Chainalysis Reveals ‘Storyline’ Product to Follow the Money in Crypto Crime

“You have an entire investigation that tells the entire story of what happened,” Chief Scientist Jacob Illum said.

AccessTimeIconMay 18, 2022 at 5:55 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:21 p.m. UTC

Chainalysis is launching an on-chain visualizations tool that company officials say will help investigators “follow the money” in crypto crime.

The new analytics software, Storyline, peers through the smart contracts powering decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT), two hotbeds for crypto transactions of all stripes – criminal included. Chainalysis says DeFi protocols have already lost well over $1.5 billion to crypto thieves this year.

Storyline’s role in combating that trend is by building for investigators a simple, timeline-pegged visualization of where this money flows.

In a presentation Wednesday at Chainalysis LINKS conference in New York, Chief Scientist Jacob Illum showed the audience how the transaction hash of a single Bored Ape NFT theft can lead through a web of wrapped assets, stablecoins, chain hops and exchanges to uncover multiple suspects.

“You have an entire investigation that tells the entire story of what happened,” Illum said from the stage.

The software adds another tool to Chainalysis's pricey investigative suite that’s become a hit among investigators looking to make sense of transparent, albeit obtuse, crypto transactions. Part of that appeal was on display at Wednesday’s conference where name cards showed various federal agencies and big New York banks in attendance.


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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