Some people may wonder how Monero is any different from Dash or even ZCash in this regard. While it is true the latter two cryptocurrencies have focused on privacy and anonymity to a degree, their implementations are far from perfect. BlockSci describes how they successfully traced both ZCash and Dash transactions from beginning to end, regardless of features like PrivateSend. This is anything but good news for people who value these currencies for their privacy or anonymity features.
If there is one big lesson to take away from BlockSci, it is how blockchain analysis will become more prominent in the years to come. Anyone who demands more privacy and/or anonymity in cryptocurrency will have to carefully read this paper and draw their own conclusions. The team has made a lot of progress pointing to how privacy is not necessarily present in the currencies people may like. While the main focus is on Bitcoin, Litecoin, Namecoin, and Dash, the team is also looking into Dash, Bitcoin Cash, and a few other cryptocurrencies right now.
It is unclear what all this means in the bigger scheme of things, though. While blockchain analysis is not something most everyday users will be concerned about, it highlights that cryptocurrency is not necessarily providing any degree of privacy whatsoever. This could prove to be a big problem for specific cryptocurrency users moving forward. Then again, it also validates the fact that no one should use Bitcoin or altcoins to conduct illicit activities in the first place.