The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to create a blockchain forensic applications that can track transactions of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as Monero and Zcash.
The DHS Small Business Innovation Research program published a pre-solicitation document inviting any interested parties to comment and develop solutions that will allow law enforcement investigations to perform forensic analysis on blockchain transaction.
“This proposal seeks applications of blockchain forensic analytics for newer cryptocurrencies, such as Zcash and Monero,” the document said. “And, ongoing research within the field also contributes to new technological implementations and techniques that continue to multiply the specific types of consensus, privacy, security, and proof mechanisms.”
The anonymity and privacy protects features of privacy coins are quite attractive for the average crypto owner, the DHS states that there is similarly a compelling interest in tracking and understanding transaction of actions committed on the blockchain of an illegal nature.
Furthermore, the DHS is searching for an architecture that shows how system components can be upgraded or interchanged for an extensible and forward-looking solution that can be maintained for use with emerging blockchain networks.
“With the proliferation of new blockchain variants, the desired solution should either attempt to show generality or extensibility, or at least provide working approaches to treating newer blockchain implementations,” the DHS said.
The proposal also points out that the solution may be applicable towards other operations in government and private sectors as well.
“Because of the significant impact in areas such as governance, data sharing agreement enforcement, and encrypted analytics interchanges, there are a wide variety of applications in government and the commercial marketplace that can benefit from successful product development,” the DHS said.
“Blockchain forensic analytics for the homeland security enterprise can help the DHS law enforcement and security operations across components as well as state and local law enforcement operations. Private financial institutions can likewise benefit from such capabilities in enforcing “know your customer” and anti-money laundering compliance.”
The pre-solicitation period will run until December 18, any interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on or request information about the topic areas attached on the notice. Final release for the solicitation will be scheduled for December 19.
As appealing as anonymity and security for privacy coins can be, it’s understandable why the DHS would want to have methods to monitor transaction of coins amongst its users. Not everyone utilizing the features of privacy coins may be doing so for positive reasons, and it allows criminals ways to easily commit payment for malicious items intended to cause harms towards others.
What are you thoughts on this DHS proposal?
Let us know your thoughts.