I was playing around on your site and I have to say it’s really cool. I found one of my older bitcoin addresses that I’ve only used for experimentation and tips on blogs and entered it into the search box. It found the associated website bitcoindood.com, the page description, the number of transactions,and a lot of additional information. I was surprised at the amount of information it actually pulled. Where does this information come from and without getting overly technical, or giving away any company secrets, how does this work?
Thanks for the questions Dood. At this stage you can think of Bitcoin Who’s Who as a big data public reference project complete with its own web crawler. The goal is to provide everything there is to know about a bitcoin address in one report – including website appearances, wallet ID, balance rank, transaction information and more. We collect website appearances and partner with other providers for the rest (WalletExplorer, BitcoinRichList, Blockchain.info)
Besides being a really cool and fun site to play with. Why did you build Bitcoin Whos Who, and how do you envision people using it?
We built it for fun, and because we saw a need for a keyword search for bitcoin info, rather than being limited to searching by address. The possibility of finding newsworthy connections was another reason, and we’ve been able to find some pretty interesting stuff (see our blog).
Once you type that first bitcoin address into the search box and see the results for yourself you get a good sense of how much information is available when using bitcoin. It also shows that bitcoin is only as anonymous as the person using it. Once you have someone’s bitcoin address you can see every transaction associated with that address. I guess that’s a good reason to use a wallet that issues several bitcoin addresses and why you should change them often. I know a lot of people don’t like the fact that all of their transactions are recorded on the blockchain for the world to see. What are your feelings on this? Do you see it as a problem for bitcoin? Do you see it as a hindrance to mass adoption? Do you think this is a negative or positive for bitcoin?
The blockchain is great for people that benefit from being anonymous and it’s great for people that benefit from being known. You can actually have it both ways with bitcoin so we view it as a great strength that will encourage adoption of the protocol over time.
On the results of my address search, for “Most Recent Known Output” and “Most Recent Known Input” the address seemed to be associated with a twitter account I wasn’t even following, and a Irish cryptocurrency faucet list that I don’t ever remember visiting. How accurate is the information, and why would the address be associated with that particular twitter account and website?
Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like your opinion man. (j/k, had to, it’s my favorite line from the movie.) 🙂
The idea with the “most recent” fields was to show transactions with any “known” addresses, i.e. addresses we had “tagged” to a website. It doesn’t work as intended sometimes. Just because we find an address on a website doesn’t mean that is the same owner. I’ll rename that something clearer. Send me the address you searched and I’ll be happy to explain the relationship it found.
I did sign up for the site and I submitted a profile. I entered some basic information pertaining to bitcoindood.com, my bitcoin address, a little information about the website and what it offers. Will this eventually work as a directory or a search engine for bitcoin related businesses? In other words, if I wanted to put my bitcoin address in a QR code on my business card, could my potential client scan that address and pull up all my company information on your website? Is that one of the site goals and objectives?
Yes to all those questions! The next major enhancement we’re planning involves a revamp of the “Submit a Profile” feature where we’ll allow you to enter more info – type of profile (business/individual), social media links, and more. Then the plan is to enable searching by all of those fields.
We’re also considering “Verified Profiles” where you would send us a tiny amount of BTC in order to verify that your profile is actually associated with that address. That way, your potential client could not only get all the background on your company (KYC), but they’ll also be able to make sure that the address is correct before sending any BTC to it. This should be especially useful for charities or others looking for donations.
I really enjoyed learning about Bitcoin Whos Who and playing around on the website. Any final thoughts you want to share with the readers about Bitcoin Whos Who that may not have been covered in the previous questions?
I would just mention that we’re also working on address clustering, so users can see other addresses likely to be controlled by the same entity. And we love hearing from people so please don’t hesitate to contact us – admin at bitcoinwhoswho.com. Thanks Dood!
I ask all my interviews the same last question. Where do you see cryptocurrency going in the future? Any thoughts, visions, or predictions you might want to share about the future of cryptocurrency in general?
Bitcoin to the moon! Bitcoin is here to stay – it’s just a question of how widespread adoption becomes.
We believe that bitcoin’s frictionless cross-border, thirdparty-less validated, payment system awesomeness will flourish.
As far as other blockchains, I’m interested in ETH and the concept of smart contracts, but I also think that ETH and BTC will co-exist nicely in the marketplace addressing different market needs.
Thanks to Andy Duggan for taking the time for this interview. The Dood had a lot of fun playing around on Bitcoin Whos Who. If you get a chance stop by the site, type in a bitcoin address and see what kind of information you come up. http://bitcoinwhoswho.com/