Best Open-Source Blockchain Forensic Analysis Tools

by Sunny Hoi

Introduction

The rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies has brought whole properties of cash into the digital universe, allowing crypto users to do business online, across borders, and with increased user privacy.

Investigations of cybercrime are progressively relying on blockchain analysis tools because numerous attacks generally employ cryptocurrency for harvesting ransom.

Since cryptocurrencies are increasingly dependant on cryptographic protection and a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) system, money ownership is tacitly pseudonymous, while its flow is publicly accessible and perceptible.

Significantly, Blockchain analysis supplies information regarding the movements of cryptocurrencies.

In this article, we will explore open-source tools and practices within the domain of blockchain analytic tools at length.

1. Blockchain Explorer

Blockchain Explorer is among the more commonly known and widely used blockchain analysis tools, having appeared initially on the market back in 2011.

This tool supplies a number of quick and easy-to-deploy capabilities for tracking individual transactions, while also supplying a bunch of information, including charts and statistics, regarding the entire bitcoin network.

Analysts have been able to utilize the publicly available information from Blockchain Explorer within a given period for the purpose of deanonymizing addresses from Tor services and proxies.

Moreover, Blockchain Explorer provides information in a practical way and permits the analyst to tag every transaction with a linked name.

It is possible for analysts to classify a number of transactions in a user network and conduct traffic analysis on money movement by utilizing clustering heuristics to data supplied by Blockchain Explorer and information publicly available on cryptocurrency forums.

The source code is available on GitHub.

2. Matbea.net

Matbea.net is a service that permits users to establish the belonging of Bitcoin addresses.

The tool’s search bar permits users to search for information such as transaction, address, block, xPub, or yPub.

3. Bitcoin Block Explorer

Bitcoin Block Explorer is an open-source web tool that permits visualization of information concerning blocks and Blockchain transactions as their primary source of data. Simply put, this tool permits you to view information regarding blocks, addresses, and transactions. The source code is available on GitHub.

4. BlockSci

BlockSci is an open-source tool used for blockchain analysis. Notably, BlockSci allows quick and expressive analysis of Bitcoin and several other blockchains. Hence, BlockSci is more adaptable since it may support several blockchains in addition to Bitcoin, like Zcash and Litecoin.

BlockSci is unique as it deploys an analytical built-in memory that shall provide quicker processing. Furthermore, the tool in no way employs a transactional database.

5. Wallet Explorer

Wallet Explorer is a tool that monitors and displays activities within the Bitcoin network.

Wallet Explorer utilizes a straightforward heuristic in that in the event two addresses emerge as inputs in any particular transaction; they are considered to belong to the same individual.

6. OpReturnTool

OpReturnTool is a tool utilized to investigate metadata related to the OP_RETURN instruction, which is a command that is included in Bitcoin and supplies a method to insert supplemental information into the blockchain.

It is established to permit up to 80 bytes of data, and once a transaction that comprises an OP_RETURN field is affirmed by mining, the content will be inserted into a block and will perpetually persist within the blockchain.

7. Bitiodine

Bitiodine is another useful tool used for analyzing the blockchain. Particularly, it parses information and supplies a front-end which provides insights into a wide range of information.

For instance, information may include a total number of transactions, address account balance, and more sophisticated information such as address labelling and address clustering utilizing public information gathered from the internet.

8. BitConeView

BitConeView is a tool that may assist the progress of examining Bitcoin flows utilizing visualization of the block. Additionally, the tool permits graphical tracking of Bitcoin spending over a period of time based on the stored transactions, allowing the identification of patterns of Bitcoin flow.

9. Blockparser

Blockparser parses the whole blockchain from the start to extract several types of information from it.

Even though Blockparser was designed for Bitcoin, it also works on the majority of altcoins that were stemmed from the Bitcoin codebase.

10. BTCSpark

BTCSpark is a tool for utilizing Apache Spark to effectively query Bitcoin Blockdata query.

11. SoChain

SoChain is a blockchain explorer that displays address data, transaction data, and block data for Bitcoin and altcoins (Litecoin, Zcash, Dogecoin, and Dash).

12. Smartbit

Smartbit is another Bitcoin Blockchain Explorer that includes the ability to view the latest blocks and latest transactions. The tool provides the block count, transaction count, and Bitcoins in circulation.

13. Bitcoin Transaction Explorer

Bitcoin Transaction Explorer is a straightforward block explorer that the user may run on top of a full node. The tool runs as a web application that the user may run on any J2EE Web Container.

The tool includes many features such as a block view, transaction viewer, mining simulator, and script viewer.

14. Insight / Bitcore

Insight is another open-source Bitcoin blockchain explorer that has REST and websocket APIs, providing the user with the ability to read data from the Bitcoin network and create their own services using it.

The source code is available on GitHub.

15. Blockchair

Blockchair is another universal blockchain explorer and search engine that is useful for cryptocurrency enthusiasts and analysts.

16. Blockstream.info

Blockstream.info is another block explorer for Bitcoin and Liquid, which provides information neatly.

The source code is available on GitHub.

17. Blockpath

Blockpath is a service that includes cryptocurrency accounting tools, a free wallet tracker that has client-side password encryption, Bitcoin invoicing, and other features.

18. Blockchain 3D Explorer

Blockchain 3D Explorer is a blockchain explorer that visualizes Blockchains in 3D and Virtual Reality. The tool includes blockchain analysis, which allows users to track the flow of Bitcoins and tokens around networks by analyzing particular addresses and transactions.

The source code is available on GitHub.

19. ORS CryptoHound

ORS CryptoHound is an Al-powered blockchain analysis tool used for analyzing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC20 addresses. The tool can find out the original source of funds and disclose patterns that a human eye would not be able to perceive.

Conclusion

As we can see, analysts can use open-source tools like blockchain explorers to investigate cybercrime.

To fully utilize such tools, analysts should remain patient and persistent. Moreover, investigators should fully understand the methods that cybercriminals deploy to steal and launder their illicit cryptocurrency funds in order identify them successfully.

Being able to use other digital forensic tools can be useful in quickly acquiring information regarding cryptocurrency addresses and additional indicators of compromises (IoC) from binaries.

With advances in technology, cryptocurrency usage is unlikely to vanish in the future.

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