British blockchain company Elliptic, which specialises in identifying illicit bitcoin-related activities online, has raised $5 mln from Paladin Capital, Santander and Octopus Ventures.

Last June, Elliptic launched its visualisation tool to help preventing money laundering and other criminal offences, such as international arms trafficking, theft and illegal drug sales. The Bitcoin Big Bang software shows the links between over 250 largest bitcoin businesses, illegal ones being presented in red colour. Moreover, the company works closely with law enforcement agencies helping them to identify criminals by means of mapping and putting together the history of bitcoin blockchain transactions.

“We trace Bitcoin transactions across hundreds of entities and help you connect illicit Bitcoin activity to real world actors. Our proprietary database links millions of Bitcoin addresses to thousands of clear web and dark web entities.  We back this up with transparent documentary evidence,” reads the company's official web site.

Apart from law enforcement agencies, Elliptic works with businesses seeking to assess risks and get protection from fraud and fines, having processed over $2 bln worth of transactions:

“We have helped compliance departments identify fraudulent client accounts, links to dark web marketplaces and proceeds of thefts.”

The recent investments, including those from an American investor Paladin Capital known to have close ties with the US government, will help the company enlarge its New York office and enhance their clients' base by establishing relations with major banks and financial institutions.

“Elliptic is a game-changer for blockchain and is already trusted by some of the smartest minds in law enforcement and compliance. The firm’s monitoring capability will be an essential component of any blockchain in the future and we will help Elliptic to expand in the US, via our contacts and knowledge of US law enforcement and government agencies,” said Paladin Capital's managing director Kenneth Minihan to The Telegraph.

In early 2015, Elliptic became the first bitcoin company to get financial accreditation from a Big Four company and was selected as one of the world's 100 leading fintech firms, according to KPMG.