BITUNAM stands for Bitcoin User Network Analysis and Mining.
The goal of this research project is to analyze the transactions occuring in Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies in order to characterize them. Because Cryptocurrencies use distributed, open ledgers stored in a blockchain, the history of all transactions between (anonymous) addresses can be harvested.
Our objective is to use techniques from Machine Learning, Data Mining and Network Analysis to discover meaningful information about those originally anonymous transactions. Our main objective is to estimate types of usages of a particular currency, and the evolution of these usages.
The type of questions we aim to answer are, for instance:
- What is the fraction of transactions made between individuals?
- What is the fraction of transactions whose goal is to buy a product?
- What is the fraction of transactions managed by exchanges platform (virtual wallet) versus wallet managed by individual users?
- How is the network of transaction organised, is it a single global village or is it structured in communities, for instance by countries or user's reference currency (Euros, Dollars, etc.)?
- What happens to money acquired through illegal or suspicious activities?
It is a project funded by the ANR
, French National Research Agency, as a 42 months JCJC program (young researcher program). The page of the project on the ANR webiste can be found here
A webpage synthesizing some quantitative description of the Bitcoin blockchain is available there: http://bitunam.sci-web.net