Business

Noah Bradley

Blockchain experts wanted: US Army seeks contractors for crypto probes

The U.S. Army may be the latest branch of the armed forces to take a step further into the world of blockchains and cryptocurrency. The Air Force, among other endeavors, has already begun to explore ways to use blockchain technology in relation to data management and the Army Contracting Command (ACC) in New Jersey is now looking to test the waters, as well. It has published a pre-solicitation notice in search of individuals who can track crypto in real-time.

According to the notice, the person chosen has to be able to offer global investigative services that can be used in tandem with criminal investigations conducted by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC). The ACC adds, “Web-based service must be able to assist law enforcement in order to identify and stop actors who are using cryptocurrencies for illicit activity such as fraud, extortion, and money laundering. Shall provide the source of cryptocurrency transactions and provide multi-currency analysis from Bitcoin to other top cryptocurrencies.”

The emphasis for the operational criteria is centered on the solution being web-based. All data would have to be able to be shared via cloud storage, with no need for the installation of hardware or software for reasons that should be blatantly obvious.

The program will be used to provide real-time crypto transaction tracing, including (where possible) identification of the individuals involved. Given the Financial Action Task Force’s recent guideline that crypto transactions be tagged with ID data, this Army requirement should soon be relatively easy to follow.

The period for accepting responses to the notice has already expired – the solicitation period ran July 25 to August 8. However, what the announcement reveals is that there is a continued, and increasing, interest in providing mechanisms that can ultimately support crypto and blockchain development by important institutions across the globe.

While the ACC’s announcement is only a pre-solicitation, which means that it may not move forward with the project, the military division is obviously dedicating resources to blockchain and this is going to lead to more changes for the entire Bitcoin ecosystem over the course of the next five to ten years. This has already been demonstrated through a report released by Diar in September 2018 that showed that government agencies in the U.S. tripled the amount they invested in blockchain intelligence firms throughout the year.

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