Blockchain tech group Bitfury, founded in 2011 as a Bitcoin mining company, has launched a software stack called Crystal that is designed to help fight crimes involving Bitcoin, according to a press release issued Tuesday, Jan. 30.
Crystal will allow users to detect and examine criminal activity that takes place on the Bitcoin Blockchain and avoid interacting with coins that are associated with illegal transactions.
Crystal’s free demo version is available for individuals starting Jan. 30, while a full version for corporate clients will begin shipping in March 2018.
According to Bitfury, it took about two years to develop Crystal. The company set out in 2015 with the idea to provide a tool that would help financial and government institutions fight against criminal activity committed with Bitcoin.
“The industry needs some very user-friendly tools so that you can track bitcoin transactions and see if this bitcoin address that you're getting money from is green or black,” said Valery Vavilov, the CEO of Bitfury.
Crystal’s key tool is the so-called “detailed risk scoring” solution that is capable of tracing “suspicious” transactions to the final address or withdrawal point. It can also calculate the risk score of any address, which is estimated based on how closely that address is associated with known illegal activities.
Other tools include autonomous monitoring of Bitcoin addresses, compilation and sharing of security reports and the REST Application Programming Interface (API) that will allow third-party platforms to build customized solutions on top of Crystal’s tools.
A case of cryptocurrency robbery — the first of its kind in the UK — was reported on Sunday Jan. 28. Four armed men broke into the house of a cryptocurrency trader and forced him to transfer all of his bitcoins to the robbers.
On Jan. 26, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning about the increasing occurrence of fake email death threats in California that are used as a tool of cryptocurrency extortion.
Bitfury’s Crystal solution can potentially help in cases such as these by tracking the stolen bitcoins to their eventual point of withdrawal, whereby criminals can be caught red-handed.