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Peer review of "Quantitative Analysis of the Full Bitcoin Transaction Graph" (github.com)
24 points by wglb 1886 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

Calling this peer review is... charitable. Glancing over the commenters, most of them have some bitcoin related activity and none of them have any cryptography related publications or notable work (that I can easily find anyway).

So far as I can see, this is just bitcoin fans trying to discredit a paper co-written by Adi "I helped invent RSA" Shamir which is somewhat unflattering to bitcoin.

Adi Shamir claims to have understanding of Bitcoin network, yet downloads and parses HTML files instead of a raw structured and ready to use blockchain.

Jeff Garzik makes two very important comments. First, that the blockchain is not a website and is very easy to tinker with as it is. Second, that many "rich" bitcoin owners might very well be web wallet servers that do not really "own" bitcoins, but simply store other's money in their vault (like in old days banks were storing gold).

Calling this "peer review" is less funny than being a security expert and parsing HTML to get the blockchain.

Jeff Garzik is not R, S or A but he is still certainly qualified to comment on a paper about Bitcoin.

A few people have gotten hung up on the word "owner", but clearly all the addresses used by a Web wallet are under the de facto control of a single party, even if that party is not the legal owner. This does make it hard to estimate how many Bitcoin "owners" there really are.

I would also guess that Ron and Shamir didn't look too deeply into the Bitcoin community since they use slightly different terminology, but the paper is still interesting.

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