Characteristics of Bitcoin Transactions on Cryptomarkets

Xucan Chen, Georgia State University
Mohammed Al Hasan, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Xintao Wu, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Pavel Skums, Georgia State University
Mohammed Javad Feizollahi, Georgia State University
Marie Ouellet, Georgia State University
Eric L. Sevigny, Georgia State University
David Maimon, Georgia State University
Yubao Wu, Georgia State University

For a copy of the paper, please email David Maimon (


Cryptomarkets (or darknet markets) are commercial hidden-service websites that operate on The Onion Router (Tor) anonymity network. Cryptomarkets accept primarily bitcoin as payment since bitcoin is pseudonymous. Understanding bitcoin transaction patterns in cryptomarkets is important for analyzing vulnerabilities of privacy protection models in cryptocurrecies. It is also important for law enforcement to track illicit online crime activities in cryptomarkets. In this paper, we discover interesting characteristics of bitcoin transaction patterns in cryptomarkets. The results demonstrate that the privacy protection mechanism in cryptomarkets and bitcoin is vulnerable. Adversaries can easily gain valuable information for analyzing trading activities in cryptomarkets.