CANCELLED Tracing Stolen Bitcoin (DLS in Cybersecurity)

12.07.2018, 16:15 – 17:15

12.07.2018 16:15-17:15

Speaker: Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory | Location: Hochschulstraße 10 (S2|02), Piloty Building, Room C110

DLS talk is cancelled due to illness

Organizer: CROSSING / GRK Privacy & Trust / CRISP


We've been exploring how to track stolen bitcoin. Previous attempts to do this had got entangled in the problem of dealing with transactions that split bitcoin into change, or that consolidate smaller sums into larger ones, and with mining fees. One answer comes from an unexpected direction: a legal precedent in 1816….

The High Court had to tackle a similar problem in Clayton’s case, which involved the assets and liabilities of a bank that had gone bust. The court ruled that money must be tracked through accounts on the basis of first-in, first out (FIFO); the first penny into an account goes to satisfy the first withdrawal, and so on. We therefore coded up FIFO taint tracking and found that it works very much better than the methods used to date. But this is not the end of the story, but the beginning. Given a new telescope, you point it at the heavens to see what new wonders you can see. Once we start looking seriously at the blockchain, and trying to trace real stolen bitcoin, we find that things are not at all as described either in the academic literature, or in the marketing material of the cryptocurrency industry.

Distinguished Lectures Series in Cybersecurity

Mit der Distinguished Lecture Series in Cybersecurity kommen jedes Semester herausragende Experten aus Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft nach Darmstadt, um die vielfältigen Chancen und He­raus­for­de­rung­en im Bereich der IT-Sicherheit zu diskutieren.

Die Redner stellen in den Vorlesungen richtungsweisende Forschungsergebnisse verschiedener Disziplinen vor, fassen komplexe Themenbereiche zusammen und zeigen den momentanen Kenntnisstand ihres Forschungs- oder Arbeitsgebietes auf.

Die Vorträge sind öffentlich. Interessierte Besucher sind herzlich willkommen. Nach der Vorlesung gibt es Möglichkeit zum Austausch bei einem kleinen Buffet vor Ort.

Vergangene Distinguished Lectures in Cybersecurity in Bildern.