DEA Awards 130K Contract to Chainalysis to Track Cryptocurrency

~3 min read | Published on 2019-08-20, tagged Chainalysis using 546 words.

In darkweb and cryptocurrency investigations, federal law enforcement agencies routinely rely on the skills and services provided by threat intelligence and blockchain analysis companies such as Flashpoint or Chainalysis. The Drug Enforcement Agency recently awarded Chainalysis with a $134,970 contract for a one year license to their platform and services.
The limited sources documentation describes the Drug Enforcement Agency’s intended use for Chainalysis’s services and the unique characteristics provided only by Chainalysis. Government contracts with the forensic blockchain analysis company are not new; investigative agencies have been using Chainalysis for years. As reported on Vice’s Motherboard, government agencies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Chainalysis licenses.

Chainalysis Visualization of Stolen Binance Funds / source: Chainalysis Blog

Chainalysis is undoubtedly the most advanced provider of blockchain analysis services in the industry. Even Europol has a deal with the company.

The Described Intention for the Chainalysis Contract

Cryptocurrency analytical tool used to help identify drug traffickers and trace their assets. This tool will be used by analysts in OSI and OSS to support field investigations that involve the use of cryptocurrency. It will enhance other tools and techniques being currently used in OSS and OSI by helping to deanonyrnize the target and identify cryptocurrency exchanges the person is using.

Screenshot of the Chainalysis LSD

What Makes Chainalysis Unique

Chainalysis has charting capabilities that have been used to show investigators how Bitcoin transactions are conducted and how they can be used as a tool to identify targets, the Bitcoin Exchanges they are using, and how to subpoena the exchanges for personally identifying information and bank information of targets. The identification of the wallets allows investigators to identify the level of trafficking conducted by the target , as well as the assets that can be seized when a search warrant takes place. Chainalysis is currently being used to track targets in Canada, China, United Kingdom, and within the United States. Chainalysis will also continue to be used to identify and target money laundering means/methods being conducted with Bitcoin, as well as breakdown financial transactions that occur within an exchange that can be further exploited by investigators.

Market Research Conducted Regarding Chainalysis

The research that was conducted for Chainalysis shows that the system is unique in their products and capabilities. It will help in day to day investigations by assisting investigators in locating the targets on virtual currency exchanges , which often possess the legitimate names of the people involved. Chainalysis is uniquely able to associate Internet Protocol (IP) addresses with virtual currency wallets. The number of DEA investigations that involve IP addresses is growing significantly every year and as an agency we are constantly looking for tools that will assist in exploiting the IP information. No other vendors can associate IP addresses to virtual currency wallets.

The contract is for $134,970 and the license runs from 09/30/2019 to 09/29/2020.
The DOJ, DEA Special Notice

The U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration intends to award a sole source purchase order to Chainalysis, Inc. for Chainalysis licensing. All communication regarding this posting shall be in writing and be received by the archive date of this notice. Point of contact is Frank Giguere, email [email protected]. The proposed purchase order is for services for which the Government intends to solicit and negotiate only with Chainalysis […]
The Limited Sources Documentation (PDF)

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