The ability to identify the entities behind blockchain transactions could have prevented the loss of billions of dollars in crypto, claims the CEO of Arkham, a controversial company dedicated to “deanonymizing the blockchain.”
“This is exactly the kind of thing that would have been extremely valuable during every single crisis or scam,” said Miguel Morel, Arkham’s Chief Executive Officer on a Twitter Spaces today, adding that his company could counter “every piece of negative information that has destroyed the reputation of the crypto industry over the past years.”
His appearance was an attempt to address the crypto community’s wrath after the company unveiled an unsettling “dox-to-earn” program that involves trading users’ on-chain information. Doxxing is the act of revealing identifying details about individuals online against their wishes.
“Arkham basically focuses on analyzing strictly publicly available information, to then make connections about what sort of entities own which particular wallets,” he said.
The Spaces conversation included crypto personalities like Mario Nawfal, Scott Melker, and Ran Neuner, among others, and was intended to address privacy concerns and issues surrounding the incentives behind the platform.
Morel, who didn’t reply directly to the “dox-to-earn” label, said Arkham Intelligence will follow a strict vetting process for which data will be available on the platform. He acknowledged, however, that unmasking bad actors behind hacks was central to the company’s mission.
“The whole point is that when situations like that happen, there’s then an incentive from the community that’s actually getting exploited in these situations to actually then go out and put in real work and real hours to try to figure out who’s behind the fraud in order for them to be potentially reported to the authorities,” he said. “This is the general intention.”
Miguel Morel added that Arkham’s target market is large hedge funds and traders, asserting that most people aren’t interested in small individual and private wallets.
Even so, a few of the comments made by the CEO were anything but reassuring for certain panelists, with one commentator saying the business model will effectively “incentivize people to rat on others.”
“What I’m concerned with is the Pandora’s box that opens when you incentivize people financially to attack people,” said renowned crypto trader Scott Melker, who called today’s Crypto Town Hall a “must listen.” He pointed out that it could be very easy for someone to choose a person “they don’t like and put together a story on the blockchain that is false.”
Melker vehemently believed that Morel’s responses were disingenuous, pointing to the fact many people don’t realize they are “leaving bread crumbs for some amateur sleuth to put a story against them.”
Ran Neuner, also known as @cryptomanran, said he is also skeptical. But not only because of the incentives, but also because the company has made some costly mistakes in the recent past, such as a false alarm the firm raised that caused the crypto market to fall 7% in an hour.
Arkham’s CEO stuck to his guns and defended the company and what they are trying to do, pointing repeatedly to the fact that this can help reduce scams and hacks, and that his target market are larger players.
Taking to Twitter several times to assuage the pushback generated, Morel assured those present on today’s Spaces that the issues raised “will be mitigated,” and concluded that he understands the “great responsibility” he holds.
Morel’s live audio appearance followed his publication of a 360-word extended Tweet addressing “some legitimate criticisms of how we’ve implemented certain features.”