Arkham Crypto: Is Dox-To-Earn a Threat to Cryptocurrency?

Unravelling the controversy surrounding Arkham Intelligence.

Crypto scammer being spotlighted by an Arkham logo.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

If you thought Gary Gensler and the SEC were the biggest threat to your privacy and anonymity, guess again. The Arkham crypto protocol has emerged as a platform for digital asset enthusiasts to spill the beans on their fellow DeFi users.

The logic is simple. To find the most dastardly on-chain criminals, you must behave and think like a vigilante. No doubt inspired by everyone’s favorite resident of Gotham City, Arkham aims to deanonymize blockchain transactions and put a name and identity of every wallet in the crypto community.

Whether you prefer to call it Dox-to-Earn or Snitch-to-Earn, Arkham Intelligence has certainly ruffled a few feathers amongst the flock of crypto users. While some see it as a breakthrough in enhancing transparency, others view it as a potential threat to the very ethos of Web3. 

Is rewarding on-chain sleuths with cryptocurrency the key to exposing blockchain crooks? Or is outing someone’s private details against their will a breach of privacy conceived and funded by the feds?

What Is Arkham Intelligence?

Arkham Intelligence is a thought-provoking new platform with split opinions in crypto. Using a dedicated artificial intelligence engine, ULTRA, Arkham systematically analyzes and deanonymizes blockchain transactions. 

By linking these transactions to real-world entities, Arkham Intelligence provides a level of transparency previously unseen in the industry and aims to uncover the identities of blockchain users.

The platform offers a range of features, including entity analytics, token pages, and a custom visualizer for mapping token flows. To offer even greater coverage, Arkham tracks multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), and has established partnerships with major blockchains such as BNB Chain and Polygon.

At face value, it sounds like a noble pursuit. Arkham Intelligence aims to provide users with a powerful tool offering valuable insights and analytics to make it easier than ever to find the ‘bad guys’ of the blockchain. 

This becomes an ethical grey area when we consider that all this data, both on-chain transactions and sensitive personal data, can be exchanged and sold on a decentralized marketplace. 

The Arkham Intel Exchange

One of Arkham Crypto’s main talking points is the Arkham Intel Exchange, a marketplace for trading crypto intelligence data. This platform bridges the gap between those seeking blockchain intelligence and those gathering it, creating a fascinating Dox-to-Earn economy.

The Arkham Intel Exchange operates through a system of bounties and auctions. Users post bounties for specific intelligence by locking ARKM, the native token of Arkham, in a bounty smart contract

Bounty hunters then submit intel for verification. If bounty posters are satisfied with the intelligence provided in submissions, bounty hunters will be paid out the agreed-upon fee in ARKM tokens. Users with high-value information can also auction verified intelligence to the highest bidder.

What does this mean in practice? If I was a victim of a crypto wallet hack and someone stole my NFTs, I could place a bounty for information that might help me locate the scammer. Sounds fair, right?

According to crypto news, Arkham Intel recently paid out a bounty to its first on-chain data sleuths for providing information about Do Kwon’s wallets following the spectacular collapse of LUNA and the disappearance of the LFG Fund. 

On the other side of the coin, if a typical thug wanted the personal details of a specific crypto wallet’s owner to track them down in real life, they could also enlist the help of these data bounty hunters.  

Not so noble all of a sudden, if you ask me. It’s worth noting that Arkham Intelligence has decreed that personal information or harassment bounties are ‘not allowed.’ But if the platform wants to truly follow the route of decentralized governance, this is at risk.

The ARKM Token

At the heart of the Arkham platform is its native utility token, ARKM. This token is pivotal in the Arkham ecosystem, serving multiple functions.

ARKM is the medium of exchange within the Arkham Intel Exchange, facilitating the trading of crypto intelligence data. It’s used to post bounties, reward hunters, and blockchain detectives providing valuable intel.

On top of that, ARKM token holders are entitled to governance rights, allowing them to vote on the strategic direction and future development of the Arkham crypto project. 

ARKM is used to incentivize user participation. Arkham Intelligence users receive ARKM rewards for submitting intel and  referring new users to the platform.

The ARKM token was launched through an initial coin offering (ICO) on Binance Launchpad, with a total supply of 1,000,000,000 ARKM tokens.

Concerns and Controversy: Is Arkham Intelligence Anti-Crypto?

As you can imagine, Arkham Intelligence has also been the subject of considerable controversy. The platform’s mission to deanonymize blockchain transactions and provide transparency has raised concerns among privacy advocates and crypto enthusiasts.

Arkham tweet about collecting user data.
Source: Twitter

Critics argue that Arkham’s approach could potentially undermine privacy and anonymity principles central to the ethos of cryptocurrencies and Web 3.

