Blockchain Applications for Homeland Security Forensic Analytics

Description:

Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) are emerging technologies being leveraged for a wide range of commercial and governmental applications. The most well-known use case would likely be Bitcoin, within the newly emerged cryptocurrency arena, which has spurred further interest and developments. Prior efforts have addressed Bitcoin analytics, which covers only a limited scope within the realm of cryptocurrencies. This proposal seeks applications of blockchain forensic analytics for newer cryptocurrencies, such as Zcash and Monero. And, ongoing research within the field also contributes to new technological implementations and techniques that continue to multiply the specific types of consensus, privacy, security, and proof mechanisms.

A key feature underlying these newer blockchain platforms that is frequently emphasized is the capability for anonymity and privacy protection. While these features are desirable, there is similarly a compelling interest in tracing and understanding transactions and actions on the blockchain of an illegal nature. To that end, this proposal calls for solutions that enable law enforcement investigations to perform forensic analysis on blockchain transactions. This analysis can be approached in any number of ways and may consider different data situation use cases depending on whether additional data from off-chain sources are available. Furthermore, with the proliferation of new blockchain variants, the desired solution should either attempt to show generality or extensibility, or at least provide working approaches to treating newer blockchain implementations.

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