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Onchain Blockchain Visual Analysis Tool Designed for Web3

Chainanalysis | May 18, 2022

Chainanalysis storyline - Onchain Blockchain Visual Analysis Tool Designed for Web3

How Storyline reinvents investigations for web3

When Chainalysis invented blockchain analysis tools in 2014, very few people understood what was happening on Bitcoin blockchain. Transaction records were difficult to interpret and it was hard to distinguish between addresses in a private wallet and an address on a custodial exchange. Reactor solved this problem by providing an easy way to visualize relationships between on-chain transactions and real world identity. Our goal with Chainalysis Storyline is to bring this same simplicity to the more complex multi-chain world of DeFi, and make it easy for our users to comprehend the blockchains of the web3 era.

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How exactly does DeFi make cryptocurrency transactions more complicated for investigators? The core issue is chain hopping. DeFi protocols have made chain hopping easy, allowing users to switch between several different kinds of cryptocurrency in a single transaction. Cross-chain graphing in Chainalysis Reactor can mitigate much of that complexity, but tracking funds across blockchains to separate destinations can still be time-consuming.

Another issue is that many seemingly simple DeFi transactions actually involve multiple smart contracts, making them appear more complex on the blockchain than they really are. For example, below we see what a typical NFT transaction looks like in a standard blockchain explorer.

Even though at its core, this transaction represents one wallet selling an NFT to another, there are multiple other smart contracts involved, which will therefore be reflected on the blockchain: OpenSea as the NFT marketplace, the NFT collection’s smart contract, both users’ proxy contracts, and a few others. While an investigator following the NFT is likely only interested in the wallets belonging to the buyer and sellers, they would still have to parse the other entities to follow the funds.

Chainalysis Storyline solves these complexities with a new, web3-native blockchain analysis tool that provides a holistic view of the movements of all funds an address has transacted with across blockchains, but still allows investigators to concentrate on the transactions and funds that matter most to them.

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With Storyline, a user constructs a new story by starting with a transaction hash. The easy-to-use interface allows you to focus on the transactions, assets and related wallets that are of most interest. With a few clicks you’ve built a timeline of the most important interactions that clearly illustrate the movement of tokens.

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