It is now possible to track illicit funds and addresses associated with these funds on the Ethereum blockchain thanks to the introduction of a surveillance feature by leading Ether block explorer Etherscan.
Announcing the new feature – dubbed ‘ETHProtect,’ – Etherscan said in a blog post that it aims to identify and report on any suspicious as well as malicious activities while helping protect the Ethereum ecosystem.
“ETHProtect is a detection system for Etherscan users to identify if incoming funds are tainted, and it traces the tainted funds down to its origin,” a blog post from the company notes.
“Etherscan receives daily user reports on suspicious fraudulent activities which are reviewed and verified by our security research analysts. Once identified, these tainted addresses are then added into our database,” Etherscan explained in its post on how the ETHProtect feature works to identify fraudulent addresses and tainted funds.
Some of the sources of tainted funds that the block explorer will be monitoring include phishing, hacks, scams and outright exploits.
“Unique to our solution is the Taint Inference Analysis Engine and its ever-evolving machine learning internal systems. It modifies parameters for tracing and identifies tainted funds based on each unique scenario.”
Flagged funds will always have a red flag associated with them to warn any receiver that the funds are emanating from a sketchy source. With this alert, the user can trace the funds to the source if they so wish.
This, however, also introduces a concern to Ether users. The surveillance engine could wrongly identity a transaction as fraudulent or mark an address as associated with illicit activities when indeed it is not the case.
To address this concern, Etherscan says that in case a user falls into such a situation, they should appeal to the analysis team to have their addresses thoroughly reviewed and if wrongly marked have their addresses removed from the ‘illegal’ addresses database.
The explorer also says that it will maintain a list of whitelisted addresses possibly of self-identified individuals, community projects or custody services that have higher risks of receiving tainted funds without their knowledge.
The ETHProtect feature is a great addition to the Ethereum ecosystem given that it is one of the leading networks in the space when considering transaction value and the number of transactions.
Also, the value of ether is second only to Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency making the safety and reliability of the Ethereum network a leading priority for the community.
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