will monitor “suspicious” transactions that are reported to it. The transactions will be combined into a graph to show where illegal funds are coming from and going.
The program’s goal is to depict the flow of illicit funds in the cryptocurrency world.
Since May, Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have been providing the Financial Services Agency with information about potentially illegal transactions and linked accounts.
This occurred after the agency enacted anti-money laundering (AML) legislation. The Japanese crypto industry has increased its anti-money laundering efforts.
The reporting by Japanese crypto exchanges enables the development of a “transaction-tracking system,” which is not a new cryptographic technique.
The ability to track transactions, rather than the loss of anonymity inherent in most cryptocurrencies, enables this.
Collaboration with the crypto industry makes the transaction-tracking system possible.