Check if your Bitcoin Wallet Address is under Surveillance

All anyone needs to do is simply paste such wallet address in the space provided on haveibeenknown and he/she automatically gets a response.

By · Jul 13, 2020 . 10min read

Photo by Parker Coffman on Unsplash

A Twitter user with @satoshua handle has built a tool which allows Bitcoin wallet users to check if their address is under surveillance.

It is haveibeenknown and was inspired by Troy Hunt’s haveibeenpwned. While Hunt’s solution helps users check if their email address or password has been compromised by any hackers’ activity, this helps you know if your wallet address is under surveillance.

All anyone needs to do is simply paste such wallet address in the space provided on haveibeenknown and he/she automatically gets a response.

Screenshot of the homepage:

Wallet owners do not only need to worry about surveillance from law enforcement agencies like the FBI. It could also be employed for addresses which are tied to specific KYC details. Government through the FATF rule mandates the majority of the centralized exchanges to carry out this exercise.

Others may have secretly doxxed some wallet addresses. This could also help such wallet operators to know if their anonymity has been breached. Just like the 39 ethereum addresses recently banned from using USDT, perhaps the users may consider this tool handy.

Blockchain, a strong tool for transparency

Blockchain technology ushered in an unprecedented age of transparency. Decentralized technology enables users to track activities going on in any wallet address. Monero and other privacy focussed projects are exceptions.

Simply put, unlike with regular bank accounts where one would need a court order to be able to request a party’s bank statement without their authorization, blockchain decentralizes that authority to everyone. You may enjoy such privacy but with third-parties like the banks controlling it. Banks wouldn’t blink an eye to submit all your details at the request of the government. Also, with this kind of tight control banks enjoy, comes corporate financial corruptions. Many of which led to the 1930 and 2008 recessions. But Blockchain technology’s emergency helps to address some of these. To get the transaction details of any account (wallet address), just figure out the wallet address. technically, you could also call these public wallet addresses private keys. Then paste into an explorer and you see every transaction ever carried out to and from the wallet address.

More transparency, less privacy

Satoshi and others designed cryptocurrency wallet addresses to be pseudonymous because of this kind of unfettered transparency. You can shield your identity when carrying out a financial transaction with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, anyone with the right tool could still unmask when they analyse those transactions from your wallet. Thanks to technology companies like Chainalysis, Elliptic and CypherTrace, you may now not be able to hide from “Big Brother”.

Cash is equally employed for committing crimes as with any other cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies have come under huge criticisms from government accusing it as a tool for nothing other than the dark web. Satoshi’s invention, the bitcoin weaned government off total financial authority. However, events like Silk Road, Welcome to Video and most recently a Nigerian scammer who funnelled illicit funds using bitcoin. FBI took all of them down for illicit activities. This gave strong critics like Roubini more reasons to call for a blanket ban on the activities of cryptocurrencies.

But crypto advocates like Roger Ver and Andreas Antonopoulos as well as other enthusiasts think otherwise. Transactions carried out solely in cash is untraceable which easily makes crypto advocates regard Cash as the king of Crime. And of course, the government are the issuers of fiat which is the same as cash. Do we then because of isolated cases of drug barons moving billions entirely in cash or terrorist networks engaging only in cash payments to evade governments surveillance to brandish the dollar or other cash as evil?

Out of curiosity to check if your wallet address is under surveillance, you may be voluntarily submitting your wallet to surveillance

So if you are ever wondering if your bitcoin wallet address is under kind of surveillance, then this solution makes it quite easy for you. On the flip side, the likes of the FBI and other spy networks may easily snoop on the same site where you voluntarily submitted your wallet address. After all, it runs on a centralized domain name and I’m assuming the same goes for the server. If so, then it’s susceptible to a single point attack.

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