Blockchain Forensics; DeFi Investigations & Criminal Activity


Ryon Shamloo

Date of Talk


Ryon S. is a Decentralized Finance security professional working on protecting users and protocols of the Celo blockchain. Ryon has a deep passion for, and practical experience, in blockchain forensics due to his extreme involvement in the DeFi space (DAOs, Protocol advisory, Investing, etc). Ryon started his professional career at a security consultancy firm providing security compliance auditing services for various Fortune 500 companies. Prior to this, he obtained a degree in information security from Cal Poly Pomona. At a young age Ryon was inseparable from his computer screen, and grew up both in the physical and virtual world. Ryon was introduced to hacking and offensive security in his teenage years through online communities. Eventually, having a close-eye to this industry led to his discovery of Bitcoin in 2013. After seeing the injustices and malicious behavior perpetrated by crypto-anarchists, he became enamored with defending the less fortunate and made a personal commitment to bring light where there is endless darkness. Ryon is extremely passionate about providing resources for education to anyone with a desire to learn more about blockchain security and how to snuff out danger in a virtual world becoming inundated by malice. His hope is to spark interest in security to the world of “degens.”


In just the past few years, billions of dollars in digital assets have been stolen from unsuspecting investors and protocols alike. Criminal activity within the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) space has been exponentially increasing, this can mainly be attributed to dire macroeconomic conditions and an irrational lack of security considerations. Greed and anonymity are a volatile mixture– the blockchain and DeFi space has allowed these two traits to coincide seamlessly. 

The ‘wild-west’ analogy of the DeFi space is a broken record by now; however, this is simply the truth. Crypto-Vigilantes have started obtaining notoriety by sensationalizing investigations, exposing criminal, immoral, and devious activity. This is a good start to creating more security focused individuals in the field, yet we still lack the proper educational resources to disseminate to the future generation of blockchain security professionals.

Fear is the greatest defense and offense in an anonymous environment; as such, it is pertinent that we instill fear and unease in criminals looking to exploit a loosely regulated space. The IRS, FBI, SEC, and other federal entities have taken initiative to impose harsher penalties on felonious crypto-crime. To complement the increase in consequence, our tactics of investigation need to adapt to the new attack vectors and methods of severing the chain-of-custody.

In this research presentation, we will go through different tools used for forensic tracing, the limitations of strictly on-chain investigations, behavioral analysis tactics and ultimately to provide insight on how to get a start into the world of blockchain forensics.

External Link

Read the Research Paper

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. External Link An arrow entering a square. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.