How the Myth of Bitcoin’s Anonymity Was Busted

Andy Greenberg, Wired:

When she had started that process of probing the Bitcoin ecosystem, [Sarah] Meiklejohn had seen her work almost as anthropology: What were people doing with bitcoin? How many of them were saving the cryptocurrency versus spending it? But as her initial findings began to unfold, she had started to develop a much more specific goal, one that ran exactly counter to crypto-anarchists’ idealized notion of bitcoin as the ultimate privacy-preserving currency of the dark web: She aimed to prove, beyond any doubt, that bitcoin transactions could very often be traced. Even when the people involved thought they were anonymous.

This is an excerpt from Greenberg’s 2022 book “Tracers in the Dark” which, like virtually everything Greenberg writes, I enjoyed immensely.