I have a question after a silly discussion.

We discussed for the best way for terrorists to get money. I have offered bitcoins. My question is: is it possible to trace who has cashed out bitcoins into money if you know the bitcoin wallet address.

I think it should be possible to trace, but how to trace such a thing?

NOTE: I'm just talking about cashing out bitcoin into money, not buying some cheap stuff.

4 Answers 4


Bitcoins are only ever really anonymous if you mine them your self or were given them by a miner. Once bitcoins are exchanged on, well an exchange (especially one affiliated with the U.S.) then those bitcoins have been associated with you. You can transfer them to other wallet addresses, but it will be visible in the block chain.

You can cycle them through many different accounts, but unless you have hundreds or thousands of accounts, then any illicit activity could be traced back to your first transfer by a sufficiently savvy analyst.

I also think that in the current mining climate, it would not be a trivial feat to acquire enough computers to generate enough bitcoin to fund any significant endeavor.

It should be noted that any exchange operating in the U.S. is obligated to employ someone whose job description is to look for money laundering.

  • If bitcoins were traceable, then you would think that they could catch at least one of the recent exchange thefts but they haven't.
    – djangofan
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 16:03
  • Well there are such things as mixers which make the task harder. But they can see which addresses the coins are in. Its just impossible to tie a physical identity to those address unless the thieves are foolish enough to sell them through an exchange which requires proof of identity.
    – Loourr
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 16:35


Not so much because you could find that out now, but rather because someone will find that out in the years to come.

So your suggestion is a bad proposition for someone who wants to remain unexposed forever.



You can try to get some information from the google cache: www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fbitcoinpolice.org

blockchain.info contain great information about who/where/when/how.

But, probably no one, except Security Services, can get all of information about credits, who got bitcoin on one place, who spent bitcoin on other.

Plus, if we start to look at the distribution of the markets and popularity of bitcoin, and keep in mind, that Credit Card fraud are still alive, then anybody can get anonymously great amount of bitcoins and anonymously transfer it to any Earth's point.

We discussed for the best way for terrorists to get money.

Mining of bitcoin is not a best way for terrorists to get money, but to transfer, its looks like greatest one. (1 hour = 6 confirmations, and one terrorist have completely paying another for service)

Anyway google will help you to get more information.

And don't forget to looking for same question:

Can my transactions be traced back to me even if I do this?


Bitcoin transactions are perfectly traceable but of course not always the single users. If I have 201mBTC on address A and transfer 100mBTC to someone and offer 1mBTC as fees then we have two outputs with 100mBTC each, one is for the trade partner and one back to me as change. If both output addresses are new then it's not clear at all what of both belongs to me. This changes in case I co-spend the change money with other coins where analytics found alredy out that it belongs with high likelihood to me. It's not easy to leave no traces.

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