Data Analysis on the Bitcoin Blockchain

Mathew Daniel
09/09/2016

Supervised by David W Walker, Moderated by Chris B Jones

The emergence of Virtual- or Crypto-Currencies, based on distributed-ledger or blockchain technology, has led to many forecasts of an imminent revolution across the financial sector and beyond. However despite the increasing evangelism and significant flows of investment capital into these technologies, a number of obstacles to widespread adoption remain. National and supra-national agencies globally continue to struggle to legislate for increased anonymity within such systems, and significant energy costs of maintaining blockchains lead to node concentration, and therefore existential concerns, within more mature networks. Recent academic analysis of such concerns conclude that a new ecosystem of blockchain analytics platforms might be the solution, as revenues generated by such platforms could incentivise increased active-node participation across blockchain networks. This project explores the scope for such solutions by analysing the Bitcoin network, as the first and largest blockchain-based system, and has developed a prototype of a Bitcoin analytics platform. The platform developed displays balance data for Bitcoin users, along with information relating to transaction size and fees donated to Bitcoin ???miners???, by parsing and analysing the data stored within the first 140,000 blocks of the Bitcoin blockchain, representing around one-third of blocks at the outset of the project.

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