Tracing Illegal Crypto-currency Transactions

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Listen to HKU FinTech Professor Siu Ming Yiu talks in this audio recording partly about his project (with Professor TW Lam) funded by the HKU-SCF Fintech Academy: A visualization assisted abnormal trading detection system for multi-crypto currencies.

Questions still remain with privacy among cryptocurrency activities: What security loopholes will criminals might exploit in bitcoin transactions? How do criminal elements operate with crypto? And how can the University of Hong Kong visualisation project help law enforcers? Professor S.M. Yiu, instructor for HKU FinTech's Professional Certificate in FinTech - Blockchain and FinTech: Basic, Applications and Limitations course, discusses these concerns for the wider audience.

Professor S.M. Yiu is professor and associate head (Teaching and Learning) of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong and deputy director of HKU-SCF FinTech Academy. He has been listed among the Highly Cited Researchers globally by Clarivate Analytics.

Talk snippets:

06:03 - What are the three types of privacy?

11.39 - Prof SM Yiu: “So in bitcoin, the sender and the receiver’s anonymity is guaranteed by the cryptography element for the public key-private key pair…. And the second part is that in bitcoin, the transaction confidentiality is not protected.” Although in other cryptocurrency schemes, Prof SM Yiu added, transaction confidentiality is protected.

13.34 - The danger in “anonymity” and “unlinkability”, Prof SM Yiu said, is that “we may not know the owner, the sender or the receiver of the transactions, but we know that these two transactions maybe related … then if you commit crime using cryptocurrency, this may be the loophole…

28.14 - Can virtual wallets patch security loopholes?

33.28 - The evil side of cryptocurrencies - Prof SM Yiu cites crime cases in money laundering, crypto mining, and others.

40.41 - Prof SM Yiu discusses the use of visualisations to track illegal activities involving bitcoin: for example, employing clustering technique.

45.37 - Prof. SM Yiu answers some questions related to quantum computing and regulations in particular jurisdictions.

Slides of this presentation is available for download. This audio recording is part of the 2nd Research Seminar Series of the HKU-SCF Fintech Academy streamed on 31 August 2021.

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