MIT Study: 40% of Bitcoin transactions through online retailers are not anonymous

MIT Study: 40% of Bitcoin transactions through online retailers are not anonymous

Researchers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) carried out a study displaying that Bitcoin transactions were not really 100% anonymous — according to the MIT Technology Review magazine.

Cybersecurity explorers found out that some online retailers accepting bitcoins as a payment for goods or services “leak” information regarding the payers to Google and Facebook.

It turned out that the main sources of “leaks” were web tracking tools and cookies of sites. In fact, these are bits of computer code, which send out data on site visitors' activity to third parties. This is done to collect statistical information to be used by Google and Facebook for marketing purposes.

Web tracking transmits data including name, address and email of a player, who committed a transaction in Bitcoin, to the specified companies. From this information, the intelligence services can easily identify the Bitcoin wallet and its owner.

The research was participated by 130 online retailers accepting payments in Bitcoin. It emerged that 53 of them disclose details on cryptocurrency payments to related parties.

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