Improving Bitcoin Ownership Identification Using Transaction Patterns Analysis

Tao Hung Chang, Davor Svetinovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a financial transaction network implemented using blockchain technology. Users in the Bitcoin network use pseudonymous Bitcoin addresses and conduct transactions with others without revealing their real identities. In order to further enhance their privacy and convenience, users often use a large number of different addresses. In this paper, we analyze different patterns of transactions occurring in the Bitcoin network in order to cluster addresses that share the same ownership. In order to evaluate the proposed clustering approach, Bitcoin addresses belonging to known entities are tagged and these are used in conjunction with the Gini impurity index to test the accuracy of the recovered identity-based clusters. The results show that our heuristic was able to detect relationships between Bitcoin addresses that were missed by the existing heuristics.

Original languageBritish English
Article number8467371
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Bitcoin
  • blockchain
  • data analytics
  • privacy


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