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Government agencies seek greater tools to track down suspicious crypto transactions.
The US Office of Foreign Assets Control has sought another subscription to Chainalysis analytics software in order to increase its blockchain transaction monitoring activities.
In a public notice sent out on May 26, the agency confirmed its intention to subscribe to Chainalysis’s Rumker Training and Support Packages for what it deems as “mission-critical research”, further expanding its arsenal of surveillance tools.
This week’s public notice marks the second such request that the agency has made this month, having made a prior request for Chainalysis blockchain surveillance tools on May 4.
According to the most recent notice, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is looking for a commercial online blockchain tracking web-based application solution to equip investigators in its Office of Global Targeting (OGT).
OFAC is a U.S. Treasury Department financial intelligence and enforcement organization that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.
The major goal of the software procurement is enable the US government and international partners to work on money laundering and terrorism funding investigations.
The software would be used to monitor and track virtual currency transactions in order to gather information on parties involved that OGT might add to the “Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List” (SDN).
The Chainalysis Rumker software package contains Observations and Nodes, which aid in determining the location of server nodes. It also includes Wasabi Demixing tools, which enable the agency to obtain cryptographic data on previously obfuscated transactions. According to the notice:
“Chainalysis meets OFAC’s requirements by effectively providing the following capabilities: address clustering, transaction flow mapping and graphing, wallet explorer, analysis of user behavior, exchange rate, trade, and market data,”
A report by blockchain analysis firm Elliptic on May 27 has revealed that financial criminals have stepped up their efforts to circumvent state tracking by using mixing services, which let users mix their coins with others in a pool of funds to add a layer of anonymity to transactions.
Other techniques include utilizing privacy cryptocurrencies like Monero and privacy wallets, as well as using unregulated exchanges to evade know-your-customer rules.
Coinbase, a U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, disclosed in March that the OFAC was investigating a number of its transactions for potential breaches of U.S. sanctions laws. It went on to say that there were no obvious infractions at the time.
Cointelegraph revealed in February that BitPay was facing a $500,000 punishment from the OFAC for supplying cryptocurrency services to sanctioned nations.