I need to trace a bitcoin transaction to find out roughly where in the world the wallet is located. Is it possible to use a program, or manual-method, to trace/track a bitcoin transaction to find the recipients IP address or which area in in world they are in? If so, roughly how accurate is it?
I think there is no such thing as a defined location for a wallet. Two main reasons:
- You can create an offline wallet, and the web doesn't even know about it.
- You can have multiple wallets (back-up, multiple computers, whatever)
The Bitcoin blockchain does not have any concept of location, nor could such a thing be added to it.
There is no such thing as "tracing a transaction" in a corporeal sense.
If you had a comprehensive global surveillance network, you could attempt to connect to every Bitcoin node in the network (including all the nodes located in Tor) and use timing analysis to attempt to guess the originating node of any given transaction.
If you had that surveillance capability, it would only tell about the specific outputs which were being spent and nothing about outputs which the user of that wallet might possess which have not yet been spent.
Basically, Bitcoin was designed to make what you're trying to do impossible.
You can indeed do that and even find the IP of the sender. This is called blockchain network analysis. There are now companies like Chainalysis and Elliptic that offer such tools that can trace Bitcoin transactions back to their users. A lot of people wrongly assume that Bitcoin transactions are anonymous. They are not. And what is more every transaction is permanently recorded, searchable and traceable using blockchain analysis tools.