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The Year in Review for Crystal Blockchain Analytics — 2018

by Marina Khaustova

January 24, 2019

The Crystal™ analytics platform is the all-in-one blockchain analytics tool for law enforcement bodies, capital market companies and financial organizations. This software provides a comprehensive view of the public blockchain ecosystem and uses advanced analytics and data scraping to map cryptocurrency transactions and related entities and to reveal suspicious funds and participants.
One of main applications of blockchain technology is peer-to-peer cryptocurrency payments. The fact that payments are made by ‘virtual’ participants — owners of crypto-wallets who are not represented by traditional banking credentials — could make blockchain vulnerable to suspicious actors. This vulnerability raises concerns for legal businesses to fully adopt blockchain solutions, despite its many potential benefits to their businesses. We created the Crystal tool to solve this challenge — to give companies a way to track the sources and holders of crypto funds, and for cybercrime investigators to efficiently trace and reveal suspicious blockchain participants. Our goal is to make blockchain and cryptocurrencies safer for everyone.
The Crystal analytics platform is developed and distributed by the Bitfury Group.
Here, we provide an overview of Crystal’s key milestones throughout its first year.

Launch — January 30, 2018

The launch of the Crystal software was announced on January 30, 2018 in London. A special ad campaign was prepared for the release, including a video introduction.
Upon its launch, the software attracted attention from both financial institutions and cybercrime investigators, who were able to test out the product’s risk scoring, entity and interaction features through the free trial. Financial organizations were drawn to the support it could provide for know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, and law enforcement organizations were interested in the many ways Crystal can boost efficiency in investigations.
The first version of the Crystal tool provided analytics for the Bitcoin Blockchain only.

Partnership with BASIS ID — April 2018

In April 2018, Bitfury and BASIS ID, the largest provider of KYC and anti-money laundering services in Asia, partnered to integrate Crystal analytics into BASIS ID’s customer ID verification service. This integration will enhance BASIS ID’s solution by incorporating data from the Bitcoin Blockchain, which BASIS ID lacked before. The Crystal tool serves as another data provider for BASIS ID, providing access to extensive, previously untapped blockchain data.
Read more here.

Establishing Crystal Blockchain, Inc. — May 2018

To deliver the best possible service to our US customers, Bitfury established its US-based subsidiary in May 2018 known as Crystal Blockchain, Inc. The same month, Michael DuBose joined our team as the President of the company. Michael has more than 30 years of experience in senior law enforcement and data security positions. For 11 years, he served as Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s elite cybercrime unit, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), where he supervised sophisticated investigations involving computer network intrusions, phishing schemes, botnets, illicit darknet activities, hacktivist groups, software piracy, and theft of trade secrets. His vast experience in prosecuting transnational cybercrime cases helped the Crystal team make the tool even more useful for cybercrime investigators.
Read more here.

Joining the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies — August 2018

In an effort to deliver the best services and tools to its customers, Crystal Blockchain, Inc. became a Gold-level partner of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies. The partnership gives the Crystal team the opportunity to both learn from law enforcement officials and enhance our product, as well as educate cybercrime investigators about blockchain and cryptocurrency analytics.
Read more here.

Integration with Trendalyze — November 2018

The Crystal API provides endless possibilities to integrate cryptocurrency analytics into other software tools and services. As an example of the opportunity, Trendalyze Inc. and Bitfury agreed in November 2018 to integrate Crystal blockchain analytics into Trendalyze, a micro-trends analytics, monitoring, prediction and search platform. Thanks to this integration, Crystal’s functionality is expanding with transaction analytics and monitoring by adding motif discovery and pattern search capabilities.

Read more here.

Other 2018 Achievements:

Adoption of Crystal in Crypto Exchanges

Over the course of 2018, the Crystal software was tested by hundreds of organizations and a number of crypto exchanges adopted the tool as a source of blockchain analytics for KYC procedures. Using Bitfury’s software, they were able to foresee future cryptocurrency regulations, keep their crypto funds clean of ‘dirty’ money and trace any suspicious transactions to proactively prevent possible theft.

New Investigation Cases

The Crystal team performed several investigations, including the widely known Bithumb exchange and Zaif exchange hacks. You can find detailed reports prepared by our Crystal analytics here and here.

New Crystal Software Features

Throughout 2018, the Crystal tool evolved from version 1.0 to version 1.9, adding a number of new features along the way, including:
· Bitcoin Cash support;
· The “Connections” feature that helps determine with whom an address/entity; interacted at a certain period of time in the specified amounts of funds; and
· A transaction filtering feature that enables you to filter and sort the list of transactions for more efficient analysis.
In addition to these important feature upgrades, we also significantly increased the volume of off-chain data in the Crystal database. By the end of 2018, Crystal’s Bitcoin Blockchain database contained more than 100 million wallet addresses owned by more than 30,000 known entities. For the Bitcoin Cash Blockchain, the Crystal software has more than 48.8 million addresses assigned to known entities, and the numbers are constantly growing.

Crystal Video Releases

Over 2018, we released several videos:
The first Crystal introductory video.
Crystal analytics presented at Consensus 2018.
Investigating the WannaCry case.

Looking ahead: Crystal in 2019

As we enter a new year, we are continuing to develop the Crystal software and bring our customers new functionality on regular basis. We have ambitious plans for the product in 2019, from adding more currencies and analytical techniques to the product, to new business services and partnerships.
Stay updated on our progress.
Or, better yet, get a free trial version and be among the first to try new updates.
You can also send us your questions and comments regarding the product — right from the product interface. Let’s make the world of blockchain safer together!

Get in touch if there are any features you’d like to suggest to the team, or if you’d like more information about the platform.

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