ByC. Edward Kelso
Longhash, a crypto and blockchain media and analysis site, recently launched its own Bitcoin Tracker. In an effort to “offer more peace of mind to investors, regulators and the general public,” users can basically find the origin of BTC, tracking it through the many places it has traveled.
“Compared to the traditional financial system,” Longhash explains, “cryptocurrency can seem murky. Bitcoin transactions are pseudonymous, which makes them attractive to criminals.” And while that statement can for sure trigger a great many Bitcoiners to outrage, and probably should, the site believes mainstreaming crypto adoption will come with the advent of tools for transparency.
It’s also a interesting juxtaposition on where many in the ecosystem seem to be, philosophically. Privacy-based coins, regardless of their actual efficacy, are all the rage as developers look to thwart minders, official and otherwise, to bring about a more cash-like experience.
For Longhash, attracting institutional money seems to outweigh such a trend. “When you send money to a Bitcoin address, who exactly are you dealing with?,” they ask. With that in mind, they’ve created a BTC address search to their homepage. “To be clear,” Longhash stresses, “we are not revealing the identities of Bitcoin holders. We just hope to offer more peace of mind to investors, regulators and the general public. The mainstream perception that cryptocurrency is associated with crime is not good for the industry as a whole.”
To discover the site’s version of transparency, users can dial up the Longhash homepage and click on an Address link to enable two types of bitcoin address searches, Fuzzy and Precise. A fuzzy search on the Longhash page asks only for a “few characters of an address.” Users can examine “10,000 richest bitcoin addresses” from richest first on down. Precise searches appear to live up to the title. The curious enter a BTC address, and available to them are balances, BTC sent and received amounts, and transaction history generally.
An interesting quirk of these searches is the Address Rate. “We rate addresses by analyzing their transactions as well as the addresses that it sends money to and receives money from. If we find, for example, that an address is transacting with another address that is affiliated with crime, the first address will get a lower rating. The higher the address rate, the more trustworthy the address,” the company notes.
Like dollars, bitcoin can pass through various routes to wind up in your wallet. Should you want to know more about the address sending them your way, Longhash believes they can provide insight. “We classified four main address types,” they argue. “The light blue refers to a mixing service, which purposely disguises the source of a Bitcoin transaction. The darker blue refers to a cryptocurrency exchange. The magenta refers to a mining pool, and the orange refers to a gambling site. The light purple refers to an old address that is no longer in use.” Probably the most interesting part of the experience is how classifications are charted in colored rings. The inner-inner ring is a BTC’s origin. If that ring was blue, this would mean its first 30 moves came by way of formal crypto exchanges. If the next most inner ring is purple and a mix of orange, this means the BTC had both exchange and gambling site origins. The outer ring then, shows how, in this example, BTC “came from a combination of cryptocurrency exchanges, mixing services and mining pools, gambling sites,” they claim. “So by using this chart, you can see if a Bitcoin has any relationship to dirty money.”
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Longhash.
At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even look up the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.