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Amazon’s New Patent Could Help Authorities Link Crypto-Wallets to Individuals

Apr 20, 2018, 8:13AM
1 min, 29 sec READ

The US patent office has approved a patent filed by Amazon looking to identify Bitcoin wallet holders and provide information about consumers.

Amazon Technologies, an e-commerce behemoth and the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services, has won a patent that will allow the company to correlate multiple data streams, and then sell the information to entities that wish to monitor the data.

The patent was originally filed in September 2014 and was approved April 17, 2018. The proposed data correlation service is described as having potential applications for multiple industries, such as social media marketing and data analytics. As an interesting side note, the filing offers examples of how Bitcoin transactions could be valuable when correlated with other available information.

In the patent filing, raw cryptocurrency transaction records are described as having “low-value”. With Amazon’s proposed correlation service, however, the raw crypto-data can be combined with other streams of data from various sources, such as telecommunication records or shipping addresses stored by retailers, which can then help connect a cryptocurrency wallet to an individual.

Use by Law Enforcement

The resulting data stream can then provide detailed information about the owner of the crypto-wallet, and is described in the patent as having potential value to law-enforcement agencies:

“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 source IP addresses and shipping addresses that correlate to bitcoin addresses.”

With many crypto-investors purposely hiding their holdings from tax authorities worldwide, and many criminals turning to crypto as a means of money laundering and anonymity, Amazon’s proposed data correlation service could help with the future enforcement of financial laws within the crypto-sphere. 

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.