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A new technique to track bitcoins that have been through a mixing service


Sep 1, 2020

Paper Title:

Tracking Mixed Bitcoins



Mixer services purportedly remove all connections between the input(deposited) Bitcoins and the output (withdrawn) mixed Bitcoins, seeminglyrendering taint analysis tracking ineffectual. In this paper, we introduce andexplore a novel tracking strategy, called \emph{Address Taint Analysis}, thatadapts from existing transaction-based taint analysis techniques for trackingBitcoins that have passed through a mixer service. We also investigate thepotential of combining address taint analysis with address clustering andbackward tainting. We further introduce a set of filtering criteria that reducethe number of false-positive results based on the characteristics of withdrawntransactions and evaluate our solution with verifiable mixing transactions ofnine mixer services from previous reverse-engineering studies. Our findingshows that it is possible to track the mixed Bitcoins from the depositedBitcoins using address taint analysis and the number of potential transactionoutputs can be significantly reduced with the filtering criteria.



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