ceClub: Quantitative Analysis of the Full Bitcoin Transaction Graph

Speaker:
Dorit Ron (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Date:
Wednesday, 16.1.2013, 11:30
Place:
EE Meyer Building 861

The Bitcoin scheme is a rare example of a large scale global payment system in which all the transactions are publicly accessible (but in an anonymous way). We downloaded the full history of this scheme, and analyzed many statistical properties of its associated transaction graph. In this paper we answer for the first time a variety of interesting questions about the typical behavior of users, how they acquire and how they spend their bitcoins, the balance of bitcoins they keep in their accounts, and how they move bitcoins between their various accounts in order to better protect their privacy. In addition, we isolated all the large transactions in the system, and discovered that almost all of them are closely related to a single large transaction that took place in November 2010, even though the associated users apparently tried to hide this fact with many strange looking long chains and fork-merge structures in the transaction graph.

Joint work with Prof. Adi Shamir

Bio: Dorit Ron is a staff scientist in the Weizmann Institute of Science since 2003. As of 1991 she was a postdoc and a reaserch fellow with Prof. Achi Brandt . She received her Ph.D. and M.Sc from the Weizmann Institute and her B.Sc. from the Technion. She was a researcher for a year in the University of Colorado and for one year a professor in the departmant of mathematics in the University of California at Berkeley.Her research interest is in developing linear time algorithms mostly based on multilevel techniques for scientific computations in varuious areas: statistical physics and Monte Carlo simulations, hard optimization problems of either discrete or continous nature, graph problems and robotics.

Back to the index of events