The United States Department of Homeland Security recently made a statement concerning transactions made on the ZCash and Monero blockchains respectively. The law enforcement arm of the government, in its usual interfering manner, indicated that it might soon start monitoring Zcash and Monero transactions using enhanced forensic analytics capabilities. Homeland Security stated in a released document that it projects going about this monitoring by designing “a product to support the implementation of blockchain based forensics, data analysis, and information sharing.”
Details of the Document Released by the DHS
The document, named the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) FY19 Pre-Solicitation, was made available to the public on the 30th of November with the option of people commenting or requesting data about certain topics, one of which is ‘Blockchain Applications for Homeland Security Forensic Analytics.’
The document stated that Homeland Security was engrossed in the monitoring of Monero and Zcash because its existing Bitcoin-focused analytics capabilities “cover only a limited scope within the realm of cryptocurrencies.” The issue of interference in the area of private blockchains has been explained by the Department of Homeland Security. The regulatory body indicated that the action was to facilitate current blockchain applications and establish that Homeland Security has the capability to decapitate threats that might be caused by transactions that are not legal and shrouded in secrecy. In the document, Homeland Security noted that;
“A key feature underlying these newer blockchain platforms that is frequently emphasized is the capability for anonymity and privacy protection. While these features are desirable, there is similarly a compelling interest in tracing and understanding transactions and actions on the blockchain of an illegal nature.”
The law enforcement department further added that resolutions were needed to allow for the agency to carry out forensic analysis on transactions on the blockchain.
In the proposal, there were three stages of research mentioned. The first stage includes an analysis ecosystem for the blockchain particularly for the Zcash and Monero cryptocurrencies in order to allow the agency carry out its analysis. The second stage consists of the demonstration and prototyping of the product designed for the monitoring purpose. The third stage features of the implementation of the designed product in helping the law enforcement arm of the government combat money laundering and embezzlement.
The announcement made by the Department of Homeland Security heralds a preparation of the U.S. government in tackling money laundering by unscrupulous organizations and entities, evading tax and funding terrorists using the blockchain. It has been reported that the agencies within the U.S. government have given out several contracts running into millions to firms that monitor activities on the blockchain.