A forensics tool for cryptocurrency? Why not, according to the U.S. government.
Despite studies saying bitcoin has already matured, there’s no denying that the popular digital currency has caught the eye of criminals who want to use cryptocurrency for their nefarious transactions, thus making it harder for law enforcement to keep track of users.
In Europe, the European Union recently proposed to create a central database that would have records of bitcoin and virtual currency users’ identities and wallet addresses, which would be accessible to financial intelligence units of member countries.
Across the pond, the U.S. government is turning to technology to overcome bitcoin-related challenges.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology directorate has backed a research that aims to create a bitcoin deanonymization tool to help law enforcement reduce the time spent on tracking illegal operations.
Andrew Cox, lead researcher for Sandia National Laboratories, said what needs to be done is to understand the numerous patterns linked with bitcoin transactions to figure out other configurations—a no easy task especially since there is no “silver bullet” algorithm that will effectively de-anonymize bitcoin.
Cox’s team has been tasked to set up a graphical user interface or a front end on the research environment, where law enforcement can test the algorithms that the laboratory is using in investigations.
“This will allow us to adjust what we’re doing to make sure we’re being of maximal use to them,” Cox said.
Philippine bitcoin firm buys defunct Silicon Valley company
Philippine-based bitcoin start-up Satoshi Citadel Industries recently announced that it has acquired Reza, a defunct bitcoin stock trading company based in Silicon Valley.
Reza made headlines with its mobile app that enables bitcoin users to invest in bitcoin or fixed income stocks in the U.S. or other international stock exchanges. But the project fizzled out several months ago despite Reza receiving $357,000 in seed funding.
Now, Satoshi Citadel Industries is punting on Reza’s Keza app, which the company said is “built for emerging markets users who don’t have access to global capital markets.”
Current bitcoin price and transaction volume
The price of bitcoin dropped to $575.35 on Saturday, with a trade volume of $12.62 million.