The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, turned to analytics firm Inca Digital to build on a new crypto mapping tool to analyze the impact of cryptocurrencies on US national security.
The Small Business Innovation Contract (SBIR) terms will also give insight into the role crypto plays in illicit finance.
Specifically, Inca Digital’s Government Contracts division will “provide insight into the use of blockchain-based technologies related to money laundering, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion across systems.”
The research effort will also unpack how crypto moves through the ecosystem, key on- and off-ramps, and how crypto can impact traditional finance, among other goals.
DARPA is a research agency within the US Department of Defense and works closely with the military to develop new technologies. The agency also played a key role in developing some of the earliest iterations of the Internet.
Inca Digital CEO Adam Zarazinski said in a prepared statement that “digital asset markets are extremely promising, but also face money laundering, market manipulation and state actors who can present risks to the national security of the United States”.
Once launched, the mapping tool will be available to the US government as well as private companies, joining the ranks of other corporate blockchain detective services like Chainalysis and CipherTrace.
Inca Digital has not responded yet. Decryptrequest for comment.
US Crypto Crackdown
The new research effort comes amid growing regulatory concerns and crackdowns in the crypto world.
The department has added the project website and various Ethereum addresses to its list of specially designated nationals. This list is generally reserved for terrorist organizations and international criminals.
Shortly after the blacklisting, an open source developer who was working on Tornado Cash was stopped in Holland.
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