The FBI issues requests (RFP) to keep track of illicit crypto usage

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The FBI issued a request for proposal (RFP) on Friday, requesting state-of-the-art tracking and analysis software and software licenses to detect criminals’ illegal crypto usage. The Money Laundering, Forfeiture, and Bank Fraud Unit (MLFBU) of the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) explain why the RFP was issued:

“…changes in the use of virtual currency by illicit actors has created the need for the FBI to acquire a tool that can trace a significant number of virtual currencies.”

“State-of-the-art tracing and analytical capabilities capable of maintaining pace with quick, ever-changing technologies typically leveraged by criminal actors to avoid discovery by law enforcement,” the FBI states in the request.

According to the RFP, the private contractor must offer “…software and software licenses to the FBI for virtual currency tracking, graphing, clustering, and attribution of virtual currency transactions,” according to the RFP. In addition, “…must supply software licenses for use on both an air-gapped FBI system and an unclassified FBI system,” the contractor adds.

“…enable tracing of virtual currencies representing the top 95% of the market capitalization as stated on coinmarketcap.com at the time of proposal, commencing with the largest currency,” according to the RFP.

Furthermore, the programme must be capable of tracing the ‘blockchains and associated virtual assets’ mentioned in the proposal, which include bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum, and all ERC-20 tokens.

“Transaction-specific cryptographic technical information…such as lock time, wallet and address version data, shared public key and multisig delineation, replace by fee data, WPKH (witness public key hash), fee details reflected in satoshis per byte, and transaction data byte size,” according to the RFP.

The software should also be able to geo-locate ‘TOR-connected back-end servers’ and ‘IP attribution associated with addresses.’ The FBI contract would begin on March 25, 2022, for a one-year period with options for up to four more years, and would initially order 250 licenses, support services, and training billed monthly. ‘Daily blockchain updates’ are one of the deliverables that is required under the contract, along with training materials and software patches/ downloads. 

Not long ago, the FBI announced the formation of a unit dedicated to blockchain analysis and virtual asset seizure on Thursday.

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Shambhavi Soni