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Who Watches the Chain Watchers?

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David Z. Morris

David Z. Morris is CoinDesk's Chief Insights Columnist. He holds Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Follow @davidzmorris on Twitter

Yesterday we had a major scoop from CoinDesk’s Danny Nelson, who unearthed a set of slides showing the crypto investigations firm Chainalysis has been running a wallet explorer site that scrapes users’ IP addresses as part of the firm’s investigative services for law enforcement agencies.

While the idea of a honeypot website harvesting IP data is definitely creepy, I would argue Chainalysis’ apparent methods here are laudable because the data is gathered as part of targeted investigations rather than as a form of sweeping surveillance. Legislators around the world sometimes seem to forget the distinction, as when they pressure companies like Apple for backdoors into its system that compromise the privacy of all users – or, increasingly, push for crypto legislation with blanket invasive surveillance requirements.

This article is excerpted from The Node, CoinDesk’s daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news. You........

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