Andy Greenberg, senior writer for WIRED and author of “Tracers in the Dark,” takes us inside the world of crypto-tracing crimebusters and voices the ambivalence of Bitcoin – a cypherpunk creation – eroding financial privacy. Hear how the longtime crypto scribe got law enforcement and sleuthing firms like Chainalysis to open up about their major wins in taking down darknet kingpins.


Show highlights:

  • why Andy thought early on that Bitcoin would enable crypto anarchy
  • how blockchain analytics started being used to tackle crime
  • why the IRS Criminal Investigation unit was more open to discussing its techniques
  • how Andy learned many new things about already well-known stories when writing about them for the book
  • the methods used to bring down the “biggest dark-web drug lord” in history
  • did AlphaBay’s Alexandre Cazes really kill himself in a Thai prison?
  • how researcher Sarah Meiklejohn developed tools to deanonymize Bitcoin
  • why she’s now uncomfortable that her techniques were adopted by Chainalysis and sold to law enforcement
  • what Andy feels about the importance of privacy
  • how Monero is harder to trace than Bitcoin but not untraceable
  • what the impact of zero-knowledge technology will be for blockchain analytics firms
  • whether the cypherpunk ethos is dead
  • why the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity will never die


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Andy Greenberg, senior writer for WIRED and author of “Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency”


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Read the episode transcript here