Forensics and Bitcoin

This article does not attempt to provide a beginners guide to Bitcoin, nor an in-depth thesis on Bitcoin forensics. Rather, it will be an overview of the potential opportunities available to digital forensics and traditional investigators to obtain evidence in relation to attributing transactions or holdings to a specific person and (legally) seizing those funds.

I will discuss academic work that has been undertaken in this area, what precautions a security aware user may take and the issues introduced by them doing so. I will also discuss an open-source Python tool called BTCscan, which has been created to accompany this article and will carve out bitcoin addresses, private keys and other Bitcoin artifacts.

This article may be of interest to persons conducting investigations for criminal, civil, personal or business reasons. Some elements may be of limited relevance to agencies without powers of seizure and/or subpoena…

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