Crypto projects often come with a lot of buzz and hype when they launch, and that’s normal for a budding industry. But very few projects have earned divisive opinions as much as Arkham Intel Exchange.
Earlier this month, Arkham said it was launching the “world’s first on-chain intelligence exchange” and its ARKM token via the Binance launchpad. Crypto Twitter’s reaction to the news has been predictably divided, with some users taking exception to Arkham’s alleged objective to “deanonymize the blockchain.”
Announcing The World’s First On-Chain Intelligence Exchange
Buy and sell information on the owner of any blockchain wallet address—anonymously, via smart contract. pic.twitter.com/4xr7dLvOjp
— Arkham (@ArkhamIntel) July 10, 2023
The most common criticisms of the company’s Intel Exchange, which many people refer to as a “snitch-to-earn” or “snitching-as-a-service” program, center on Arkham’s alleged position as a centralized intelligence agency.
Arkham noted that using blockchain sleuths as information brokers has several advantages. However, several industry professionals have reservations about the likelihood of abuse that the platform’s suggested business model could exhibit.
In its announcement thread, Arkham claimed that users will be able to anonymously post and receive bounties for data on transactions on the blockchain. So, once a user completes the task, the user or organization that paid the bounty will have exclusive use of the information for 90 days. Afterward, Arkham will make the information available to the general public.
Crypto Twitter Accuses Arkham of Leaking User Data
Explaining the situation, journalist Laura Shin wrote: “The URLs shared by users end with a string of characters that can easily be deciphered to yield their email addresses encoded in BASE64.”
Analyst Adam Cochran also claimed that Arkham records information about its users, including their locations, device identifiers, and wallet addresses. He noted that Akrham combines that with public data gotten from open sources like Twitter. Cochran added that users are the platform’s product.
There is also the problem of a lack of decentralization and the authenticity of information.
Some other users complained about the alleged lack of decentralization. They claimed that the Arkham Foundation being in charge of vetting and authorizing bids and bounties was a red flag. Others raised concerns about the validity of the data provided.
Interestingly, Arkham’s CEO, Miguel Morel, strongly denied claims that Arkham was rewarding people for snitching. Instead, Morel argued that the platform will help expose hackers and other bad actors behind attacks on crypto platforms.
On Ref Links
Because of our upcoming launch, we’ve had millions of people engage with our platform and hundreds of thousands sign up. Understandably, there’s been a lot of attention on our project, the majority of it positive, along with some legitimate criticisms of how we’ve… pic.twitter.com/0VZFchBg7h
— Miguel Morel | Arkham (@RealMiguelMorel) July 10, 2023
He added that “there are a lot of restrictions and guidelines that we will put in place” to ensure safety while using the platform. Arkham uses artificial intelligence to deanonymize the blockchain and reveal to users who is behind cryptocurrency transactions. Furthermore, it developed its own AI engine known as ULTRA to algorithmically match addresses with real-world entities.
Arkham already has an impressive list of partners that includes BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, Tron, Optimism, and Base. In addition, it supports Bitcoin and Ethereum. We recently published a deep dive into Arkham and how it works. Check it out here.
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