Critics have suggested that the platform’s ability to deanonymize blockchain transactions could be used for surveillance, leading to speculation about possible government involvement.

Tweet about Arkham allegedly working with FBI and CIA.
Source: Twitter

Crypto users were clearly upset at the thought of having their details shared with the world and took to social media to suggest that the FBI funded Arkham Intelligence.

Arkham Intelligence has since denied these allegations. In a statement, the company asserted that it is not a secret government project and has no affiliations with government agencies. They emphasized their identity as a crypto-native team that cares about their community and industry.

Despite these denials, the rumors have persisted, contributing to the tense ongoing debate about the role of Arkham Intelligence in the crypto world. 

Referral Email Doxxing

Another significant controversy surrounding Arkham Intelligence involves its referral program. The platform allows users to invite others onto the platform by sharing unique referral URLs to earn extra ARKM tokens. 

Tweet about Arkham doxsing private email address.
Source: Twitter

It was discovered that these URLs, which appeared to end with random characters, were actually encoded versions of the user’s email address in Base64 format. 

This raised concerns that Arkham’s referral program could dox the private email addresses of its users, which could lead to spam and phishing attacks. This discovery led to a backlash from privacy advocates, who argued that it represented not only a serious breach of user privacy but a display of incompetence from the team. 

Arkham Intelligence History

Despite only recently making a splash in the crypto market thanks to the launch of ARKM on crypto exchanges, the Arkham crypto platform was founded by Miguel Morel in 2020.

The company’s proprietary AI-powered address-matching engine, ULTRA, was developed over three years by core contributors, with support from the founders of Palantir and OpenAI. This engine forms the backbone of Arkham’s services, enabling the systematic analysis and deanonymization of blockchain transactions.

Arkham Intelligence was well-received by prominent investment funds in the crypto space, with backers like Wintermute, Palantir, Tim Draper, and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and co-founder of Worldcoin (WLD).

Pros and Cons

Like any divisive platform, Arkham Intelligence has its own advantages and disadvantages. As we delve into the pros and cons, it’s important to remember that these are part of the larger debate about the balance between transparency and privacy in the crypto world.

Pros

  • Powerful Analytics Platform – The Arkham Intelligence platform provides helpful tools for analyzing the crypto market and detecting fraudulent activity.
  • Intel Exchange – The Arkham Intel Exchange is a pioneering marketplace for trading crypto intelligence data. If you ignore the ethical concerns, Arkham offers a unique Intel-To-Earn dynamic.
  • Governance Rights – ARKM token holders can have a say in the strategic direction and growth of Arkham, helping Arkham become a decentralized platform.
  • Multi-Chain – Arkham supports multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, and has already secured key partnerships with other top EVM networks like Polygon, BNB Chain, and Avalanche.

Cons

  • Privacy Concerns – Arkham’s vision of deanonymizing blockchain transactions has raised concerns among privacy advocates for undermining the key principles of the crypto space.
  • Potential Government Links – Allegations of potential links to government agencies such as the FBI and the CIA have sparked controversy, though Arkham has categorically denied these allegations.
  • Referral Program Issues – Arkham accidentally doxxed thousands of users’ private email addresses through their referral program.
  • Potential Misuse – The Arkham Intel Exchange could be abused for smear campaigns, doxing innocent people, and other forms of misuse.

On the Flipside

  • Every time you connect to the internet or sign into Social Media sites like Crypto Twitter, you broadcast data to centralized entities selling your details to advertising companies. Arkham Intelligence isn’t doing anything that doesn’t already happen in our society.

Why This Matters

Dox-to-Earn adds another unique method for blockchain experts to monetize their skills and abilities outside of trading altcoins like Solana (SOL, Dogecoin (DOGE), and Ripple (XRP). However, these benefits come at the cost of anonymity and privacy, two mainstays of the cryptocurrency movement.

FAQs

Where can I buy Arkham coin?

You can buy Arkham coin, or ARKM, on crypto exchanges like Binance.

Can ARKM reach $10 USD?

If ARKM reaches $10 USD, it will have a market cap of 1.5 billion. This would put it at a similar valuation to Arbitrum (ARB) or Aptos (APT).

What is Arkham in crypto?

Arkham Intelligence is an analytics platform and data marketplace designed to help deanonymize blockchain transactions.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Finn Miller

Finn Miller is a New Zealand-based blockchain writer for DailyCoin who specializes in simplifying complex blockchain topics. He is experienced in crafting whitepapers, researching on-chain data, and advising emerging crypto projects, and uses his unconventional approach to learning and passion for knowledge to provide cornerstone educational content for readers of all levels. When not exploring the depths of DeFi, Finn can be found exploring his other passion, the great outdoors.