Blockchain technology is at the base of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). A fundamental characteristic of blockchain technology is transparency, meaning that anyone, including the government, can observe all cryptocurrency transactions made through that blockchain. To track suspicious bitcoin activity, law enforcement agencies often partner with blockchain data platforms such as Chainalysis to conduct investigations. These investigations usually begin with the digital browsing crumbs left behind in cyberhacks or online scams used to locate the owner of a wallet, using the criminal's Internet history and cross-referencing KYC information from cryptocurrency exchanges.
Through blockchain explorers, Bitcoin transactions can be easily tracked, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to conduct Bitcoin transactions anonymously. While bitcoin can be minted, moved and stored without the supervision of any central authority, such as the government, every bitcoin transaction is recorded in a publicly available permanent ledger known as a blockchain.