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HMRC turns to analytics to crack down on crypto cybercriminals

HMRC turns to analytics to crack down on crypto cybercriminals

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is seeking expressions of interest from vendors for a blockchain analytics tool to catch cybercriminals trading in cryptocurrencies.

The UK's tax authority is looking at investing in "cryptoanalysis" technology that would enable it to scrutinise trading of bitcoin, Ether and other digital assets.

A sum of £100,000 is on the table for the vendor who can provide such a service.

HMRC had previously tried to address the use of cryptocurrency for criminal activity by approaching exchanges such as Coinbase and eToro requesting information on customers and their transaction histories.

The tax authority believes that there is a need for a product that would allow it to shore up knowledge gaps in how digital assets are "supporting criminal activity against HMRC".

Proposals from service providers who can "showcase their capabilities by demonstrating their expertise in the field of crypto-asset tracing" are being invited by the UK tax agency.

HMRC is primarily seeking a tool that can "identify and cluster" transactions carried out using cryptocurrency to particular companies, such as gambling firms or dark-web activity.

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