While following a particular transaction from a donation received in 2011 I noticed a pattern in the block chain. The entity donating would send .001 to an address and the remainder of the wallet would go to another address.
A few min later the wallet with the remainder would send .001 to someone else and the remainder to yet another address, when that address would again separate and send .001 to a recipient and the remainder to, what I would presume, an address under their control.
Once in a while the sender would send .001 to two or three others but the remainder would always go to a separate address they control. I followed the chain forward and backward with the typical results.
I am wondering if this is a method used to track individuals, or is this a result of the wallet sending “change” back to itself. I have followed other donations and usually the address shows multiple transactions without emptying the contents completely.
I have used walletexplorer.com and blockchain.info to follow the history but it seems the trail goes back further then I have time to click and wait for a web page to load.
Is there any software available that can filter through my offline copy of the blockchain ledger and make following these kinds of links easier / quicker?
How does blockchain.info displays user names from bitcointalk embedded somehow with the addresses. Were those identities listed associated with the address by the sender, or was it designated by the recipients wallet?