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U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Planning to Investigate Blockchain Transactions

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The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking for information about investigating and evaluating blockchains, including those being used for privacy coins.

This is according to a pre-solicitation notice that was published just recently.

DHS has published a proposal, which asked interested parties to comment and design applications for blockchain forensic analytics in respect to nascent cryptocurrencies. The proposal also asks for solutions that would allow investigators to conduct pertinent examination on blockchain transactions.

Notably, DHS says that, while previous exploration has been done on Bitcoin (BTC) analytics, this only spans a “limited scope in the realm of cryptocurrencies.” The DHS recommendation seeks applications of blockchain analytics for privacy-oriented altcoins such as Zcash and Monero, which function on private blockchains.

The document emphasizes that existing research within the field facilitates technologies, the key elements of which include better competences for maintaining anonymity and privacy protection. While DHS stresses that these qualities are “desirable,” there is “a compelling interest in tracing and understanding transactions and actions on the blockchain of an illegal nature.”

The forensic analysis of blockchain transactions could be approached in different ways and consider various data situation use cases, while the preferred solution should “provide working approaches to treating newer blockchain implementations.”

DHS also says that the solution may be implemented in other facets of administration:

“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 existing document is a pre-solicitation notice. During the pre-solicitation duration, the agency looks to receive technical questions and consultation, but will not entertain official applications by experts and businesses with potential solutions. The release of the final solicitation is slated for December 19, 2018.

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