Outlining the Development of Our Chainalysis + Crystal Blockchain Competitor


5 min read
Outlining the Development of Our Chainalysis + Crystal Blockchain Competitor

For those unfamiliar with our platform, we have a long, winding & tortured relationship with the popular 'blockchain investigation / analytics' firms in the blockchain space.

The primary reason for this is due to their lack of transparency and, in our experience, sense of ethic in their operations.

Whether its due to the numerous conflicts of interest, or a failure to uphold professional responsibility - Chainalysis, Crystal Blockchain and several other entities that charge exorbitant rates for their services have failed to provide the much needed exposure and obtainable access to their platforms that this space deserves.

Thus, we've decided to embark on that journey and this article will be dedicated to showing exactly how.

Thus, we've decided to embark on that journey and this article will be dedicated to showing exactly how.

Building a Blockchain Visual Relationship Explorer

Before we get into the design of this, it is important that readers first have an understanding of what we're talking about.

This is Not Us Building a Blockchain Explorer

While those are extraordinarily useful in their own right, this is something that's a bit different from a blockchain explorer.

What it is

For protocols like Bitcoin, in specific, the UTXO-based means of transferring assets from one script to the next (conditions that are fulfilled by P2SH / P2PK / etc.), that force users to also account for return addresses and partial payments that cannot be parsed by individual contributions in some cases - tracing activity on the blockchain can be downright impossible due to the breadth of transactions taking place on the blockchain.

Below Are Some Examples (from when we were still cordial with the entities behind Crystal Blockchain):

As you more than likely garnered from those pictures above, there is a substantial amount of information that can be gleaned from the creation of such a platform (disclaimer: Crystal is proprietary and thus, we will not be creating any mirror image / clone / copy of their platform in any way, we essentially pioneered a lot of the concepts they are attempting to implement now during our short business relationship with one another).

The Main Issue

If we're being frank about it - there is an extraordinary amount of criminal activity that takes place in the blockchain space.

And, more importantly, said criminal activity is proven almost empirically when sourced through blockchain transactions directly (versus statements, hearsay, allegations, etc.).

Thus, it is no surprise that information regarding on-chaine education / resources / websites / platforms that can enhance a user's understanding of how blockchain works are in short demand.

However, this is no problem because we have a solution to remedy this.

Breaking Down How We Will Build & Deploy Our Blockchain Analysis Alternative

Who Has Heard of 'RStudio' Before?

If you haven't, go check it out.

'R' is a programming language and RStudio is one of (a decent number) of applications that are designed to provide a usable base for developers / programmers / hobbyists alike that need to leverage the power of this graphical / data-based language for various tasks.

The official website for 'RStudio' can be found here: https://rstudio.com/

From this point forward in our brief press release, we're going to walk down the necessary steps that will be taken in order to erect this blockchain analysis platform.

Steps to Creating the Blockchain Analysis Competitor (that will be free because we're more concerned with ensuring that users have access to the relevant knowledge rather than locking them out because we never sold our souls to this space)

Stop #1: 'Shiny Reactlog'

To preface things, users can check out the documentation for this project here = https://cran.csiro.au/web/packages/reactlog/vignettes/reactlog.html

What is 'Shiny Reactlog'?

Glad you asked.

Per the website (since they were so eloquent in their explanation of the project):

With v0.14.0, the shiny R package introduced a way to investigate the activity and logic of a shiny application through a visualization of it’s reactive history. In version v1.3.0, shiny revamped this visual tool via the R package reactlog. The design and capabilities of this interactive visualization have vastly improved, especially for navigating large and complex reactive graphs. This vignette outlines the new design and helps explain how to navigate the new interface.

Still Not Clicking?

Don't trip.

Ignore everything that we wrote above and check out the diagram below and it will click for you:

Seeing how this fits into the grand scheme of what we're doing?

The graph that we just pasted above provides a graphical representation of the visual assistance that the 'Shiny' project lends us.

Specifically, it allows us to visualize the flow of data (because that's literally what blockchain transactions) as they travel one way (because a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain can ony travel one-way ; scalability idea perhaps for two-way?)

For a better overview of how this portion of the 'R Studio' suite of packages, take a look at the following diagrams from the R Shiny package website:

This first photo is probably the most important because it provides the 'bigger picture' in live time for how this project will be built.

As you may have guessed from looking at the screenshot above, the portion of the diagram where it says, 'inputs' are analogous to actual Bitcoin transaction inputs.

One of the most useful features of this software package (for us, at least) is how the nodes an 'read' the reactive expressions on the basis of the executed data stream (see below):

This Package Also Intelligently Parses Paths That Coincide (Converge) On an Already Known Entity

As we all know, addresses are often reused by Bitcoin users and, more often than not, those addresses are re-used in the form of receiving one or more transactions from the same entity (i.e., an exchange)

Fortunately, the R Shiny package can adaptively visually map this as well:

Conclusion / Demo

We know that the breakdown of how 'R Studio' and the 'R' language work (in particular, data science) - may not be the most riveting topics for everyone, so we'll leave off with a link to a demo that users can visit to get an early, early preview feel of how our on-chain analytics app will work.

Here it is = https://rstudio.github.io/reactlog/demo/reactlog.html

To be clear, our goal is to ensure that users will no longer be able to get hustled by large companies that perform 'blockchain analytics' again.

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