Can bitcoin be traced?

Many people want to know can bitcoin be traced. The simple fact is that it can, but the details are nuanced. Bitcoin is a public blockchain, which means that technical know-how can look at every transaction that has ever taken place on the blockchain. That means that Bitcoin transactions can be traced.

The real question that emerges it one of pragmatism. Just because Bitcoin's blockchain is 100% open to anyone for inspection, it doesn't mean that tracking specific transactions made by a person will be easy.

It all comes down to linking a wallet address with a specific person.

Let's say a person opens up a new wallet, receives some Bitcoin, and then sends it to another wallet that was just created. In this situation, it would be very hard to track the person who is making the transaction, as the wallet was used once for an unknown purpose.

Unless that wallet is used again, and in a way that a specific identity can be reliably associated with it, tracking that transaction in a way that reveals an identity will be next to impossible. While the transaction record is recorded forever on the blockchain, the identity of the wallet's holder is much more difficult to isolate.

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