Arkham, a blockchain data provider supported by prominent investors Peter Thiel and Sam Altman, is facing criticism for its recent announcement of the Intel Exchange. The company’s plan to allow users to trade information related to crypto wallets on-chain has raised concerns about privacy and anonymity violations. Critics argue that Arkham’s new product promotes a “dox-to-earn” model, which conflicts with the cherished industry values of privacy and anonymity within the crypto community.
Responding to the backlash, Arkham clarified that the trading of wallet information on the Intel Exchange will be limited to identification and analysis of wallet movements, without disclosing any personal information. The company emphasized that this type of analysis is already widely shared and discussed in the crypto community. The Intel Exchange aims to create a liquid market for on-chain researchers to monetize their work and exchange information, thus increasing transparency in the industry.
Established in 2020, Arkham has secured over $12 million in funding from investors like Peter Thiel, the founder of Palantir, and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI. However, these investors’ involvement in projects with controversial data practices, such as Palantir’s spyware and Altman’s crypto project Worldcoin, has further fueled concerns about Arkham’s intentions regarding user privacy.
Arkham’s free product, which enables users to track wallet movements and gain insights from public blockchains, has been popular among individuals, including DL News reporters. The company launched a referral program earlier this year, sparking additional controversy about whether the program disclosed users’ email addresses when decoded through online tools. Although Arkham was reportedly aware of this issue since January, the company did not address these concerns in its statement.
Moreover, suspicions have arisen that Arkham may be linked to government activity in the crypto industry. Arkham CEO Miguel Morel’s following of the CIA’s page on LinkedIn has raised skepticism and led to questions about potential connections with the US government. In response, Arkham denied being a secret government project, stating that it is not affiliated with any government agencies. The company stressed its commitment to the crypto community and the industry as a whole.