Last Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a request for proposals (RFP) that requires state-of-the-art tracing and analysis software and software licenses to detect illicit use of cryptography by criminals. The Money Laundering, Forfeiture and Bank Fraud Unit (MLFBU) of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) explains the reason for the tender as being due to “…changes in the use of virtual currency by illicit actors have created the need for the FBI to acquire a tool that can trace a large number of virtual currencies.
The proposal states that the FBI, “…needs state-of-the-art tracing and analytical tools that can keep pace with fast-paced and ever-changing technologies often exploited by illicit actors to avoid detection by criminals. law enforcement”. Specifically, the RFP requires the private contractor to provide “…software and software licenses to the FBI for tracking, charting, aggregating, and attributing virtual currency transactions.” Further, the Contractor, “…must provide software licenses for use on both an isolated FBI system and an unclassified FBI system”.
The tender requires software that can, “…support tracing of virtual currencies representing the top 95% of the market capitalization listed on coinmarketcap.com at the time of the tender, starting with the largest currency”. In addition, the software will also need to support tracking of the following “blockchains and associated virtual assets” described in the proposal as Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and all ERC-20 tokens.
The tender requires software that will offer “transaction-specific cryptographic technical information…such as lock time, wallet and address version data, shared public key and delimitation multisig, replace with fee data, WPKH (witness public key hash), fee details reflected in satoshis per byte and size in bytes of transaction data. The software must also provide the ability to geolocate “back- end related to TOR” as well as “the IP assignment associated with the addresses”.
The contract with the FBI would start as early as March 25, 2022 for a one-year term, with options for up to four additional years, and would initially order 250 licenses, support and training services billed at a monthly flat rate. . “Daily Blockchain Updates” is one of the deliverables required under the contract, along with training materials and software patches/downloads.
For any vendor that passes the first phase of the assessment, the second phase will consist of demonstrations. One of the demonstrations will be live and conducted by the “FBI Controlled Innovation Lab” on a stand-alone system to see if the products work against a scenario presented by the FBI. A second demonstration against the capabilities outlined in the RFP will also be required, including the following cryptocurrencies listed below.
The second demo also includes other requirements such as ‘IP clusters’, ‘IP assignment’, ‘IP reverse lookup’, and ‘On-demand API access’, as well as preferred items such as ‘Node assignment’, ‘Alerts of address/transaction”. ‘ and ‘peeling and demixing’ capabilities.
the full tender is available on the official US government contracting system under notice IDDJF-22-0600-PR-0002688. The “Current SOW” or Statement of Work is an attachment at this link which contains the details reported in this article.
Disclosure: I own Bitcoin.