Graph-based forensic investigation of Bitcoin transactions

Zhao, Chen
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This thesis illustrates forensic research work on Bitcoin, an innovative Internet based global transaction system that attracts ascending popularity during the recent few years. As an open, public and scalable distributed payment system, Bitcoin brings forward significant economic and technological impact to our world. Meanwhile, a new notion of virtual currency, "Bitcoin" comes into existence such that Bitcoin currency can be "mined" from all over world complying with specific algorithms. Mined bit "coins" has practical monetary values that turn the Bitcoin system into a digital currency circulation system. Due to Bitcoin's decentralized semantics, Bitcoin transaction and currency are not subject to control and censorship from any single authority. Therefore, Bitcoin brings out various security concerns about its application as a long-term reliable system.

The research in the thesis focuses on forensic study on Bitcoin. It covers experimental study on the Bitcoin network as a peer-to-peer system and a graph-based forensic approach against Bitcoin's transaction data. Major contributions include network data evaluation and transaction history analysis. In case of forensic investigation is needed against criminal incidents such as fraud, false transactions and money theft, which are commonly seen in commonly used digital payment systems, the research provides a guidance of efficient information collection and framework of evidence data processing and extraction

Computer Engineering, Bitcoin, cloud computing, cryptography, network, security