‘Careless’ Users Are Ruining Ethereum’s Privacy: Paper

Ethereum is losing its privacy, warns a new paper, as “careless” users make linking their addresses to real-world identities easy.

With the disquieting title, “Blockchain is Watching You,” the paper – a joint-publication from researchers at the Institute for Computer Science and Control in Hungary, Eötvös Loránd University, Széchenyi István University and HashCloak – argues governments and private-entities are quickly learning how to strip away anonymity from Ethereum. And that’s in part because users are making it easy for them.

“Careless usage easily reveals links between deposits and withdraws and also impact the anonymity of other users, since if a deposit can be linked to a withdraw, it will no longer belong to the anonymity set,” the authors write.

The researchers argue that Ethereum’s account-based model makes it more susceptible to surveillance than some other protocols, such as Bitcoin.

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