Is Chainalysis Evil with Jonathan Levin

Location: Zoom
Date: Thursday, 2nd April
Project: Chainalysis
Role: Co-Founder

Bitcoin’s strengths lie in its ability to separate money and state, censorship and seizure resistance. It is an open and permissionless network that allows anyone to interact with it.

It is an entirely public network, but that doesn’t mean it is anonymous. Addresses do not use personal information but created using alphanumeric characters, and addresses can be monitored to watch transactions and follow the flow of Bitcoin.

Chainalysis is a controversial company, with many claiming they are antithetical to the ideals behind Bitcoin. They offer blockchain analysis software that will scan the blockchain and report on illicit or suspicious uses of Bitcoin. They provide these services to exchanges, governments and law enforcement to help tie real-world identities to Bitcoin transactions.

In this interview, I talk to the co-founder of Chainalysis Jonathan Levin. We discuss whether Chainalysis is antithetical to Bitcoin, how they decide who can use the software, and if they are helping erode privacy.