Bitcoin is on everyone’s lips who’s remotely interested in money, and here’s more proof: Amazon’s new patent system allows transactions to be tracked. Just as you thought crypto’s biggest and best advantage was that it was impossible to hold down, it turns out that, in fact, everything is possible. The United States Patent and Trademark Office describes the following:

“For example, a law enforcement agency may be a customer and may desire to receive global bitcoin transactions, correlated by country, with ISP data to determine the source IP addresses and shipping addresses that correlate to bitcoin addresses. The agency may not want additional available enhancements such as local bank data records. The streaming data marketplace may price this desired data out per GB (gigabyte), for example, and the agency can start running analytics on the desired data using the analysis module.”

So transactions that were anonymous will cease to become anonymous. It is logical to ask what’s next, although an assumption, as you know, is the mother of all fails.

How does it work?

Amazon Technologies have enabled a mechanism thanks to which different data streams can be combined so that certain ISP addresses can be tracked down. The data can be sold in the form of subscriptions. This was approved by The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after a patent has been filed over 4 years ago.

The data streams that involve Bitcoin transactions will become available on demand to users, which will also include possible enforcement agencies that may want to track crypto holders down to verify their tax are adding up – or for any other purpose:

“For example, a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream. A group of telecommunications providers may subscribe downstream to the combined data stream and be able to correlate the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of the transactions to countries of origin. Government agencies may be able to subscribe downstream and correlate tax transaction data to help identify transaction participants.”

Although Amazon claims they take customer privacy very seriously, there are concerns about the extent to which transactions will be unmasked. Another paragraph states:

“As another example implementation, when wire payments are made, there may typically be limited visibility into what happens with the transaction between the endpoints of the transaction. Publication of streaming data for transactions at different financial institutions may enable correlation of related transactions to identify a path taken by the transaction between the endpoints.”

Who benefits?

In this case, the claim is that data streams can be sold and purchased for the purposes of large data manipulation to make processing large amounts of data easier and more effective and to reflect changes in the data quicker. Somehow it still seems that this is a way to enable government agencies to be able to track down crypto users. With the amount of government control over the issue it would seem logical that, since it was pretty much impossible to seize control over crypto directly, there may be another way. After all, crypto has the potential of replacing the whole of the world’s banking system – and render governments useless by replacing a centralized system with a decentralized one.

The government’s attempts to control cryptocurrency to this day have been somewhat successful, but there is still a sense of colossal underwater currents being around (including money allegedly used to fund terrorism and launder money). If you have been keeping track, you will have read our article on similarities between the first years of crypto and the first years of The Internet – wonky, groggy, and awkward at first. Still, we believe that in time with unlimited potential that crypto holds it will unfold and turn into a power no state can control.

The question is whether these attempt to keep crypto in a yoke will be successful, unlike with The Internet, or is this just another desperate and failing attempt – just like blocking a site, which can easily be overcome with a built-in VPN add-on? Put more plainly, if it is indeed a stealthy attempt at taking Bitcoin down (and we’re not saying it is), is this the beginning or crypto or the end? As cryptoswings.com points out, no need to worry, large corporations can be trusted with your data, right? It’s not like there is a potential for anything going majorly wrong here. No worries at all.

Image by Crypro Hustle.

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