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Chain analysis helps the worst dictators and regimes in the world

April 28, 2020

In an interview on April 25th Andreas Antonopoulos compared working at Chainalysis with working at an arms manufacturer or a company that builds cages for concentration camps.

Andreas Antonopoulos, perhaps the best known Bitcoin (BTC) educator, had very harsh words for companies like Chainalysis that help de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions:

“Companies like Chainalysis and others are basically in an arms race against privacy. Y. They provide the worst dictators and regimes in the world, directly or indirectly, with information that violates the civil rights of millions of people. “

He added that in his opinion it was immoral to work for a company like this:

“Just as I think it is immoral to work for an arms manufacturer or a company that builds cages for refugee concentration camps.”

Chain analysis helps the worst dictators and regimes in the worldChain analysis helps the worst dictators and regimes in the world

Jonathan Levin, co-founder of Chainalysis and Chief Strategy Officer in a statement to Cointelegraph, responded to the criticism and referred to a previously reported case:

“While US agencies represent many of our government customers, we also work with other government agencies around the world. This is particularly useful when law enforcement agencies work in multiple countries, just like in the Welcome to Video case. We have established policies and procedures that we can use to determine which governments we are working with. As a rule, chain analysis does not work with dictatorial governments. “

Levin noted that his company “is often criticized for being against the spirit of Bitcoin”; However, he believes that regulatory compliance is essential for the introduction of Bitcoin.

It is unclear which regimes and dictators Antonopoulos had in mind. Chain analysis has helped authorities in several countries with some of the most notorious cryptocurrency cases: swap hacks, sexual exploitation, and evasion from sanctions. The latter triggers criticism that the company is concentrating on the United States. United States

The solution is coming

In the same interview, Antonopoulos admitted that Bitcoin’s original design was flawed in terms of privacy protection and that it was slow to approach due to its inherent conservatism:

“Bitcoin is fundamentally the most conservative system in existence because it is said to be extremely robust and secure and can withstand attacks through collusion or collaboration between actors at the national level.”

Also He noted that this issue will be resolved as new privacy enhancements become available in the Bitcoin protocol:

Fortunately, there are a number of technologies that are likely to improve it even further. One of them is a series of changes that are now being introduced in Bitcoin. Schnoor signatures, tap roots and tapescript “

Another tool that allows more privacy is the flash channels. Antonopoulos, a prolific blockchain writer, noted that he is currently writing a book on the Lightning Network.

According to Levin, Chainalysis also observes and anticipates these developments:

“We investigate technologies such as Schnorr, taproot and tapescript signatures in the same way and track their adoption and use. These have long delivery times and are evaluated by companies if their customers really request them as characteristics. “

Andreas Antonopoulos declined to comment on this article.

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