Security

Evaluating User Privacy in Bitcoin

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Executive Summary

Bitcoin is quickly emerging as a popular digital payment system. However, in spite of its reliance on pseudonyms, Bitcoin raises a number of privacy concerns due to the fact that all of the transactions that take place are publicly announced in the system. In this paper, the authors investigate the privacy guarantees of Bitcoin in the setting where Bitcoin is used as a primary currency for the daily transactions of individuals. More specifically, they evaluate the privacy that is provided by Bitcoin by analyzing the genuine Bitcoin system and through a simulator that faithfully mimics the operation of Bitcoin in the context where Bitcoin is used for all transactions within a university.

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