U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control is seeking blockchain analytics tools

Public records indicate that the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is part of the Treasury Department, is on the hunt for blockchain analytics capabilities. 

Details of OFAC's interest in this area were revealed in a May 4 "sources sought" notice, which is used by federal agencies to garnered interest from would-be contractors. Per the notice, OFAC is looking for "one to two tools that provide access to five (5) users each, either as individual licenses or one concurrent license."

As the notice outlines:

"The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requires one or more commercial online blockchain tracing tools—depending on available funding. These tool(s) will be used to prepare investigators in OFAC’s Office of Global Targeting (OGT) group to analyze and track virtual currency transactions, e.g. Bitcoin, in order to gather attribution information on involved parties that OGT may put on the SDN List. These tools will be used specifically to support cyber sanctions implementation undertaken by OFAC. More than one tool is preferred, in order to corroborate attribution of cyber actors, sufficient to meet legal requirements for use as evidence in OFAC designations determinations."

Additionally, the notice outlines specific features that it would need: "address clustering, transaction flow mapping and graphing, wallet explorer, analysis of user behavior, and exchange rate, trade, and market data."

"All responsible sources may express their interest and provide capability statements in response to this notice. The deadline for submitting capability statements in response to the Sources Sought Notice is May 25, 2021, by 2:00pm EDT," the notice concludes.

That OFAC would be on the lookout for blockchain analytics tools is perhaps unsurprising, given recent moves out of the office in recent months, including address-specific sanctions aimed at cyberattacks and election interference from Russian government-tied entities.